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Hanley Shopping Centre

Hanley Shopping Centre, East Precinct, East West Centre, Old Hall Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, 2010 • Classic grim 1960s new town-style shopping precinct, which by 2016 was completely derelict. There have been plans to redevelop it since 2008, originally as City Sintral, which fell through amidst protests over the ‘illiterate’ name. Now uninspiring new plans are going ahead; after a local vote, it will be called Unity Walk (chosen pre-Brexit, one assumes). At the time of this photograph, final tenant Mr Big had just moved out after 21 years of a 25 year lease, due to all the uncertainty. The precinct is sited behind the old Hanley bus station, a modernist confection of spindly arches and railings, which an unattributed 2010 quote (possibly from this book) brilliantly sums up: “Most poignant of Hanley’s buildings, at its centre is an arcade of faintly Moorish precast concrete arches that connect one board-shuttered parade of shops from another, wanly light hearted and jaunty but unloved and desperate.” But for all its grimness, Stoke is fascinating, and may be 2021’s UK City of Culture.

Hanley Shopping Centre

Hanley Shopping Centre

2 replies »

  1. Time as moved on since the article was written. This and many other areas of Stoke on Tent make it a very sad and depressing area. Only last week the latest regeneration idea was dropped. The simple answer is that major brands are struggling and this is a very poor area with very little spair money to spend

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