THE owner of the Metrocentre has collapsed into administration after talks failed with lenders this afternoon.

Intu Properties has confirmed that it has called in KPMG following a series of discussions about how it could continue trading.

In a statement, Intu Properties confirmed the collapse but has said its shopping centres will continue to trade.

Intu, which also operated Eldon Square in Newcastle, said it had filed to appoint James Robert Tucker, Michael Robert Pink and David John Pike from KPMG as administrators for the company.

The announcement came minutes after the London Stock Exchange suspended shares in the shopping centre owner.

Earlier today, Intu warned that it was about to fall into administration unless a last minute agreement could be achieved.

What does this mean for Intu Metrocentre?

For now Intu shopping centres including Intu Metrocentre will remain trading as they are expected to enter agreements with the administrators.

Intu had previously warned that without upfront funding from the administrators, all shopping centres would have to close.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for Intu told The Northern Echo: "As Intu announced earlier this week, in the event of an administration, centres would need to provide up front funding to KPMG to cover the cost of continuing to provide central services like front line centre staff and back office support like IT.

"If a centre is unable to pay for these services to continue, it may have to close temporarily. There has been no indication as to which, if any, centres that would apply to."

In a statement today, Intu said: "Underlying group operating companies remain unaffected and all shopping centres are continuing to trade.

"The intu Group’s relationships with its tenants are with these operating companies, not the companies entering administration.

"The shopping centre operating companies have or are expected to enter into transitional services agreements with the Administrators of the central entities to ensure continuity of service provision by the central entities to the individual shopping centres."