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a grand day out

cross gates
shopping centre

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The Shine team take a trip to Leeds Corn Exchange, a beautiful Victorian building that is now the home of a huge host of independent shops and cafes – plus a seasonal Christmas market. 

Where to Go                 

Crossgates Shopping Centre

Cross Gates
Leeds, LS15 8ET



Crossgates Shopping Centre is right in the heart of the city centre.





Free entry



Cafes, public toilets, plenty of benches, shops, banks, library.


Getting There                 

Buses go regularly from Leeds City Centre. You can get numbers 163, 64, 56 or 40. The journey takes between 20 – 30 minutes depending on routes and traffic conditions. Most buses depart from stands on York Street, just outside Leeds City Bus Station. The route varies depending on the bus and drop off at different points near Crossgates Shopping Centre.


Opening Times

Monday – Saturday

8am – 6pm

10am – 4pm

Crossgates Shopping Centre was built in 1967, on the site of the old gasworks. Formerly the Arndale, the Centre is home to a number of high street shops and amenities. The main attraction is that it is indoors, which is a boon to older people seeking a bit of retail therapy during the winter months. The Shine Team visited on a rainy day and found the thriving centre full of people enjoying the shops and cafes.


We caught a 163 bus from York Street, outside the bus station. It was a busy route and we met lots of older people making the journey to Cross Gates. One group of older men were meeting their friends a regular monthly drink in a pub. The route is a little circuitous, but we got there in about half an hour. The bus stops very close to the shopping centre. On the way back, be aware there are a number of buses and each one goes from a different stop. It’s up to you to choose which one to get – they all arrive in the city centre eventually!

THE basics


Cross Gates Good Neighbours Scheme (CGGNS) run a huge number of activities out of their Community Hub in the Shopping Centre. We talked to Jo Horsfall, from CGGNS: she recommends Cross Gates not only for its shopping, but also for the community spirit, and good bus routes. Anyone can drop into the Hub for advice on debts to get help using computers and smart phones. On the day we 

visited an older gentleman was receiving advice about how to use the bus app on his phone. There’s a food bank too. Jo showed us the winter pantry. For £5 people in need can choose 10 items.

There are lots of weekly activities like line dancing, walking, Tai Chi, art, outings – and loads more. A lot of groups take place over the road at the Newman Centre. We met Beryl Spencer, who had come by bus from Allerton Bywater for the line dancing class. It’s clear that the CGGNS is a huge boon to the area. They serve the older population admirably and are the beating heart of the commu- nity.
Contact CGGNS on 0113 2606565 or

our visit
by By Angie Smiles & David Smith

The Cross Gates Shopping Centre is very popular amongst older people. It’s flat, warm and has lots of seating available; we counted 16 benches. There’s a large, well-stocked butcher, library, community hub, banks, a post office, cafes and lots of shops. Some shops have disappeared over the years - the locals miss Tesco and Marks and Spencer, but there is a range of newer shops like Savers and Iceland to make up for it.
We sat in De Nico’s for coffee and chatted to other older customers. This buzzy cafe seems to be a meeting point for the community. It was packed with people talking, eating lunch and having coffee. Christine is from Whitkirk and comes to the centre regularly because her sister Jill lives in Cross Gates. “I pop in every day,” says Jill. Christine is a big fan of all the shops, especially Savers.“You think it looks small,” she says. “But when you go in, it’s like a TARDIS. They’ve got everything! I love Bon Marche too.”
John and Maureen are from Garforth, and enjoy going to the Crossgates Centre every week. “The fact that it’s all covered means you don’t have to worry about the rain,” says Maureen. The couple love all the shops. “The traders here keen their prices reasonable,” says John. “We don’t need to go to the centre of Leeds these days, everything we need is here. I can’t fault this place” Maureen is widowed, but she and John go out together. “There’s one or two clubs around here you can go out for a dance. I like any dancing you can think of. Danc- ing is the best exercise you can do!” John and Maureen meet their friend Ada for a coffee at De Nicos. “It’s been going since the 1960s.” Ada says. “And they’re always doing it up. There’s always something happening here.”

We were impressed with how many older people were enjoying the centre. A common thread is most people enjoy not having to go into the city centre to shop. It was a particularly friendly, grand day out.


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