After a dozen years of ailing fortunes, The Triangle Shopping Centre has this week reverted to its former title of The Corn Exchange in a bid to create ‘the Carnaby Street of the north’. Leaving aside this outdated ambition, the rebrand is part of a welcome move to restore the building’s historic identity, though to what extent remains to be seen.

Before the 1996 IRA bomb The Corn Exchange retained much of its classical Edwardian charm, with cavernous ceilings, shadowy timber and paneled walls, which even housed a linty, patchouli-infused flea market. Granted, it smelt a bit fusty, but it had charm. After an ill-conceived corporate rebranding exercise spawned The Triangle, the place has suffered from a chronic personality disorder. Antisocial, abrasive, institutional: its weird panoptic design creating the impression of a hospital for ailing retail units.

The new Corn Exchange wants to walk the line between heritage and modernity and re-establish itself as a traditional commercial hub, rather than the go-to destination for a fish pedicure. Owners Aviva envisage a ‘foodie destination’ with a focus on fine dining and independent shopping. Not quite The Corn Exchange we once knew then, but definitely a step in the right direction.

Exchange Square, M4 3TF,

Katie Popperwell
Published on:
Tue 10 Jul 2012