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Arndale Centres were the first "American-style" malls to be built in the United Kingdommarker. In total twenty-two Arndales have been built in the UK, and two in Australia. The first opened in Jarrowmarker in 1961, as a pedestrianised shopping area.


The first Arndale Centre, in Jarrow, opened in 1961.
It is now known as the Viking Centre.
Shortly after the end of World War II Arnold Hagenbach, a baker with a talent for property investment, and Sam Chippindale, an estate agent from Otleymarker, set up a company called the Arndale Property Trust, the name being a combination of "Arnold" and "Chippindale".

The Trust purchased Bradfordmarker's Victoria Swan Arcademarker in 1954 with the intention of demolishing it and developing a new shopping centre, but it took eight years before leases expired and building work could commence, so in the meantime it developed a site in Jarrowmarker, South Tyneside, which became the first Arndale Centre when it opened in 1961. Its trademark Viking statue was built by the Trust in 1963.

When the Wandsworth Arndale opened in 1971 it was the largest indoor shopping space in Europe.

The largest Arndale Centre built was Manchester Arndalemarker. It was redeveloped in 1996 after being badly damaged in an IRA bombingmarker, and the centre has been owned by Prudential since 1998.


The Arndale Centres were largely successful, but they also attracted a great deal of criticism as they often involved demolishing old buildings – particularly Victorian buildings – and replacing them with modern concrete constructions in a brutalist style.

"There are people today amassing stupendous fortunes by systematically destroying our historic centres," wrote architectural writer James Lees-Milne, in 1964. "Eventually, all the buildings of the area - good, bad and indifferent - are replaced with chain stores, supermarkets and blocks of flats devoid of all distinction, and all looking alike."

The value of the Wandsworth Arndale was maximised by the high-rise tower blocks built on top of the mall, which helped it to become, according to some commentators, "one of London’s great architectural disasters".

List of Arndale Centres

United Kingdom


References in popular culture

The phrase 'the Arndale Centre wasn't built in a day' (in place of 'Rome wasn't built in a day') was used in the film Little Voice.


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