Victorian Grand Arcade in Leeds undergoes £500,000 makeover

A Victorian shopping arcade has undergone a £500,000 makeover.

The Grand Arcade in Leeds

The grade two-listed Grand Arcade owned by ATC Properties, on New Briggate, Leeds, is designed in the Renaissance style with Art Noveau decorative details.

The new work included the laying of a Yorkshire Stone floor throughout. Seventeen handmade brass period lanterns have been hung from the roof trusses, and the arcade has been painted with a new colour scheme and period signage.

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In addition, many of the businesses within the arcade, including Lords Barbers with its Domini Club below stairs, and West Yorkshire Cameras, all of whom enjoyed great success prior to lockdown, have refurbished their own units in readiness for the lockdown being completely lifted.

The rejuvenated Grand Arcade, which is now fully let, has attracted more interest from independents with tattoo artist Olivia-Fayne having now taken space.

She said: “It is a beautiful building, and its recent makeover has really brought out the features it possessed. To be central and have a unique studio, which is easy to find for travelling clients, is exactly what I have worked towards for the past seven years.

“This part of Leeds has always been vibrant and, as there is such a variety of outlets, attracts a wide cross-section of people.

“The creative outlets and business owners in the arcade are absolutely lovely and have all worked hard to become successful. It is great to be a part of it and, now lockdown has lifted, I am looking forward to bringing the anthologie experience to Leeds.”

The refurbishment coincides with a planned £2.5m facelift for New Briggate, as part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones programme, and the multi-million-pound development of Opera North’s Howard Opera Centre, next to the Grand Theatre.

Speaking about the refurbishment, Tim Watts of ATC, said: “The arcade is home to many local independents, and we believe the works we have made to the arcade have brought it to another level in terms of quality and feel.

“For too long we have been the lesser known of the Leeds arcades, but I believe our refurbishment and the money being spent on New Briggate & Vicar Lane as a whole will only raise the area’s profile for independents making it a destination of choice for shoppers and diners.”

Maddy Wright, of Fox Lloyd Jones, added: “It is an extremely exciting time to be in this part of town with the welcome investment in New Briggate and Opera North’s state-of-the-art new centre. Both will breathe new life into the area and, together with the new look Grand Arcade, create a fantastic destination.