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Ping Pong parlour pops up in Leeds Corn Exchange

This summer the Piazza of Leeds Corn Exchange will be buzzing as table tennis takes over. Officially launching at 6.30pm on Thursday 16 June, with a new exhibition celebrating the Victorian past time and special appearances from professional regional and national players, the basement level of Leeds most iconic shopping centre will be home to four full size tables all season.

The exhibition, which includes a table tennis robot, images and table tennis paraphernalia, will be on show in the Piazza with the robot on hand to put players through their paces.

A collaboration with Ping! Leeds, the local example of the free nationwide ping pong festival and Table Tennis England, the Corn Exchange Ping Pong Parlour will be accessible daily throughout the summer, when the space is not being used for fairs and events. Young and old, seasoned pro or enthusiastic amateur, anyone can take a turn on these free-to-use tables and discover a passion for Whiff Whaff.

On 16 June Simon Noutch, a top 30 England senior player, Chris Parker, senior county player and national coach and Sally Shutt ex senior International player and coach will be on hand showing the professional standard that can be achieved in the sport and the tables will be officially opened for the summer.

Other initiatives to encourage play include ‘Late night shop-ping!’ every Thursday evening when Leeds Corn Exchange will stay open until 9pm, offering the perfect opportunity for a post work trip to the Grade I listed building to combine playing, browsing the 100% independent shops and tea at one of the food and drink venues. ‘Bat & Chat’ – a special time slot set aside for older players will be arranged through Ping! Leeds and there is potential for a local workplace league.

Sally Shutt, Coach Development Officer: North for Table Tennis England, commented: “I can’t imagine there are many places more atmospheric to enjoy a game of table tennis than under the domed roof of Leeds Corn Exchange; the original Victorian parlour game, Whiff Whaff in a stunning Victorian building. The tables are free to use and we hope that they bring a summer of fun to the building for visitors old and new.”

Leeds Corn Exchange opened in 1863, at the height of the Victorian era. Designed by a world-renowned architect from Hull, Cuthbert Brodrick, it operated as a traditional Corn Exchange, selling corn, wheat, barley and hops until the early 1990s. Now known as the home of independent shopping in the city almost 30 boutique shops, cafes and beauty businesses call it home and it is the venue for regular events and fairs.

Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport said: “Table tennis a great way to have fun and exercise, and we are delighted that through the Ping! initiative there will be the chance for people of all ages and standards to play for free at four tables located in the fantastic surroundings of the Leeds Corn Exchange”.

For further information on all Leeds Corn Exchange and Ping Pong Parlour events visit


Ping Pong in Leeds Corn Exchange