Love Your High Street: The Yorkshire shopping centre that is more than a high street

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With 120 shops, bars, restaurants and food outlets, a new Yorkshire shopping centre is proving to be more than a high street.

Trinity Leeds has changed shopping in the city forever.

The centre opened five years ago, bucking retail trends across the world and has in that period already repaid the £400m it cost to build.

It brought 68 new brands to Leeds and, on the back of that, others have since followed.

The likes of Victoria’s Secret, Bose, DKNY, Pandora and Superdry delighted Leeds shoppers who were wanting more alongside the long-standing high street stalwarts such as Next, Marks & Spencer, Primark and Dorothy Perkins.

And putting them under one roof has increased the popularity of them all.

Trinity Leeds has changed shopping in the city forever

Trinity Leeds has changed shopping in the city forever

There have been 120m visitors to Trinity Leeds since it opened in 2013 and it puts a reported £150m through the city centre economy each year.

However, Trinity Leeds has become more than a shopping centre. It is a retail and leisure destination that attracts shoppers from well beyond the city.

Dan Wharton, Marketing Manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “This past year we’ve had everything from aerial acrobats, tight-rope walkers and super-sized bikes on the roof, and it’s these one-off events that grab people’s attention and give them another reason to head to the high street.”

As a weekend ‘destination’, it boasts a cinema and several food and drink places that only serve to attract more footfall through the venue.

Love Your High Street is our campaign inassociation with Card Factory

Love Your High Street is our campaign inassociation with Card Factory

The Alchemist continues to be one of the most popular cocktail bars in Leeds as does Angelica, while Crafthouse is one of the city’s fine dining hotspots. Having seen the success of these venues, other national brands have since moved in such as Cote Brasserie and MEATliquor.

But it is not just the national established brands that Trinity Leeds champions.

Trinity Kitchen has gone down well with the foodies ever since it opened. It gives smaller, eclectic food businesses a platform – on a rotational pop-up basis – to showcase their food business and market test it without committing to long-term leases and rent demands.

Mr Wharton said: “Trinity Leeds has played a major role in helping reinvigorate the high street, bringing some of the biggest brands to the city for the first time and the first D&D ventures in Leeds – Angelica and Crafthouse.

“Amongst our 120 retailers, bars and restaurants, you’ll find high street staples but we also strive to support independents where ever possible.

“Trinity Kitchen is an excellent example of that, offering a platform for smaller, up-and-coming street food businesses. We want to provide a memorable experience for shoppers, with something new to try on each visit.”

The only shopping centre of its magnitude to open in Europe that year, Trinity Leeds was hailed as an urban regeneration development back in 2013.

It came as the country was still in the aftermath of the economic downturn of 2008 but signified the start of something big in the city’s retail world.

The centre is tucked between the Grade I listed Holy Trinity Church, which dates back to 1772, and Commercial Street and Albion Street.

Through the 120 different businesses it houses, it is reported to employ around 3,000 people.

Commercial Street and Albion Street now feature in the top 10 busiest streets in the UK, while Leeds is third in the country’s retail rankings.

Arguably, Trinity also helped pave the way for there being enough interest in Leeds to get Victoria Gate off the ground.

* Love Your High Street is our campaign in association with Card Factory.