Coppergate Shopping Centre
|Location||York, North Yorkshire, England|
|No. of stores and services||19|
Coppergate Shopping Centre is a shopping centre in the centre of York in North Yorkshire, England. It is named after Coppergate, one of York's medieval streets ("gate" coming from the Old Norse gata, or street).
Prior to the development of the shopping centre, archaeologists started digging on the site, which had been a sweet factory. Between 1976–81, York Archaeological Trust unearthed remains of 10th-century Viking-age buildings from the Viking city of Jorvik. The remains lay in moist, spongy layers of earth similar to a peat bog. The damp conditions had helped to preserve everyday Viking items such as wood, leather, cloth, bugs and even a Viking toilet and its contents. Over 40,000 objects were uncovered by excavating 36,000 layers and sieving eight tonnes of soil.
When the extent and importance of the discoveries at Coppergate were realised, plans were made to allow permanent display of the remains of Jorvik within the excavation area. York Archaeological Trust created the Jorvik Viking Centre which opened to the public in April 1984. The exhibits in the Centre are based on evidence unearthed during the Coppergate excavations.
In 2001 developers launched a £60 million development scheme entitled 'Coppergate II' to redevelop the centre, including demolition of the existing centre and a new build project with shops either side of the River Foss. Retailers set to anchor the scheme included a new enlargened Debenhams and others. However the reaction from the public was negative and a petition was launched, this prompted a public inquiry and in September 2003 the scheme was turned down by the government. The level of opposition was due to some of parts of the shopping centre being in extremely close proximity to Clifford's Tower. Since then Debenhams have announced plans to open a second store at the Monks Cross Shopping Park in addition to their store in the city centre. It is widely expected that another redevelopment plan will be sought for the Coppergate Centre as the new owners, La Salle Investment Management, appointed regeneration specialists Centros as development manager for the scheme. Centros will start discussions with York City Council over initial designs for a mixed-use scheme in the area of the city bounded by Piccadilly, Coppergate and Clifford's Tower. The scheme is likely to include retail, leisure and residential uses. Centros has appointed architects and professional advisers to the scheme. CZWG and Holder Mathias will collaborate on designs, while property consultants King Sturge will provide both leasing and development consultancy and planning advice. In January 2009, LaSalle revealed plans to expand five of the shop units, giving an extra 175 square metres of retail space. LaSalle's plans also included a new logo, incorporating a copper-coloured ‘C’ combined with a green ‘g’, which will be used on new signs at entrances and exits to the centre. The large overhead signs at the main pedestrian entrance from Coppergate will be replaced, and new signs added at strategic points in the centre. The company also wanted to refurbish canopies outside some of the stores. There would also be some improvements to paving. LaSalle wanted two kiosks which would sell high-quality, non-alcoholic drinks, such as juice, and which might have seating areas for customers. It was also hoping to refurbish the seating area in the centre of the square. The aim is to improve the appearance and facilities at the centre to attract more shoppers. Separate, bigger-scale plans to extend the Coppergate Centre on to land between Clifford's Tower and Piccadilly were still being worked up by regeneration specialists Centros. The plans were subject to approval from City of York Council.
The shopping centre houses many shops, cafes and museums, including the Jorvik Viking Centre. Owned by La Salle Investment Management since February 2008, the centre is an open-air shopping promenade with covered walkways, and large public squares with fountains and planting beds, set with seats and coffee shops. Also included is St Mary's Church, which now displays modern art. This outdoor area is used to host brass bands, theatre productions and other events from York's many festivals.
As the Coppergate Centre is in the middle of York, it is within easy walking distance of public transport facilities, including York railway station. Many bus services are operated by First York and park-and-ride services are available. There is an on site multi-storey car park.
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