intu Lakeside are 25 and Fab
Published on 17/01/2019

This October intu Lakeside celebrated a milestone birthday as we turned 25. Opened in 1990 by Princess Alexandra, after whom the centre’s lake was named, intu Lakeside has since become one of the UK’s leading shopping centres, attracting over 25 million visitors per year!

Construction for intu Lakeside began in 1988 on the site of an old quarry and the original building housed 250 stores and occupied 2 million square feet. Today intu Lakeside is home also home to a cinema, diving school and soon a Travelodge for those that want to extend their stay.

Here at intu Lakeside we have exciting plans to become even bigger and better over the next few years. We recently received outline planning permission for a £100m leisure development, in addition to outline planning consent for a £180m investment – this will include the addition of 438,000 sq ft of retail space, increasing the size of intu Lakeside by nearly a third and incorporating up to 40 new stores!

Over the last 25 years intu Lakeside has housed some of the nation’s favourite brands. Debenhams, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer were among the original anchor stores, which now includes Primark. A trend setter since it opened, intu Lakeside is home to the UK’s first Taco Bell and one of the first Boux Avenue stores. We are also home to intu’s first customer lounge.

The popularity of the centre has gone from strength to strength, seeing intu Lakeside flourish despite a recession and competitor shopping centres opening up nearby. Whether shopping for birthdays, weddings or Christmas intu Lakeside has remained a firm favourite – selling over £4million worth of gift cards every year.

There have been numerous landmark moments for us at intu Lakeside over the years including a baby being born at the shopping centre in January 2014 plus the Boardwalk development opening in 2007, not to mention the countless celebrities who visit intu Lakeside each year. Celebrity visits over the past 25 years include Cliff Richard, Denise Van Outen, Jade Goody, Olly Murs, JLS, One Direction and Katie Price.

We are also committed to supporting local charities and has raised £25,000 for their 2015 nominated charity, The Dream Factory. Over the summer intu Lakeside has also donated over £10,000 worth of books to local hospices and hospitals.

It takes a dedicated team of staff to ensure that intu Lakeside remains Essex’s premier shopping centre.

“intu Lakeside is special to work for because it’s like working for a family.  There are so many people who are so passionate about the centre, the customers and the retailers, that they truly live and breathe the centre.  It’s all about teamwork!” says Donna Callander, our Marketing Manager here at intu Lakeside.

To celebrate, we invited over 200 people from the intu Lakeside business and centre for a 25th birthday party at Las Iguanas on the Broadwalk. With drinks on arrival, a delicious buffet, a spectacular fountain show on Alexandra lake and a firework display, Lakesides 25th birthday surely won't be one to forget!

As well as this, on October 25 (intu Lakeside's birthday) we invited everyone to party like it's 1990 with B*Witched in the intu Lakeside Central Atrium, take part in the ultimate game of musical chairs with gift card prizes up for grabs, and have a boogie in the funky disco lift as they made their way to one of the centre’s wide array of stores and restaurants.

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