Video: Leeds Merrion Centre bucks trend to record best period in 50 years

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A 134-bedroom hotel and a restaurant from a celebrity TV chef are all coming to a Leeds shopping centre for the new year.

The Merrion Centre is also celebrating a record performance after enjoying the busiest 12 months in its 50 year history - an incredible feat in light of the launch of Victoria Gate which was one of the most long-awaited shopping centres in the north of England.

The Merrion Centre, Leeds. PIC: Tony Johnson

The Merrion Centre, Leeds. PIC: Tony Johnson

Merrion Centre owner Town Centre Securities has secured a deal with Ibis, which has hotels worldwide, and Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian.

In addition a new bar called the Dockyard will open this year and Indian restaurant Bengal Brasserie will open its first city centre premises in the Merrion.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands there will be further announcements in the near future regarding other new businesses setting up in the Merrion Centre.

Meanwhile, redevelopment of Merrion House including the council’s new customer service hub is continuing.

6 January 2017 .......  Merrion Shopping Centre, Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson

6 January 2017 ....... Merrion Shopping Centre, Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson

Helen Green, associate director at Town Centre Securities, said: “We have exciting plans to further enhance our range of services and shops for our new and existing customers. These deals will transform the Arena Quarter offer throughout 2017.” Plans for this year follow the best year yet for the Merrion, which opened in 1964.

Footfall figures for 2016 topped 11m visitors - a 3.4 per cent increase on last year. It opened the only official Leeds United store in the city centre and had targeted commercial campaigns, such as Santa’s North Pole post office, which also proved popular.

Ms Green added: “We are absolutely delighted with the achievements and are excited to have so many new shops and leisure outlets recognising what a great place the Merrion Centre is. We look forward to continuing to be a key contributor to ensuring Leeds is one of the best shopping experiences in the country as we move into 2017.”