Leeds shopping centre hopes for bagful of nostalgia ahead of 50th birthday celebrations

Crossgates Shopping Centre, then known as the Cross Gates Arndale Centre, pictured in 1967.
Crossgates Shopping Centre, then known as the Cross Gates Arndale Centre, pictured in 1967.
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Crossgates Shopping Centre in Leeds is appealing for Yorkshire Evening Post readers to help it celebrate a landmark birthday in style.

The centre will turn 50 next month, having first opened its doors to customers back on September 21, 1967.

And staff now want as many people as possible to share their pictures and memories of the centre from its opening right through to the present day.

Centre manager Matt Middleton told the YEP: “It’s extremely exciting to be centre manager at Crossgates for this momentous milestone.

“We pride ourselves on being a close-knit community shopping centre that is steeped in history and as we approach our 50th birthday we want our loyal customers to share their pictures, memories and stories with us.

“Our children’s summer activities have certainly kickstarted our celebrations and we have plenty of fun activities planned in store for shoppers in our anniversary week and we will be revealing these very soon.

“We can’t wait to hear local people’s stories and are looking forward to an exciting and successful next 50 years!”

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 – and its innovative design was imitated in towns and cities across the UK.

The centre quickly became an important part of the community, hosting a boat show, motor show and celebrity appearances in its first year.

Today it is home to more than 60 stores and is visited by about 120,000 people every week.

The centre has commissioned an eye-catching new logo to mark its anniversary period.

People with stories or pictures to share can e-mail crossgates@theretailroom.co.uk or get in touch via @CrossgatesSC on Twitter or the Your Crossgates page on Facebook, using the hashtag #Crossgatesat50.

Activities for youngsters taking place this summer include a We Love Sport day on Thursday, August 24, and a We Love Magic extravaganza on Thursday, August 31.

For further information about the centre’s summertime programme for children, visit the www.crossgatesshopping.co.uk website.