Shopping centres intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square contributed £566 million to the local economy last year* according to a new report by owner intu.
14,900 local jobs were also supported by both shopping centres in 2016, representing over 10 per cent of all jobs in the area. 
intu owns many of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres and the research from planning consultants Lichfields measured the economic impact of each centre to reveal how much retail destinations and physical stores are worth to their local areas as a result of employment, regional investment and business rates paid.
It found the total contribution by intu shopping centres grew by £700 million in 2016, from £4.2 billion in 2015. The number of jobs they supported across the country increased by 14 per cent to more than 137,000, with a total wage bill of £1.9 billion.
intu’s development pipeline is expected to generate an additional 31,000 jobs and a further £1.95 billion for the economy over the next 10 years.
The iconic intu Metrocentre is Europe’s largest covered shopping and leisure centre, offering a blend of world-class retailers and dining.
Alongside much-loved brands such as Cath Kidston, Hugo Boss, Carluccio’s and Coast, a £34 million investment programme from 2011 – 2016 has created an exclusive new aspirational retail experience, Platinum Mall – where designer brands can be found in a luxury setting.
The extension of the Qube leisure area has attracted many new restaurants, including Thaikun, MOD Pizza, Barburitto and the UK’s first Movenick  ice-cream boutique, encouraging day-long dining, from a quick bite to a three course meal.
Located in the heart of Newcastle city centre, intu Eldon Square is one of the UK’s largest city centre shopping destinations, with over 130 leading high street stores, including John Lewis, Fenwick and Debenhams.
The new £25m Grey’s Quarter dining development has expanded the centre’s restaurant offering with new names to the city including George’s Great British Kitchen and roof top terrace restaurant Chaophraya, as well as family favourites such as Bella Italia and TGI Friday’s.
Gavin Prior, regional director at intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square, said:
 “Creating and managing retail and leisure destinations that customers want to visit helps businesses flourish across the country, drives up investment in towns and cities and establishes real local prosperity. The jobs they create cater for a wide range of skills and abilities and deliver more entry-level and flexible routes into employment.”
intu Metrocentre and intu Eldon Square work in association with Gateshead College and Jobcentre Plus to offer unemployed people bespoke courses to secure jobs in the retail sector. Retail Gold meets key business objectives by training successful applicants into work-ready candidates with essential skills, knowledge and opportunities to gain employment in the hospitality and retail sector. Since 2015, the initiative has secured paid employment for 340 previously unemployed individuals.
Alexander Nicoll, corporate responsibility director at intu, added:
“We invest millions in our centres and their local communities every year. This allows us to create long-lasting and positive change by delivering skills, employment and health and wellbeing.”
 
Visit intugroup.co.uk for more information.