Expansions, new openings and refurbishments are all in the programme. Credit: Primark

Region to the fore in £100m Primark push

An expansion at Gateshead’s Metrocentre and a new store at Teesside Park are among the projects included in the fast fashion group’s investment programme as it reaches its 50th year.

The group is implementing a  £75m improvement programme across 15 existing stores, and committing £25m to expansions or new openings elsewhere.

Once it reopens, the Metrocentre Primark will boast around 80,000 sq ft of selling space, an expansion of around 14,000 sq ft.

Primark has been trading at the Gateshead complex for around 20 years, upgrading to its current site in 2010. It is amid works to extend into the adjacent space, with an opening expected later this year.

The retailer said the programme as a whole “shows our ongoing commitment to the UK high street”.

At Teesside Park in Thornaby, Primark obtained a second consent for the former Mothercare unit in October last year, winning permission for a two-storey rear extension. Primark joins other brands heading to the park including Lush, Flannels and Wagamama.

Primark is set to reach 195 stores and almost 8m sq ft of selling space by the end of 2024, with around 700 jobs created across these stores.

Kari Rodgers, UK retail director at Primark said: “We’ve changed a lot in the fifty years since we opened the doors on our first store in Great Britain in Derby back in 1974, but at our heart, we are still the same.

“We’re as committed as ever to offering the very best value on the high street and making great fashion more affordable and accessible for everyone. This latest investment will mean bigger and better stores, hundreds of new jobs across the country and shows our ongoing commitment to the UK high street.”

Primark now employs more than 30,000 people in the UK and has 192 stores across the country. The business has also evolved to offer further services in-store, such as beauty studios, Greggs and Disney cafes, and Wornwell, a collaboration with Vintage Wholesale.

Outside of the UK, Primark can now be found in 15 other countries and has an ambition to reach 530 stores across its markets by the end of 2026.

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