THE future of Lakeside Shopping Centre has been secured after it has been taken over by a major global firm.

The Thurrock complex has been taken over by Global Mutual along with three other into centres – Intu Watford, Victoria in Nottingham, and Braehead in Scotland.

All four shopping centres were part of intu SGS – the largest of the property companies which collectively owned Intu’s 17 shopping centres.

Global Mutual is a company managing £4.2billion of global assets, primarily in retail.

Bosses say very little will change, but hinted to a new name for the shopping centre.

A centre spokesman said: “There will be no changes day to day for Lakeside which will continue to operate business as usual, obviously in line with prevailing Covid guidance.

“The centre is doing well with the vast majority of units open and trading with footfall recovering steadily.

“Back in August we announced that Intu SGS had secured support from its lenders on financial proposals which included the ability to raise up to £30million in new funding to give the four shopping centres greater financial stability during this challenging period.

“In terms of name change, nothing has been decided yet. The centre will continue to operate as Intu Lakeside for an interim period.

“Details on name or branding will be confirmed in due course.”

Jim Tucker, who is a partner at KPMG and joint administrator of Intu properties plc, said: “To date, nine Intu centres have successfully migrated to new management.

“This has been achieved thanks to the hard work and commitment from all stakeholders to effect smooth and orderly transitions.

We wish the Intu team all the best for the future.”

Earlier this year Intu, Lakeside’s parent company had tumbled into administration after crunch talks with its lenders failed. This left the future very uncertain for Lakeside, which opened in 1990.

The shopping centre owner said it had applied to appoint administrators, warning it was on the verge of collapse.