Victoria Leeds

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Victoria Leeds
Victoria Quarter Leeds modern abstract stained glass canopy by Brian Clarke,1990.jpg
The Victoria Quarter, Leeds
LocationLeeds city centre, Leeds, England
Coordinates53°47′53″N 1°32′17″W / 53.79806°N 1.53806°W / 53.79806; -1.53806Coordinates: 53°47′53″N 1°32′17″W / 53.79806°N 1.53806°W / 53.79806; -1.53806
No. of stores and services80
No. of anchor tenants3
Total retail floor area1,100,000 sq ft (102,193 m2)
No. of floors3
Parking800 spaces

Victoria Leeds is a shopping and leisure area in Leeds city centre. It combines the 1990 Victoria Quarter (an upmarket district of interconnected contemporary and restored Victorian shopping arcades) west of Vicar Lane and the 2016 Victoria Gate shopping centre east of Vicar Lane. It includes a casino and major stores such as Harvey Nichols and John Lewis and Partners, and the largest stained glass work in Britain, by artist Brian Clarke.[1][2]

Victoria Quarter[edit]

The Grade II* listed Victoria Quarter, known as 'the Knightsbridge of the North',[3] is an upmarket network of interconnected shopping spaces covering three blocks between Briggate and Vicar Lane, comprising County Arcade, Cross Arcade, Queen Victoria Street (turned into an arcade in the 1989 redevelopment scheme through the pedestrianisation and glazing over of the street[4] with what was at the time the largest secular stained glass work in the world)[5] and King Edward Street. It opened as the Victoria Quarter in September 1990,[6] and in 1991 was awarded both the Leeds Award for Architecture and the Civic Trust Award.[7]

County Arcade, Victoria Quarter


The County and Cross Arcades were built as part of the Leeds Estates Company's redevelopment of the east side of Briggate and west side of Vicar Lane between 1898 and 1904, and designed by the theatre architect Frank Matcham. They were notable for glazed barrel roofing decorated with copious amounts of faience from the Burmantofts Pottery, a number of mosaics and plentiful use of marble. Matcham's development included the Empire Theatre and all three constructions were in the same style: three storeys decorated in a free baroque style with pink and buff terracotta.[8]

Detail of the stained glass canopy by Brian Clarke which spans the length of the Victoria Quarter's Queen Victoria Street arcade

In 1961, the Empire Theatre was demolished to make way for another arcade in contemporary style.[8] Having become dilapidated, the arcades were restored by Derek Latham & Co in phases between 1989 and 1996, and in 1989 Queen Victoria Street was glazed over in its entirety with a stained glass canopy by British artist Brian Clarke.[8][9] The artwork, which in its design references Leeds' heritage as a centre of the textile industry, remains the largest stained glass window in Britain and Europe.[10] The arcade that replaced the theatre was demolished and replaced by a branch of Harvey Nichols which opened in 1996, the first branch outside London.[8][6]

Victoria Gate[edit]

Victoria Gate was built on an undeveloped site adjacent to Leeds Market. The £165 million covered shopping centre opened on 20 October 2016.[11] The centre, fronting onto Eastgate, George Street and Harewood Street, comprises a large multi-storey car park, a John Lewis & Partners store, and a U-shaped covered pedestrian area of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The development incorporates Templar Square, a public space incorporating the listed Templar House.


A development known as Eastgate Quarters was announced in 2004, following several cancelled schemes for a site that had been derelict from the 1970s, located to the east of Leeds city centre. The 2004 Eastgate masterplan was developed by Terry Farrell and outline planning permission was obtained in 2007. A number of architects were appointed that year to design buildings in the masterplan, including the Jerde Partnership and Benoy for the Templar Arcade, Thomas Heatherwick for Harewood Quarter, ACME for the John Lewis Store and McAslan for buildings along Eastgate. The scheme was put on hold in late 2008.[12] In 2010 Hammerson announced that work had commenced on a revised masterplan and in March 2011, an outline planning application for Eastgate Quarters developed by ACME was submitted to Leeds City Council.[13] On 13 July 2011, planning permission was granted for the Hammerson scheme to proceed.[14]



  1. ^ "Victoria Quarter". Visit England. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Emily (28 November 1996). "Let there be light–and color". Time Magazine. Time.
  3. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (6 January 2007). "Access all areas: Victoria Quarter, Leeds". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  4. ^ Coleman, Peter (4 August 2006). Shopping Environments: Evolution, Planning and Design. Architectural Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN 978-0750660013.
  5. ^ The Guinness Book of Records, 1993. Guinness Publishing. 1992. p. 200. ISBN 9780851129785.
  6. ^ a b "Leeds: Celebrating 20 years at Victoria Quarter". Yorkshire Evening Post. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  7. ^ Powell, Kenneth; Harrison, Martin; Clarke, Brian (1994). Brian Clarke: Architectural Artist. Art & Design Monographs. Great Britain: Academy Editions. p. 128. ISBN 1-85490-345-4.
  8. ^ a b c d Wrathmall, Susan (2005). Pevsner Architectural Guides: Leeds. Yale University Press. pp. 24–5, 38, 159–61, 225. ISBN 0-300-10736-6.
  9. ^ Wagg, Stephen; Bramham, Peter; Spink, John (December 2009). "Leeds - Becoming the Postmodern City". In Bramham, Peter (ed.). Sport, Leisure and Culture in the Postmodern City. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0754672746.
  10. ^ Harrison, Angus (27 September 2019). "The changing face of UK shopping". The Face. Vol. 4 no. 001. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Here at last: Leeds Victoria Gate shopping centre opens its doors". Yorkshire Evening Post. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "£800m Eastgate Quarter work postponed". Yorkshire Evening Post. Leeds, West Yorkshire: Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  13. ^ "New Eastgate Quarter Planning application submitted". Estates Gazette.
  14. ^ "Green light for £600m Eastgate scheme in Leeds". Builder & Engineer. Excel Publishing. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2016.

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