Dundrum centre contributes more than €130m a year to the economy
Mall owner Hammerson details socioeconomic impact of its centres in report
The Dundrum Town Centre contributes €93 million in wages and €29 million in taxes, a total of €122 million, to the economy every year. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
Dundrum Town Centre, the State’s biggest shopping mall, contributes more than €130 million a-year to the economy in wages, rates and taxes, according to a report published by its joint owner.
Its figures show that Dundrum contributes €93 million in wages and €29 million in taxes, a total of €122 million, to the economy every year. On top of this, its tenants pay €9.2 million in rates to local authorities, bringing the overall figure to €131.2 million.
Dundrum employs 3,824 people, 85 per cent of them from its locality and half of them under the age of 25. The report estimates that the centre’s retailers spend €4.5 million a-year on training their workers.
Simon Betty, Hammerson’s director of retail in Ireland, pointed out that Dundrum represents a significant proportion of the group’s assets and noted that the trends there broadly reflected those in its wider business.
“Retail is good for local communities. It provides skills, training and employment opportunities, particularly for younger people,” he argued.
“It makes a positive contribution to the local economy through wages and into the exchequer through employer taxes.”
Along with Dundrum, Hammerson has stakes in the Ilac centre in Dublin city centre and in Kildare Village.
It also owns a site in the centre of the capital between O’Connell Street and Moore Street, part of which is designated a national monument because it was the final battlefield of 1916.
Dundrum employs close to 10 per cent of the 40,000 people working in the group’s properties here, in Britain and Europe. Some of its other centres include the Bullring in Birmingham and Victoria Gate in Leeds in England and Les Terrasses du Port in Marseilles in France. Its assets are worth a total of £10 billion.
Its report, True Value of Retail, states that those working in its properties earn a total of €912 million a year, while more than four out of five of the jobs are taken by people from communities close to the centres.
Launching the report, Mark Bourgeois, Hammerson’s managing director UK and Ireland, said the industry’s socioeconomic impact is generally ignored.
He acknowledged that people in the sector can feel “frivolous” when they hear of the difficulties that councils face when it comes to things such as providing housing.
“But retail is part of a catalyst for economic activity that leads to such things as more housing,” he said.
The reports authors, JLL and Envoy Partnership, used information from Hammerson and government and industry bodies in the Republic and the UK for their research.