History of Manchester Arndale


Manchester Arndale shopping centre is located right in the heart of the city and is often described as the ‘jewel in the city’s retail crown’. It features over 240 shops and has hundreds of high street brands all under one roof.

Manchester’s original Arndale Centre was built between 1971 and 1979 by developers, Town & City Properties, the successors to the Arndale Property Trust, with financial backing from the Prudential Assurance Company and Manchester Corporation (City Council). The first phase opened in 1975. The Arndale Property Trust was formed in the early 1950s and took its name from its founders, Yorkshire property developers Arnold Hagenbach and Sam Chippindale. Find out more about this early phase of the centre’s history by clicking on the history pages link below.

Fast-forwarding to more recent times, one major event shaped the centre’s history and indeed future. In 1996, the IRA detonated a bomb outside the shopping centre which was to have devastating results but remarkably no fatalities. The explosion mainly damaged the western end of the centre, destroying The Food Court, Voyagers Walk, WHSmith, Mothercare, Argos, and a large unit occupied by JD Sports and Nike. In the aftermath of the massive damage, the southern half of the centre was extensively repaired, rebuilt and refurbished. This major re-build project was estimated at £400million.

The new Manchester Arndale
The northern half of the centre was temporarily patched up, with buses stopping on Cannon Street itself, before eventually being replaced by Shudehill Interchange in January 2006. Marks & Spencer reopened,l inked to the main mall by a glass bridge link. Later the building was split into two independent shops. Half remained a branch of Marks & Spencer while the side facing The Corn Exchange became a branch of Selfridges. As part of the renovation most of the shopping centre’s once-reviled tiles were replaced by sandstone and glass cladding. To respond to its new contemporary image the centre was rebranded in 2003 as Manchester Arndale.

Since 2003, Manchester Arndale has been transformed by a £150 million, three-phase development programme by owners, Prudential. A northern extension provides an additional 300,000 sq ft of retail space, including a covered Wintergarden and a new mall replaced the existing Cannon Street. The extension is anchored by a 150,000sq ft Next which is the flagship store for the UK and Ireland. Work on the new extension began in autumn 2003 and opened in three phases and the completed mall provides a link from Exchange Square and The Corn Exchange to the Northern Quarter and from Market Street to The Printworks. The southern half of the centre was refurbished; Hallé Square was modernised, including new skylights.

Manchester Arndale is now managed by CBRE and is jointly owned by PRUPIM, the real estate investment management arm of M&G Investments, and Capital Shopping Centres.
Please click here to read the full story about Manchester Arndale’s history and to see before and after photos.