The Mander Centre opened on the 6th March, 1968 and became an instant success. It was designed by James A. Roberts (who also designed the Rotunda in Birmingham) and built by C. Bryant and Son Limited. The centre belonged to the property division of Mander Holdings Limited, part of the Mander family's enterprises. In 1969 it received a Civic Trust Award. Part of the interior had to be rebuilt after a disastrous fire on Christmas Eve, 1970.

On the 20th May, 1974, one of the main entrances to the centre, the old Central Arcade, was destroyed by fire and had to be demolished. The area was rebuilt into the present Dudley Street entrance.

In 1987 the centre was refurbished and became the first shopping centre in the UK to be fitted with a barrel-vaulted polycarbonate sliding roof, to provide more comfortable shopping in poor weather. The centre covered four and a half acres, with space for 134 outlets and a car park that catered for 550 vehicles.

In February 1994 the Mander Centre was sold to the Prudential Insurance Company for £82m.

In September, 2003, work began on an £18m refurbishment programme to make the centre fully climate controlled. Work included the replacement of the marble floor and the relocation of the escalators and stairways. The scheme was designed by Bradshaw Rowse Harker and increased the size to 484,500 square feet of shop space and 57,110 square feet of office space. There were more than 150 shops.

What follows is a number of photographs taken in 2001 before work on the 2003 to 2004 refurbishment began. Shops on the upper floor included Discount Shoe Zone, Tammy, W. H. Smith, T. J. Hughes, Tesco, Woolworths, HMV, Ace Models, Dixons, Etam, Greggs, Boots, BHS, Coffee Royale, Perfume, H. Samuel, Jessops, and Shoe Express.

Shops on the lower floor included Poppins Restaurant, Regis, MVC, Bodycare, Sports, Evans and Our Price. Pride of place was given to Barbara Hepworth's sculpture, 'Rock Form (Porthcurno)'.

Barbara Hepworth's sculpture, 'Rock Form (Porthcurno)'.

Another view of Barbara Hepworth's sculpture, 'Rock Form (Porthcurno)'.

The lower floor with the post box and the lifts behind, and ACE Models on the upper floor.

Another view of the lifts with Woolworths on the left and Boots above.

The stairs at the northern end of the site.

Another view of the stairs with MVC in the far corner on the lower floor and Discount Shoe Zone on the first floor, which at the time had a closing down sale.

The stairs at the other end of the site and the flower seller who was there for many years.

Another view of the flower seller.

In the background is Our Price with Shoe Express above.

The once-familiar Woolworths store, with Boots above.

Another view of Woolworths.

Coffee Royale in the centre.

Looking towards T. J. Hughes.

Another view of the flower seller and Poppins Restaurant.

In the distance is T. J. Hughes.

Tesco's excellent supermarket on the upper floor.

Looking along the upper floor towards the Woolpack Alley entrance.

Another view of the upper floor with Boots on the right.

Approaching the Woolpack Alley entrance.

Looking back along the upper floor from the Woolpack Alley entrance.

A view from the first floor looking towards the Dudley Street entrance.

Another view looking towards the Dudley Street entrance with Jessops and H. Samuel on the right.

The lifts to the first floor and the car park.

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