Bluewater expansion could create 1,500 jobs
Up to 1,500 jobs could be created at Kent's Bluewater shopping centre if plans for a proposed major extension are approved.
Bluewater owner Lend Lease has started a consultation for an expansion of the centre which will increase the existing retail and catering space by up to 20%. The planning application for the proposed extension will be submitted later this year.
If the plans are given the go-ahead, up to 1,500 jobs could be made available to local residents through The Learning Shop, the centre’s on-site training and recruitment facility. Since opening 13 years ago, the Learning Shop has created employment for over 30,000 people.Bluewater’s general manager, Robert Goodman, 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."
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson added: "I welcome these proposals and am confident that Lend Lease and Bluewater will work closely with the community to create something that will not only be commercially successful, but which will bring many more benefits to the Dartford and the wider north Kent community.
"Not least of these will be a very significant number of jobs, training and investment in the local economy."
Lend Lease is currently redeveloping Bluewater's Wintergarden dining village which will be completed in October and follows the opening of the Glow events space last year.
Should your colleagues be reading the Retail Bulletin? Let them know about us.