Intu Braehead centre injects £300m into economy

Glasgow’s Intu Braehead shopping and leisure destination contributed just over £300 million to the local economy last year, a new study has revealed.

The vast shopping and leisure complex is located just to the west of Glasgow. Picture: Intu Braehead

A total of 8,415 jobs were also supported by Braehead, equivalent to 7 per cent of all jobs in the local area.

The research on its contribution to the economy will be published in Intu Braehead’s corporate responsibility highlights report, which is due to be released later this month.

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Intu’s portfolio comprises 17 centres, including eight of the top 20 in the UK, and in Spain the company owns three of the country’s top ten centres.

The research by planning and development consultancy Lichfields measured each centre’s economic contribution to reveal the value that the retail and leisure destinations bring to their local areas.

It found that including Intu’s employees, people working in retail and in areas linked to running its centres, such as delivery and maintenance, the facilities supported a total of 132,950 jobs and contributed £4.8 billion to the UK economy last year. This compares with 128,490 jobs and an economic contribution of £4.6bn in 2017, despite the widely publicised challenges within the UK retail sector.

The number of people employed in retail at Intu centres grew by more than 4 per cent, from 96,350 in 2017 to 100,652 last year.

Group chief executive Matthew Roberts said: “Retail is a sector that Britain can really be proud of. The best shopping centres employ people in a wide variety of jobs across the length and breadth of the country and are catalysts that create economic and social value.

“Intu supports more than 130,000 jobs and contributes billions to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities around the country.

“Flagship centres such as Intu Braehead play an important role in the lives of communities across the UK, not only in terms of the jobs we create but also the taxes we generate as well as the causes we support to improve the lives and wellbeing of people in our neighbourhoods.”

Braehead also engaged in community projects to improve outdoor spaces at schools and sheltered housing complexes in 2018. The centre’s partnership with landscaping contractor Cardwell Nurseries has been focused around staff volunteering and skills-sharing in the community.

Peter Beagley, regional centre director with responsibility for Braehead, said: “We play a major role in the community and take our responsibilities very seriously to make a positive impact in our area.

“Our staff volunteer for good causes and we make regular donations to local groups from our Community Fund. We’ve also donated to the local foodbank.”