Shopping centre Bluewater could become the UK’s largest shopping centre as it announced today that it has launched a consultation for an extension of up to 20 per cent of its existing space.
Property firm Lend Lease, which owns the Kent-based centre, said that the application to add new space to the existing 1.6 million sq ft will be submitted later in the year and will see the extension integrate with the Guildhall as it seeks to build on its strong position within the market.
Robert Goodman, Bluewater’s General Manager, believes that the potential developments will boost the local community.
“A key element of Bluewater’s success has been its ability to evolve,” he said.
“Whilst significant enhancements have been made to Bluewater’s offer since opening, we are keen to ensure that Bluewater’s guests, in particular the local community, have the very best retail and leisure available.
“It is also important that we continue to work in partnership with the community.
We will therefore be consulting with the local community and stakeholders over the next few months.
“We also remain committed to creating more jobs and training opportunities for local residents.”
Should the proposals go ahead, up to 1,500 new jobs could be created for local residents with the help of The Learning Shop, an on-site training and recruitment facility within the centre.
Lend Lease explained that the West Village is a new chapter in the evolution of the centre, which extended its dining and events offering last November with the opening of The Plaza and Glow and in October this year the development of family dining village The Wintergarden will be completed.
This move follows strong financial results for the centre in June, when sales jumped six per cent on the same period last year.