The Exchange is paving the way for legions of shoppers
With its elegant shops and ornate interior, which includes frescoes and a magnificent dome, it’s not surprising that The Exchange is one of Nottingham’s most popular places to for anyone who want to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
During its 85-year history, millions of shoppers have walked through the arcade – but now work has got underway to replace the stone floor in the main arcade of the Grade II* listed building for the first time. After finding a quarry to supply a stone which is as close as possible to the mellow honey-coloured original, the new floor will be laid in sections over a period of six weeks.
Once completed, the new flooring will return the arcade to the look that greeted visitors on the day when it was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, on 22nd May, 1929.
The Exchange, along with the adjoining Council House which includes the Nottingham Tourism Centre, was built between 1926 and 1929 and modelled on Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele by architect T.C. Howitt. On Howitt’s death in 1968, The Times described the building as ‘probably still the finest municipal building outside London’, while English Heritage cited the Council House and Exchange as ‘an exceptional example of 20th century civic architecture [which is] enhanced by the consistently high quality of the decorative art found throughout.’
Describing the renovation work, Neil Fincham, who is centre manager at The Exchange, said: “This is a massively significant investment for the centre and its owners. Not only was the floor in much need of replacing, but the listed status of the building meant we had to be very diligent in sourcing the right stone.
“We’ve undertaken extensive consultation with the conservation and planning departments, a process that has taken two years, so I’m confident the new floor will be a fitting evolution for the centre, entirely in keeping with the building’s heritage. I feel sure it will immeasurably enhance the overall appeal of The Exchange for our tenants and customers alike.”
For further details on The Exchange, including more about its fascinating history, visit the website