White Rose Centre
The White Rose Centre is a shopping centre in the Churwell area of City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England . It spans two floors and is linked to the M621 motorway. It takes its name from the White Rose of York, the traditional symbol of Yorkshire. The Upper Level houses the Centre's 'Upper Circle' food court. There are 4,800 free car parking spaces, security arrangements and on-site Police officers. The centre opened on 25 March 1997 and currently accommodates major tenants including Sainsbury's, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next, W H Smith, Bhs, Primark, Zara as well as some 100 other stores. The South region of the Centre was re-developed in 2005 taking back space from downsizing the Sainsbury's store allowing for extra units to be added. The Centre is managed and mainly owned by Land Securities, however Evans of Leeds are also a partner. The Centre has also won many awards over the years, these include a British Council of Shopping Centre's (BCSC) Golds Award, BCSC Purple apple, and Green apple awards. Peter Cook won Out-of-Town Centre Manager of the Year award and the Centre also has countless Leeds/Yorkshire in Bloom Awards under its belt.

The site comprises 76 acres (310,000 m 2) of land and was formerly the home of Morley Sewage works. Before building work could begin on-site in 1995, enabling works were carried out. This included removing the existing sewage works, sealing any disused mine shafts, removing contaminated soil and profiling the sloping site. This exercise required the movement of 750,000 cubic metres of soil to smooth out a 30 metre fall across the site and create a series of level terraces for the building and car parks. Work commenced on the 87-week project on 10 July 1995 and by September the first steelwork was visible. 600 semi-mature, 7 metre high trees were pre-purchased from Germany and planted in the car park areas to provide effective landscaping. In total, 5,000 trees and shrubs have been planted around the car parks and perimeter roads to further enrich the external design.

The Upper Circle
The Upper Circle is the centre's food court. This takes up most of the upper floor of the central atrium. The Upper Circle contains a McDonald's, a KFC, a Subway, Spud-u-like, Pizza Hut Express, Bagel Nash, Juice, BB's Coffee and Muffin and a Graveley's Fish & Chips. Adjoining this is a Nando's restaurant. Prior to the centre going completely no-smoking, the food court had both smoking and non-smoking areas.

Tenth Anniversary competition
On the tenth anniversary of the centre opening, 25 March 2007, the White Rose Centre (in conjunction with Real Radio) were running a competition entitled '10 seconds to win 10K'. The prize was won by a local resident who correctly guessed that there was exactly £10,793.52 secreted in a ball on display in the centre. The winning guess was based on the date of the anniversary in reverse.

To coincide with its tenth year of trading the White Rose Centre modernised its image by undertaking a re-branding exercise. This involved a complete re-design of the centre's logo, advertising, signage and staff uniforms. The new branding and strategic marketing campaign that followed won the centre a coveted BCSC Purple Apple award.

Role in community
The White Rose is involved in a number of social welfare activities in the local area. It organises regular Tea Dance sessions for older people who are also able to participate in Mall walking within the sheltered environment of the centre. It also contains the White Rose Learning Centre run in conjunction with Education Leeds and Leeds City College. This provides dance classes and other educational activities for children at risk of exclusion from school in an informal environment.

Criticisms of the centre
One common criticism of the shopping centre is the width of the malls in the centre, on the whole they are much narrower than at comparative centres such as Meadowhall, The Metro Centre and The Trafford Centre. One possible reason for this is that the developers underestimated the centre's popularity. Another criticism is the lack of a railway station, despite the centre backing directly onto a railway line.

At around 07:45 on the morning of Saturday 15 November 2008 a vehicle operated by Gist was making an early morning food delivery to the Marks and Spencer store at the White Rose Centre, shortly after arrival the cab of the vehicle caught fire. This fire soon grew out of control and forced the evacuation of the Marks and Spencer store and the adjoining service area, as the vehicle burnt it ejected several violent fire balls, which caused visible heat and smoke damage to the front of the building. As a result of this fire the Marks and Spencer store had very limited stock for the rest of the day and the service area was blocked for several hours, causing disruption to other stores in the White Rose Centre.


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