SOLD! Royal Arcade goes for £2m MORE than guide price

Norwich's Royal Arcade, designed by George Skipper (photo: john_fielding, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Norwich's Royal Arcade has sold for £3.375m - Credit: Archant

Norwich's Royal Arcade has new owners waiting in the wings for the first time in more than a decade after it sold at auction for £2m more than its guide price.

The immediately recognisable shopping centre was placed under the hammer by auctioneers Acuitus on Friday with a guide price of £1.25m.

And after a fierce bidding war, the centre sold for a whopping £3.4m.

Almost 30 separate bids were made for the shopping destination as the price climbed and climbed.

Ahead of the lot being called, auctioneer Richard Auterac enticed bidders by describing it as "one of the most beautiful covered shopping centres in the country".

He said: "It is one of Norwich's most beautiful buildings and has been described as an oasis of calm in the bustling high street.

"It is an unique opportunity to own and maintain this beautiful building."

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It had been speculated ahead of time that the initial price tag would attract greater interest and this turned out to be the case.

The bidding opened just below the guide price of £1.25m but soon escalated as a bidding war began.

And there were several dramatic moments where aggressive bidders came in with steep jumps, with one bidder taking the price from £1.5m to £2m in one swoop.

But eventually, a mystery bidder bagged the building for close to triple the initial guide price from previous owner Legal & General. 

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said £1.25m seemed to be a "low asking price" and he had assumed this was "set to peak the interest of potential buyers". 

He described the £3.4m sale as a strong one which "showed the value of the Norwich market and its resilience". 

Mr Gurney added: "The challenge for the new owner is to maximise an amazing site with huge architectural assets that will connect with the businesses and local community to make it work.

"Norwich BID looks forward to working with the new owner to ensure the Skippers Art Deco gem stays at the forefront of the city's unique offer."