The Corn Exchange’s evolution continues with a new programme of investment and activities for 2018 onwards. The building was acquired by property developer and investor Rushbond. Subject to planning, physical work on the building will include improving accessibility and an upgrade of the washroom facilities. Traders will be encouraged to return to independent design elements tailored to their own brand, including new signage and colourful shop fronts. The lower ground level will be the home of a new cafeteria called the Yard, with a focus on independent food offerings and public space.
‘The Corn Exchange is at the core of the revival of the Kirkgate neighbourhood. Our proposals are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with a series of measures to improve the experience, offer and qualities of this wonderful asset to a wider audience. These include key accessibility improvements, including new sensitively-designed ramps, the re-configuration and re-activation of the lower ground floor, through a new Kitchen Yard to enhance the overall food offer, and a transformational programme of art works and design interventions, to create a more vibrant internal environment. These plans are part of the wider investment plans by us and others in the Kirkgate neighbourhood, including the First White Cloth Hall’ – Mark Finch, Director (Real Estate, Rushbond)
The Corn Exchange has always been a sight to see. The dome was designed from dreams of Paris by Cuthbert Brodrick; an architect from Hull who, years before, had designed Leeds Town Hall. It first opened its doors one day in July, 1863. We can only imagine how the morning light beamed through the roof that first morning.
For the last hundred years and more, the Corn Exchange has been a home to corn traders, and clothes makers; conversations over coffee about all things, big and small, and the kind of nights that dissolve into morning. It has been a home for countless new beginnings like first dances, fresh styles; a place where new businesses are born, dreams are designed and food is enjoyed. A place to see things, feel feelings and explore; in a Grade I listed building, one of three remaining Corn Exchanges in the country. And what more could you ask for?
Except to be more of all these things, and to do them even better. To continue to evolve in ways to be imagined, that are being imagined by the people that spend days eating and drinking and dancing and shopping between curved walls.