Shopping centre celebrating 30 years

Shrewsbury’s first shopping arcade is celebrating 30 years in business this month.
The Parade, situated in one of the town’s most imposing Georgian buildings just behind St Mary’s Church, is home to a unique collection of retailers.
“We are delighted to be marking three decades of success,” said proprietor Philip Freeman.
“Shrewsbury is renowned for its independent stores, claiming to have more than any other town in the country, and we feel that The Parade makes an important contribution to the vibrant retailing sector here,” he added.
There are now almost 30 individual shops on two floors at this Grade II building, including a bespoke tailor, a specialist oriental food shop, a shoe manufacturer, clock and barometer restorers and celebration cake bakers.
It was Phillip’s family who took the bold decision to save the former Royal Salop Infirmary from possible demolition in 1979 and transform it into shops and apartments.
“From a conversion point of view the scheme is an undoubted success and broke new ground in Shrewsbury. The project set high standards in conservation at a time when demolition was still a likely option for an old building with no readily apparent re-use,” Philip recalls.
As a result this stylish building, faced with Grinshill sandstone, was retained as a landmark on the Shrewsbury skyline when viewed from the south.
“When we first opened this was quite an innovation as we were one of the first independent shopping centres in the region.
“We like to think that, in 2013, The Parade is still delighting visitors. The arcade is with us today because our small shops make Shrewsbury special and the service they give keeps customers coming back time and time again. Here’s to the next 30 years of success,” Phillip added.

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Michael Michael

Severn Magazine and Love Shrewsbury Editor.

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