Essex shopping centre Lakeside is to undergo development that will see over 3,500 jobs created in the area.
The new development will include 30 to 40 new shops, including flagship stores and a transport hub, and is being initiated by owner Capital Shopping Centres (CSC).
CSC has allowed for consumer participation in the project, and last week held an exhibition allowing customers and residents to give their views and proposals ahead of the planning application being sent to councils.
Paul Lancaster, General Manager at Lakeside, explained the importance of driving more shoppers to the area through the move.
“This £180 million project is a major statement of our confidence in Lakeside and we hope it will further raise the profile of Thurrock for other businesses,” he commented.
“CSC’s similar projects such as Metrocentre in Gateshead and Newcastle’s Eldon Square have been very successful in stimulating their local economies.”
Benefits of the proposed build include the creation of thousands of jobs in construction, retail and other sectors, as well as some 700 employment opportunities made available in the area through wage and supplier spending.
It is also hoped that the plans will improve public transport infrastructure in the region.
Lancaster added: “This development will allow us to introduce new brands and widen our offer to customers. The proposed integrated transport hub will make using public transport easier, with shorter and sheltered links between bus and rail.
“Lakeside has served the community for the past 21 years, and we’re very excited about this new development.”