They’ll be going wild in the aisles! Leeds shopping centre celebrates its 50th birthday in style

Crossgates Shopping Centre pictured in 1967, when it was known as Cross Gates Arndale Centre.
Crossgates Shopping Centre pictured in 1967, when it was known as Cross Gates Arndale Centre.

Harold Wilson was in 10 Downing Street and Engelbert Humperdinck was at the top of the charts with The Last Waltz.

The date was September 21, 1967, and in Leeds a new retail era was dawning with the opening of Crossgates Shopping Centre.

Now, five decades later, the centre is preparing to celebrate its 50th birthday in style with a packed programme of family fun.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Jane Dowson, will officially launch the four days of celebrations at 3pm tomorrow.

Free giveaways will also be taking place tomorrow between 3.30pm and 5pm.

Local dance group Sashay Dance Leeds will be performing in the centre at 12.30pm on Friday, 2.30pm on Saturday and 11.30am and 2pm on Sunday.

Other attractions are set to include craft sessions and balloon modelling as well as a visual display charting the centre’s history.

Centre manager Matt Middleton said: “We cannot wait to kickstart our 50th anniversary celebrations and we look forward to welcoming the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Jane Dowson, to the centre.

“Crossgates Shopping Centre has always been at the heart of the local community and it is our shoppers that make our centre, which is why we have planned four days of fun to thank them for their continued loyalty.

“As well as our programme of events there will also be surprise offers and giveaways, so shoppers should keep their eyes and ears peeled.”

Originally known as the Cross Gates Arndale Centre, Crossgates Shopping Centre was the first US-style indoor shopping mall in England.

It took 18 months to build at a cost of £1.5m, the equivalent of around £25m in today’s money.

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