Jobcentre Plus adds to mix at Swinton Square shopping centre

Chris Walker and centre manager Chris Doidge, right

Swinton Square, a community shopping centre in Salford, has secured a major letting as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) invests in a new Jobcentre Plus for the local area.

Following a challenging year, the letting reinforces Swinton Square as a pillar in the local community.

While retail has been heavily affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, footfall at the scheme has remained buoyant, with shoppers staying local, favouring the convenience and independent retailers of Swinton Square.

Renovations began on the site of the new, temporary job centre at the beginning of the year and are due to be completed in May. The centre is expected to boost footfall and support for local, independent businesses.

Chris Walker, director at Avison Young, asset managers for the scheme, said: “In collaboration with our property management and marketing team on the ground, we are delighted to have secured this major new occupier for Swinton Square.

“There has been a shift of shoppers returning to local centres in the last year, which has translated into a positive stream of letting interest for the centre.

“The centre holds a critical place in the local community, and we have no doubt that the addition of the new Jobcentre Plus to the scheme will further support the customers and residents of Swinton.”

The pattern which has evolved over the past year at Swinton Square reflects Avison Young’s analysis of top trends for 2021, which references a shift in consumer behaviour that has led to out of town centres and some local high streets faring significantly better than the wider retail sector, as people stay closer to home for their shopping needs.

The Swinton Square site is one of 80 new, temporary DWP job centres opening around the country. The Jobcentre Plus will also be the new workplace for some of Greater Manchester’s 785 new work coaches, helping more local people to find work and progress into new roles.

Avison Young’s restructuring solutions team in the North West has overseen Swinton Shopping Centre for 12 years and is also responsible for a portfolio of properties across the region which it manages creatively to optimise value.