December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Marijke Cox, Reporter
Monday, August 6, 2012
Talks under way for Greenhithe shopping centre to expand by a fifth, with new shops and restaurants
UP to 1,500 jobs could be created at Bluewater under major expansion plans which could see more shops and restaurants added to the complex.
Property firm Lend Lease, which runs the Greenhithe shopping centre, has started discussions with a view to submitting an outline planning application later this year for an extension amounting to a fifth of the existing retail and catering space.
It is anticipated the proposal, if given the green light, could deliver up to 1,500 jobs, available to local residents via The Learning Shop, the centre’s on-site training and recruitment facility.
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson welcomed the news.
“I’m 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 wider north Kent community,” he said.
“Not least of these will be a very significant number of jobs, training and investment in the local economy.”
The extension will be at the West Village and will form part of development at Bluewater which started last November with the opening of The Plaza and exhibition space Glow.
In October this year, Lend Lease will complete the redevelopment of The Wintergarden, Bluewater’s family dining village.
The centre’s general manager Robert Goodman said a key element of Bluewater’s success was its ability to evolve.
“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,” he said.
“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 residents.”
Since opening 13 years ago, the centre’s Learning Shop has created employment for over 30,000 people, the majority from the Kent community.
The consultation for the proposed extension has begun, and the application will be submitted later this year.
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