3,133 jobs were also supported by intu Potteries, representing 2 per cent of all jobs in the local area.
intu owns many of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres and the research by planning and development consultancy Lichfields measured each centre’s economic contribution to reveal the value Britain’s best-loved retail 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, intu supported a total of 132,950 jobs and contributed £4.8bn to the UK economy last year. This is an increase on 128,490 jobs and an economic contribution of £4.6bn in 2017.
The number of people employed in retail at intu centres also grew by more than 4%, from 96,350 in 2017 to 100,652 in 2018.
The growth in jobs can partly be attributed to intu’s ongoing investment in new developments. intu invested £169 million on new development projects across the country in 2018 alone and is planning a further £600 million of investment over the next 10 years.
Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, 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 Potteries 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.”
intu’s total contribution to local charities and community organisations also reached £1.7m last year thanks to initiatives to help people into work, to make its centres more accessible and to support activities that promote health, wellbeing and social inclusion. At intu Potteries, a quiet hour is held the first Monday of each month between 4pm and 5pm. From autism to dementia, this hour is for anyone who prefers a quieter setting within intu Potteries. The centre has also been proud supporters of Dougie Mac Hospice for many years and helped raise £12,266.99 for the hospice in 2018.
Rachael Jackson – General manager at intu Potteries added: “With 10 million customers in 2018, we take our responsibilities as being a major part of the community seriously. We work with our partners to make a positive impact. intu Potteries is a people business, guided by its culture and values. In 2018 staff used 125 volunteer hours to help raise over £21,000 for local charities and community organisations. We pride ourselves on being a hub of the community and are happy to support our staff in these activities.”
The research will be published in intu Potteries’ Corporate responsibility highlights report which is being issued by the centre from July.