Hat-trick of new shops for Leeds Corn Exchange

Bosses at the Leeds Corn Exchange today hailed a hat-trick of new stores as proof of a bright future for the historic shopping hall.

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The multi-occupancy city centre building has been struggling to attract tenants in the wake of a 1.5m refurbishment.

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But now its management firm, Threadneedle, has announced that three independent retailers will be setting up shop in the Corn Exchange this spring.

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They are fashion store All American Vintage, shoe business Russo Italia and Primo's, a 'concept cafe' selling gourmet hot dogs, coffee and ice cream.

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An as-yet-unnamed fashion brand is also said to be in "advanced discussions" about moving to the Grade I listed building.

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Threadneedle asset manager Keith Butcher said: "We are delighted to welcome these retailers. Their arrival is a strong sign that confidence is returning to the retail market.

"Leeds Corn Exchange is being recognised as a truly special location and we look forward to making further announcements soon."

Today's news comes nearly two and a half years after plans were unveiled to turn the newly-renovated Corn Exchange into a high-class food emporium.

Traders selling a wide range of goods were controversially given their marching orders as part of the site's planned reinvention.

Top chef Anthony Flinn subsequently took over the building's 13,200 sq ft basement for his Piazza restaurant venture – but its two other floors remained empty as recently as the start of last year.

Threadneedle then decided to reopen its doors to non-food retailers, a change of heart which has seen three units being taken up by jewellery specialist Outrage and fashion names Dawn Stretton and The Hidden Wardrobe.

Dating back to the 1860s, the Corn Exchange is owned by Leeds City Council but leased on a long-term basis by the property arm of Zurich Assurance.

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