Corn Exchange 150th birthday

Leeds' Corn Exchange is celebrating its 150th birthday.

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Timeline of Leeds Corn Exchange

  • 1861 - Leeds Corn Exchange is designed by world-renowned architect from Hull, Cuthbert Brodrick, who was also responsible for Leeds Town Hall and the Mechanics' Institute (now Leeds City Museum). Foundation stone laid 7th May 1861.
  • 1862 – Work begins on site to create the building’s iconic large-scale glazed, domed roof and expansive trading floor.

  • 1863 – 28th July 1863 the building partially opened as work continued on the build

  • 1864 - Leeds Corn Exchange opens for business and traded as a Corn Exchange to the early 1990’s. The building is a centre for the exchange and sale of corn wheat, barley, hops, peas, beans, seeds, oil cake and flour and hosts a farmers market in the Corn Exchange and regular leather fair.
  • Following a decline in agricultural industries, the condition of the building deteriorates.
  • 1985 - Speciality Shops plc wins the contract to transform the building into a retail destination
  • 31st March 1990 – Leeds Corn Exchange re-opens as a popular independent retail centre
  • 2006 – Zurich Financial Services take over as landlord and oversees a further £1.5m refurbishment
  • 2008 – Corn Exchange re-opens.
  • 2012 – 150 years later, Leeds Corn Exchange comes full circle and is again home to some of the region’s best independent designers, specialist retailers and food outlets.
  • 2013 – Leeds Corn Exchange celebrates its 150th anniversary. To mark this landmark year, the venue will play host to series of celebrations, events and festivities which give a nod to its past, present and future.

Corn Exchange is an "architectural masterpiece"

The Corn Exchange is one of the truly iconic historic buildings in Leeds. With the Town Hall and the City Museum (formerly the Mechanics’ Institute) it is one of Cuthbert Brodrick’s architectural masterpieces. Its transition from corn market to shopping centre ensured that this much admired building was saved for posterity.

– Lynda Kitching, Chair of Leeds Civic Trust
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