Inside deserted UK shopping centre formerly one of Europe’s largest

The shopping centre used to boast walkways linking it to the hospital, courts, and surrounding estates. Inside, it used to boast a cornucopia of shops including Woolworths and Littlewoods.

However, most of the vendors have left, leaving the building as a semi-vacant shell with just a few shops still operating.

Coffee House manager Magda Spratek, 35, owns one of the businesses still going, a café which has been based in the building since June 2021.

She told Cheshire Live: “We are quite lucky because we have regulars, but it’s very rare that we see a new face, someone who says ‘Let’s go to Shopping City and see what’s there’.”

She added: “It would be so much nicer if we had a place like Primark; a big shop to bring people in. I see the same faces so often that I wonder how they can afford to come here all the time.”

The bewilderment is shared by the local community. Nathan Dawson, 30, said: “It’s behind the times. It’s just stayed in the early-2000s.

“It needs a lot of development. It needs to be brought into the modern times. Everything seems to be developed around Runcorn, but never Runcorn itself. [sic]”

Barbara Roberts, 80, a volunteer at a nearby Primary School said she had seen how it had changed: “It is a shame. I’ve been here for 48 years. It’s a shame that it has changed; both the new town and the old town.

“We’ve got to go over the bridge to buy normal things. All the investment goes over there [to Widnes].”

As a result of the vacant nature of the building, the future of one of Runcorn’s iconic buildings is uncertain.

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