The boss of Meadowhall says businesses and city leaders must work together to unlock Sheffield’s potential.
Centre director Darren Pearce said ‘cohesive working’ would help create many more jobs and plough more money into the community.
Hundreds more jobs are set to be created in Sheffield, but Mr Pearce believes the city has much more potential.
A new Next Home and Garden store is set to open at Meadowhall, with hundreds more jobs to follow when Swedish furniture giant Ikea opens its doors at nearby Carbrook.
Mr Pearce said: “We need to lift the profile of the region and the only way we can do that is by working cohesively together.”
He believes promoting the region and bringing in further investment will help encourage more visitors from further afield and more spending in the local economy.
“If I promote the prospect of the catchment I draw from, then that gives people extra disposable income and the option of spending that in Meadowhall,” said Mr Pearce.
“I think bigger than just Meadowhall and my agenda is that we have to promote the whole region. We have got to promote partnership work across the city.”
Up to 150 jobs will be created when the Next Home and Garden store opens on Vulcan Road, near Meadowhall. The project also includes the construction of a car dealership and Costa Coffee bar.
The Ikea store, which is due to be built on the site of the old Tinsley Wire factory, off Sheffield Road, could create 400 full-time and part-time jobs once open, with 80 associated posts and 200 in construction.
And 10 jobs will be created in Rotherham when furniture store J-Y-S-K opens at The Foundry Retail Park on October 23.
A £300 million retail quarter, planned for an area between Pinstone Street, Moorhead and Barkers Pool, will create 2,500 jobs.
Work could start on site in 2016, with the first phase complete by 2019.
The latest GDP figures – which monitor economic growth – show that the economy is continuing to grow and is now at the size is was in before the recession in 2008.
The Yorkshire GDP is expected to pick up from 1.6 per cent last year to around three per cent this year.
Jonathan Perraton, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Sheffield, said the retail figures were in line with what was happening across the country.
He said: “It is roughly in line with recent growth rates in consumer sales.
“Consumer expenditure has been growing, and this has been an important component of the better recent UK economic performance.”
He believes the economy will continue to grow, but not as quickly as previously predicted.
“There are some notes of caution – consumer confidence fell slightly in the most recent survey, having risen consistently beforehand; economic recovery is still yet to feed through to higher wages and households appear nervous interest rates may rise soon.”
n Business: Page 26