Tech and digital | Advanced manufacturing | Logistics and distribution | Business, professional and financial services
In 1981, a disused power station site in Dunston was designated as one of the UK’s first Enterprise Zones. With a population of three million people living within a one-hour drive, the retail potential of the site was soon recognised. Construction work began in 1984 and the first phase of the new Metrocentre opened in 1986.
The intu Metrocentre is Europe’s largest covered shopping and leisure centre with over 350 stores employing over 7,000 people and an annual footfall in excess of 21 million shoppers. It contributes around £176.2 million GVA into the economy and provides earnings of over £106 million for staff employed by directly by Intu or its tenants.
With 26.3% of jobs in Gateshead being in distribution, hotels and restaurants, this reflects the important role of the Metrocentre within the borough’s economy.
More recently, the £150 million Trinity Square development has more than doubled the retail spend in Gateshead centre. High-profile national retailers such as Sports Direct and Costa sit alongside locally-grown businesses and one of the largest Tesco stores in the region. It has the town centre’s first cinema in over 30 years and provides accommodation for almost 1,000 resident Northumbria University students, right in the heart of the development.