Hammerson outlines local benefits from its businesses

Cantillon: Shopping centre developer says Dundrum contributes €131.2m to this State

Listed shopping centre developer Hammerson published a report this week outlining the benefits some of its businesses here, in Britain and France give to their local economies and communities.

The research includes detail showing that Dundrum contributes €131.2 million in wages, taxes and rates to this State, with much of that benefit going directly to the south Dublin community, which is home to 85 per cent of its workers.

The report, True Value of Retail, shows how the company benefits local economies, communities and charities in areas where it owns shopping centres. Along with that, it makes big commitments on sustainability, including that it plans to avoid more greenhouse gas emissions than it actually creates by 2030.

Plenty of companies and industries produce figures to show how they benefit their communities – on which they depend for custom – and make commitments on sustainability. While they should not be dismissed, they should be regarded with some healthy scepticism.



To give Hammerson its due, there is evidence that it takes its wider responsibilities seriously.

When it redeveloped the Bullring in Birmingham, it had to adhere to planning conditions requiring it to preserve the view through the area to St Martin’s Church, that would not have made the most commercial sense.

In its developments in Leeds, the group has taken care to preserve and work with the city's architectural heritage. In the same city, it provides aid and support to charities and local groups.

It is going to need all its architectural expertise and the skills that it has built up in dealing with local organisations to develop one of its Irish properties. The group owns Dublin Central, the site between O'Connell Street and Moore Street that includes the buildings where last act of the 1916 Rising played out.

The High Court has declared a large proportion of it a national monument, but the Government is challenging this.

Hammerson has already said that believes the problem with ultimately be solved by dealing directly with all those with a stake in the site. When that time comes, it could prove one of the group’s toughest challenges.