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Bluewater expansion heralds new opportunities for retailers

Bluewater, one of the nation's biggest indoor shopping centres is about to get bigger - much bigger. reports that Lend Lease, the owner of Bluewater, which is located in Dartford, Kent, has announced plans to expand the centre by 20 per cent.

The addition of an extra 375,000 square foot, on top of the 1.6 million square foot that already exists in Bluewater, will tip the scales to make it Britain's largest shopping centre.

This will of course, bring plenty of jobs with it, as well as opportunities for retailers. Around 1,500 jobs will be created as a direct result of the expansion. It's likely that other associated support and supply industries, such as logistics firms and cash processing providers, will also benefit.

The Press Association notes that Bluewater is enjoying a successful 2012 thus far, despite the uneasy economic climate. Sales at the centre are up six per cent in the six months to June. A further 10 new retailers have also set up shop during this time and eight currently operating out of the centre are undergoing store refits.

Bluewater's general manager, Robert Goodman, said that a key element of Bluewater's success has been "its ability to evolve".

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson meanwhile welcomed the news, saying it would bring numerous 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," he said.

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