Businesses in one of Nottingham’s oldest traditional shopping centres say they are struggling to survive due to the landlord’s decision to close the top half of the building back in April 2023.

The arcade was once a popular cut through for the public but can now only be accessed from Angel Row, and the shop owners claim the impact of this has caused a decline in customers for those of them still operating.

According to traders, footfall has fallen by seventy-five percent, causing some shops to go days without seeing any customers.

Image: Samera Zengin, TK Hair

Semera Zengin, from Tk Hair Salon Turkish says she has been feeling the effects of the upstairs closure.

“My business is now not very good because this gate is closed.

“There were people coming round before but now there are not any people,” she said.

These pressures have been felt across the arcade.

Kenneth Springer, manager of The Royal Natty said business has been down by about three quarters since the closure of the gate.

“There is no footfall through here so nobody knows that we are here in the arcade,” he said

“I rang them up and told them they could not do this legally or morally”

– David rose

These shop owners say the decision to close the top floor of the building felt very sudden and some of them were forced to quickly find a new space for their business.

David, who owns Music Inn Records, was previously located in the upstairs of the arcade but moved downstairs after the top half was shut.

David said the landlord gave us a month of notice, and I rang them up and told them they could not do that legally or morally.

“We are running businesses so we need at least three months notice,” he said.

However, now he is settled in his new location there have been some positives.

“I hate to say it but its actually worked in my favour because a lot of people think I have just moved in here.

“They didn’t know I was upstairs because upstairs was little bit left out,” he said.

The West End Arcade:

  • The arcade first opened in 1926, making it Nottingham’s oldest shopping arcade
  • The top floor was added in the 1960’s
  • There was an escalator that connected the two floors but was removed after an incident in 2012
  • The top and bottom floor are owned by two separate companies

Although Nottingham City Council own the building, they lease the building long term to a Salford based company and have stated that they do not have any say in how the building is run.

The property company who run the arcade didn’t want to comment on the subject.

Although the shopping centre is only half the size it used to be, the shops downstairs continue to trade in the historic space.