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Intu outlines expansion plans

Intu outlines expansion plans

Retail giant Intu has outlined its plans to carry out a massive expansion of its estate, with several large shopping centres around the UK being expanded. 

The firms used its annual report to reveal its plans for the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester, Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham, Intu Braehead just outside Glasgow and Intu Milton Keynes.

It will spend £679 million on its developments, with one of the largest of these being £74 million for an expansion of Barton Square at the Trafford Centre.

This will create two floors of retail space totalling 110,000 sq ft, and the plan is to find an anchor retailer before commencing construction work in early 2018. A large new roof will be built above the facility.

In addition, the company is spending £180 million on expanding the Intu Watford centre, with the new retail facilities set to be up and running in early 2018. Planning permission was recently granted for an expansion at Milton Keynes.

The plans have been outlined despite Intu's annual report revealing a 1.5 per cent drop in rental revenues from retailers, as the economy slows and the growth in consumer spending stutters.

Discussing the proposals, Intu chief executive David Fischel suggested the current retail situation could benefit the firm as it expands its centres.

He explained: "Intu has performed robustly over the six-month period in a UK retail environment which continues to be challenging. Retail brands are being selective in their expansion, looking at established locations such as our 17 prime shopping centres, which are attracting high footfall through their differentiated offering and compelling customer experience."

The development at the Trafford Centre comes at a time when public access to the complex will soon be made easier. Planning permission was granted last year for an extension of the Metrolink tram system, which will provide the first-ever non-road-based public transport link.

Image: iStock

 

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