Meadowhall, which is in its 26th year of trading, also accounts for nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of the business rates collected in Sheffield. Commissioned by joint owner British Land, the report highlights the significant contribution the centre - the tenth largest in the UK - makes to the city region and wider UK.
Meadowhall, which has over 280 stores and was built on the site of a former steelworks, employs up to 8,500 people at peak times annually, and has supported over 660 apprentices over the past five years.
According to the review, in 25 years it has contributed £4.4bn to the regional economy, mostly in wages, pre-tax profits and the knock-on of having the vast majority of its employees living and spending in the Sheffield City Region.
Of £303m paid in taxes over the last five years, including £176m in business rates and £81m in payroll and national insurance contributions) it has paid £5m in taxes on profits, including corporation tax.
For more than a decade a training centre next door, The Source has helped thousands of people improve their skills and supported hundreds of jobseekers into work. According to a 2013 study, the centre, funded by landowner British Land and Sheffield City Council, generated a social return on investment of £53.4m in its first ten years, more than three times greater than the total invested.
Chris Grigg, British Land’s Chief Executive, said: “For the first time, Meadowhall’s positive impact and contribution have been independently quantified and the results are significant.
“Arguably the most important finding of the report is the exceptional role Meadowhall plays in creating not just employment, but careers in retail and leisure for thousands of people in the Sheffield City Region.
“We are very proud of the contribution Meadowhall has made and will maintain this position as Sheffield grows, with Meadowhall playing a key role in the council’s exciting plans to ensure the city takes its rightful place at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.”
Richard Wright, executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the fact local authorities would eventually be able to keep all from business rates made Meadowhall’s contribution increasingly significant: “It is massive; one of the biggest in the city.”
And it was also “a really good starting point” for youngsters entering the wold of work. As for Meadowhall having a negative impact on the city centre, Mr Wright, who is chair of governors at Sheffield College, said: “In my time here I have heard every argument about the strength of Meadowhall and the potential competition between it and the city centre and to be absolutely honest I don’t believe any of it. I think they each contribute in a completely different way and they are actually complimentary. Our biggest problem here in Sheffield is that we lose a lot of people from the west to Manchester. The city centre doesn’t offer them what they want yet.”