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Braehead owner committed to £200m extension

THE owner of Braehead has said it hopes construction work on a £200 million ­extension could begin as early as 2016.

However Intu Properties admitted it is still waiting on the outcome of a public enquiry into the proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) for Renfrew.

But yesterday it indicated a belief the result of that will confirm Braehead's status as a town centre.

In its latest annual results filing to the stock market Intu said the 475,000 square feet extension is one of its major projects and listed a starting date for construction of between 2016 and 2018. There is a note in the document which says that schedule could change as a result of internal and external factors.

The extension, between the existing Xscape facility and the shopping centre, would include a department store plus additional shops and leisure facilities.

The project also includes a mixed-use arena - for ice and other sports as well as conferences, concerts and exhibitions - as well as restaurants and a 200-bedroom hotel.

It has been estimated the construction phase would create around 2000 jobs with the extension itself supporting around 3000 direct and indirect jobs.

The plans for the development were initially lodged in January 2013 with Renfrewshire Council also wanting to upgrade Brahead's status to a town centre through its LDP. Glasgow City Council has opposed the designation of Braehead as a town centre amid concerns the extension would draw further trade away from traditional high streets.

The floor space at ­Braehead, which counts Primark, Apple and Sainsbury's among its tenants, is currently 1.1 million square feet. Intu said: "We are awaiting the outcome of the public enquiry by the Scottish Government into the LocalDevelopment Plan for Renfrew which should, amongst other things, confirm Braehead's role as a town centre."

The Intu results said ­Braehead is valued at £602m, is 90% let and had annual rental income of £29.1m in 2013. On the company's balance sheet the Scottish mall is listed as Intu's fourth most valuable after the Trafford Centre in Manchester, the Lakeside in Essex and Gateshead's Metrocentre.

Overall Intu booked a rise in total net rental income from £363m to £370m although the like-for-like figure was 1.9% lower partly as a consequence of administrations in the first part of 2013.

Underlying profits edged upwards from £138m to £140m. The company also saw a property revaluation surplus of £126m in 2013, up from the £41m it noted in 2012.

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