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Leeds Corn Exchange remains a magnet for Leeds’s long-standing and new independent retailers

2016 is set to be a landmark year for a number of the independent retailers based at Leeds Corn Exchange, one of the grandest shopping centres in the city. Throughout the year, a diverse range of businesses will celebrate milestone anniversaries in the Grade I listed building.


Outrage Jewellers is the Corn Exchange’s longest established tenant, and 2016 will see the business celebrate an impressive 25 years selling jewellery from Leeds Corn Exchange. Owned by Gina Tombs, Outrage specialises in handmade silver pieces with semi-precious stones. The specialist retailer’s ‘silver anniversary’ of trading from architect Cuthbert Brodrick’s domed gem, which Gina describes as ‘the Covent Garden of the North’, has seen Outrage become one of the most popular jewellery shops in Leeds.

Another jeweller who has found Leeds Corn Exchange to be the perfect place for trade is Dion Jewellers, an independent business with over ten years of extensive training and experience within the jewellery trade in manufacturing, restorations and retail. Dion specialises in crafting custom made jewellery.


Gina Tombs, Outrage Jewellers. Credit Roger Moody
Gina Tombs, Outrage Jewellers – which marks 25 years at Leeds Corn Exchange in 2016. Credit Roger Moody.

2016 will also be a big year for Little Leeds Beer House, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary of trading in the Corn Exchange in April this year. Owned by three of Leeds’s finest beer connoisseurs, the Little Leeds Beer House team are passionate about supporting small independent producers of fine quality products, including wines, spirits and of course beer. Co-owner James Phillips has found the Corn Exchange to be the ideal location for their customers, commenting “Being amongst other independent retailers in the Corn Exchange and having the support of fellow independent businesses across Leeds has really helped Little Leeds Beer House thrive in its first year.” He also hinted that the team are currently “planning something very special” for their first birthday in the spring.

Lou Lou Puchalka, which designs and makes bespoke millinery and bridal accessories, has been trading in the Corn Exchange for five years. Owner Lou Puchalka’s outstanding reputation has seen her work become a regular feature in the national press and on television, and her exquisite creations attract customers to Leeds Corn Exchange from all over the UK.

Leeds Corn Exchange (c) Simon Dewhurst
Independent retailers continue to flourish in Leeds Corn Exchange. Credit Simon Dewhurst.

It’s not just the retailers that are thriving in the Corn Exchange; 2016 will see Primo’s Gourmet Hotdogs celebrate their sixth year of trading in the Corn Exchange. Since opening in 2010, Primo’s has expanded with outlets in Xscape Castleford and Leeds White Rose Centre, but still finds Leeds Corn Exchange a natural spot for the city centre diner.

The Grade I Listed Leeds Corn Exchange opened in 1863 and continued to operate as a traditional Corn Exchange until the early 1990s before being sensitively renovated. The stunning oval building, with a spectacular domed glass roof, is now the home of independent shopping in Leeds with almost 30 boutique shops, cafes and beauty businesses and regular events and fairs.