Bidders to go head-to-head as Royal Arcade auction looms

Norwich's Royal Arcade Picture: Antony Kelly

Norwich's Royal Arcade Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Local and national bidders have their cheque books at the ready with the city's Royal Arcade set to go under the hammer this week.

Owner Legal & General is preparing to say farewell to the Grade II listed shopping centre after more than a decade on Friday, with auctioneers Acuitis conducting the sale at a live online auction.

Calls have been made for a local investor to take on the centre, which has a guide price of £1.25m.

But any city-based party will have to fight off interest from further afield - with the arcade expected to be one of the most popular lots in the auction.

Old School Interiors in the Royal Arcade

Old School Interiors in the Royal Arcade - Credit: Archant

Acuitis auctioneer, George Goucher, said: "We have had quite a lot of interest in the lot - it is quite difficult to predict what will happen but we do definitely expect it to fetch above the guide price.

"We do get quite a few shopping centres in our auctions, but this one is a Grade II listed building so this is a nice one."

Mr Goucher said the auctioneers had been receiving a considerable number of enquiries ahead of the sale, which will be held online at 11am on Friday.

He added: "We've had quite a mixture of enquiries, there have been quite a few expressions of interest from local parties but also some national."

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The arcade is still home to a number of active tenants, whose leases and contracts would be taken on by a new owner. 

And the feeling among tenants is largely an appetite for a new owner to be based locally.

Sonkai jewellers Norwich

Craig Snape and Sara Sweet, from Sonkai, pictured before the move to the Royal Arcade in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Sara Sweet, of Sonkai jewellers, said: "The arcade has changed hands many times over the years and the shops and units have continued to flourish, so I see no reason for this to change.

"In fact, I’d welcome the energy and enthusiasm of a new owner, perhaps even a local person with a real passion for the area to help bring it back to its best.

"I think I can speak for all the tenants when we say we’re excited to meet the eventual new owners, and working with them to achieve their goals and plans for the arcade."