intu Watford has contributed hundreds of millions of pounds to the town's economy, latest figures have shown.

The shopping centre contributed £546.9 million to Watford's economy last year, while 13,018 jobs were also supported by intu Watford, representing 12 per cent of all jobs in the area.

Research by planning and development consultancy Lichfields measured each intu centre’s economic contribution to reveal the value Britain’s retail destinations bring to their communities

intu believes the £180m extension which has brought new shops, restaurants, a bowling alley, and a cinema to the town centre, has helped with the growth of jobs in Watford.

Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, said: "intu nationally supports more than 130,000 jobs and contributes billions to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities around the country. Flagship centres such as intu Watford play an important role in the lives of communities across the UK, not only in terms of the jobs we create but also the taxes we generate as well as the causes we support to improve the lives and wellbeing of people in our neighbourhoods."

Vicki Costello, general manager at intu Watford, added: "With 14 million customers in 2018, we take our responsibilities as being a major part of the community seriously.

"Our team reaches out to help the community, our staff volunteer for good causes and we make regular donations from our community fund. The positive community work we have undertaken has included donating products and time to local charities, clearing meadows in Cassiobury Park as part of global signature week and redeveloped a learning pond at a school.

"The work we undertook with First Give has made such an impact on wider organisations, Rickmansworth School and our own team."

The £546m figure was reached according to intu’s gross value added, a recognised measurement of the total economic contribution an organisation makes.

The research will be published in intu Watford’s Corporate responsibility highlights report which is being issued by the centre from July.