Intu Merry Hill shopping centre transferred to new operator

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Intu Merry HillImage source, Google
Image caption,
The centre will continue to be known as Intu Merry Hill until a rebrand next year

About 200 jobs have been secured at a shopping centre after a new operator was found.

In June, Intu, the owner of some of the UK's biggest shopping centres, called in administrators, partly blaming the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on shopping habits.

Shopping centre operator Ellandi will take on the Intu Merry Hill centre near Dudley.

It is expected to keep its existing name until a rebrand next year.

Investment from the new operator will include remodelling of the exterior.

Rachael Jackson, general manager, said the centre had a "very bright future".

"Visitor numbers are getting back to pre-Covid levels and 97% of our retail and leisure partners have reopened," she added.

Intu employed 2,500 people across the UK and its wider supply chain was said to support about 130,000 jobs.

Despite the effects of coronavirus, the firm had also reported financial problems that predate the pandemic.

Last year, retail sales fell for the first time in a quarter of a century, according to trade body the British Retail Consortium.

In January of this year Intu was forced to approach its shareholders to ask for more money amid a downturn in the retail sector.

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