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Mayor in tour of revamped 'city gem' before relaunch

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Developers of the revamped Silver Arcade were due to give city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby a tour of the new complex today.

It comes as owners, Lukegate, hope to attract traders to the Victorian arcade, which has undergone a £3 million transformation.

The grade II-listed city landmark has 20 business units available.

Work to the four-storey complex has included installing a new glass roof, lifts and shop fronts.

Martin Herbert, director at the Leicester branch of property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton, which is marketing the arcade, said: "There is huge interest locally for what has always been an iconic building within the city.

"We are already in discussions with some retailers for upper floor units, involving such uses as designer clothing and home interiors, but would welcome further expressions of interest from any party that can add to the vibrancy this scheme will no doubt bring to the city centre, and which the building deserves."

The area surrounding the arcade has also been developed, with a £300,000 project to upgrade the road and pavements unveiled earlier this week.

Silver Street – which links High Street to the cafes, boutiques and independent shops of The Lanes and St Martin's – now features a terracotta-coloured asphalt road surface.

Today, Sir Peter was due to be given a tour of the arcade – which has stood empty for more than a decade.

He said: "Silver Arcade is another of Leicester's gems – and I'm delighted it has been polished so beautifully.

"I'm also pleased we have been able to ensure the area looks its best by completing the refurbishment of Silver Street in time for the arcade's re-launch."

The arcade was initially due to reopen in December 2012, but the launch was delayed as the units had not been filled.

A new opening date is set to be announced today.

Before the arcade closed in 2001, it was home to shops including The Black Cat Book Shop, the Corner Tea House and Groovy Gifts.

City centre director Sarah Harrison said she hoped the revamped arcade would be able to recapture its former magic.

She said: "It is beautiful, with such attention to detail. We need to get this filled for the good of the city, with great independent shops that complement the existing ones in The Lanes – not relocate them."

The Silver Arcade was built in the 19th century by architect Amos Hall, and is one of only two four-storey shopping arcades in the UK. Amos Hall also designed and built the Grand Hotel, in Granby Street, which was constructed between 1897 and 1898.

Mayor in tour of revamped 'city gem' before relaunch


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