Silver Arcade in Leicester to open in October

Inside of Silver Arcade
Image caption Developers Lukegate spent about £3m on the interior of Silver Arcade
Inside of Silver Arcade
Image caption The Victorian building is described as a vital link between the market and the High Street
Inside of Silver Arcade
Image caption The reopening of the arcade was due almost a year ago but was repeatedly put back

A historic arcade which is one of the only examples of its kind in the UK is to reopen in Leicester after a £3m refit.

Developers of the Silver Arcade, which links Silver Street and Cank Street, faced repeated delays but have announced it will open on 17 October.

It was built in 1891 and is believed to be one of only two four-storey arcades in the UK.

There are 20 units and 10 have confirmed tenants.

The centre, described as an icon of Leicester, closed more than 10 years ago and gradually fell into disrepair.

'Eclectic mix'

In 2009, a redevelopment project was started and in 2012 it was announced the Grade II-listed building would open for Christmas that year.

Image caption Most of the original structure was kept but with new facilities

It was delayed until Easter this year and then put back to September but it was announced shopfitters will move in next week with an official opening date of 17 October.

"We've kept as much of the original features as we can while also making it fit for the 21st century," said Martin Herbert from agents Lambert Smith Hampton.

"It always had an eclectic mix of shops and that's what we will get again when it reopens."

Mr Herbert refused to name the shops moving in but said one floor would be taken up with a restaurant, while other units will include a delicatessen, chocolatier, lingerie shop, women's clothes and laser hair treatment.

Stuart Bailey, chairman of Leicester Civic Society, welcomed the news.

"It is a very fine, very clever building and I very much look forward to its opening," he said.

"I believe it is one of only two of its kind, so it's not only important to Leicester, it's significant nationally."

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