Member Spotlight – The Ridings Shopping Centre

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1. Summarise your business in a couple of sentences
The Ridings Shopping Centre is home to a mixture of stores including BHS, Primark and Marks & Spencer alongside quality independents such as Created in Yorkshire, Feather’s Confectionery and Artworld.

2. Can you showcase your work by offering an example of a recent project?
The Ridings is constantly investigating opportunities for supporting and nurturing the high street and those looking to step into retail. We do this by supporting those just starting out; by working hard to ensure that our brand is at the forefront of consumer minds, driving footfall to the city and the centre; and also by supporting and often driving city wide campaigns and initiatives.

Nurturing Retail
Created in Yorkshire is a great example of how support, combined with the right offering can work in retail.
Launched in August 2012 Created in Yorkshire was Wakefield’s first co-operative run retail store. They sell high quality, handmade gifts and goods. Since its opening the store has gone from strength to strength, doubling its turnover and trebling its floor space.

We also nurture those new to retail through our monthly craft fair. Taking place on the first Sunday of every month, this allows traders to ‘pop up’ – many use this to test their product, whereas other find that this a perfect way to combine their passion for creating high quality crafted items with their family and working life.

Front of Mind
The Ridings also works hard to offer a strong calendar of events throughout the year – family friendly activities that drive interest and increase footfall, whether this is our annual light switch on, our style events or fashion shows.

Member Spotlight - The Ridings Shopping Centre 1

Supporting the Centre

Part of the City centre partnership The Ridings helps to create a voice for retail, as a part of the WCCP we address issues whilst also driving forward local campaigns that support growth and drive footfall into the City.
Our most recent campaign was WOW – Wonder of Wakefield, this initiative combined great offers from retailers throughout Wakefield in the run-up to and during the Christmas occasion.

3. How long have you worked in Wakefield?
The Ridings has been in Wakefield for more than three decades. It launched on the 17th October in 1983. At the time The Ridings was a flagship mall and attracted international interest.

4. Why Wakefield?
Wakefield is simply wonderful – it’s got a fantastic atmosphere which is testament to those that live, work and play here. We have so much to offer and excitingly there is also so much more to come.

5. Why have you become a Bondholder?
Bondholders are passionate about supporting the growth of our district and so are we. The Ridings Shopping Centre has plans for significant investment, improving the city’s retail offering and complementing the plans for the district as a whole.

6. What’s next for Wakefield?
It’s an exciting time for The Ridings, with a new landlord we are currently looking at ways to improve our centre, through the look and feel and retail offering. Watch this space…..

7. Do you know an interesting fact about the district?
When The Ridings opened in 1983 it was revolutionary, it boasted the first Food Court in the UK and the first glass wall climber lift. More than 4,000 people walked through the doors on the Sunday before the official opening, even though it was before Sunday trading hours were introduced and they couldn’t shop. Excited children from across the district were given a half day off when The Ridings officially opened on Monday 17th so that they could visit the pioneering centre.