Set right in the centre of Manchester, the Arndale Centre has been attracting shoppers in the city since the 1970’s. The original concept of all shopping under one roof was embraced by the local council very early, but the resulting building suffered from the trend of the time towards a rather “brutish” practicality. Over the ensuing years, the centre has been altered and modernised and is now welcoming and pleasant to visit.
Occupying a large, squarish block of the city centre, the Arndale provides over 200 retail outlets over three floors. Since the serious damage inflicted in 1996, the southern part has been totally redeveloped and provides a light and airy environment for shoppers. The centre has physical links with some major stores adjacent to it; there is a footbridge link to Marks and Spencer, for example.
It is in the southern section that shoppers can find the food court and Winter Gardens areas. On the third floor, there are 800 seats surrounded by a wide choice of cafés and restaurants to suit all tastes.
Integrated into the Winter Gardens area is the Arndale Market, now housed on a single floor. Shoppers get a definite “retro” feel to their shopping in the market.
The food hall, like all parts of the centre, is reached by escalators and lifts. The access to all floors is very good and geared towards disabled shoppers as well as able-bodied. A Shopmobility scheme runs throughout the centre, with wheelchairs and scooters available for visitors, accessible from the car park.