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Intu Trafford Centre looks for £1.3bn buyer as thousands of jobs at risk
12 August 2020, 17:00
The Intu Trafford Centre is being sold off for £1.3bn in a bid to rescue it from permanent closure and save thousands of jobs.
The large shopping and leisure complex is looking for a £1.3 billion buyer after its owners - Intu Properties - fell into administration earlier this year.
In June, the Trafford Centre and Intu's other shopping centres were taken over by administrators Jim Tucker, David Pike and Mike Pink from insolvency firm KPMG.
In a statement, the company said: "Since their appointment on 26 June, the joint administrators of Intu Properties plc have taken control and ensured there is a stable platform from which to assess options for the business and allow the various shopping centres to keep trading as normal, thereby maximising their potential value.
"Over the next few months, central services for the companies which own the shopping centres will gradually migrate to alternative providers under our supervision. In the meantime, the shopping centres continue to operate and trade as normal, under the control of their directors."
Intu's other shopping centres include Lakeside in Essex, the Metrocentre in Gateshead and the Arndale in Manchester, which it part-owns, but are owned separately and therefore not in administration.
Over 8,000 jobs are at risk at the Trafford Centre while investment bank PJT Partners and property agent CBRE attempt to find a buyer, but the group is hopeful about saving the 207,000 square metre complex from going under.
It is estimated that over 30 million people from across the UK and the world visit the centre each year, which holds over 200 shops and attractions, including an adventure golf course and an aquarium.
It is the latest development in a series of difficult decisions being made by businesses which have suffered during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The collapse into administration has also created anxiety among local authorities, with Trafford Council concerned about the impact permanent closure would have on the Greater Manchester borough.
Following the announcement that the Trafford Centre had gone into administration Councillor James Wright, Trafford Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “The news this afternoon that Intu has gone into administration is a devastating blow for the company, all the businesses and, of course, the employees and the borough as a whole.
“Our thoughts go out to all the staff and business owners who are concerned about their future following this terrible news. Trafford Council will do all it can to help people who could potentially lose their jobs.
“The centre is continuing to trade under the administrators and I would urge people in the borough to continue to shop there and support the businesses.”
Many businesses have collapse into administration or permanently closed, resulting in mass redundancies.
On Tueday, high street fashion retailer Debenhams announced it was axing 2,500 jobs from its stores and warehouses to slash costs it had endured during the pandemic.
Figures show that over 700,000 jobs have been lost since lockdown began on 23 March this year.