"It felt like a cloud had been lifted.” — Guy Haynes, On The Wall

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The Corn Exchange means a lot to Guy Haynes.

He was just 22 when he opened his independent poster shop, On The Wall, in the undulating Grade I listed building at the heart of Leeds city centre, back in 2004.

Under its iconic Victorian dome, Guy's fledgling business laid its roots. But when the building was sold in 2008, he was forced to move.

On The Wall enjoyed a decade of success at premises just a stone's throw away on Boar Lane, before the opportunity to come full circle arrived.

"We heard that the Corn Exchange had been bought by a Leeds-based company and thought it was worth seeing what their plans were," Guy explains.

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That company was Rushbond, whose programme of investment and renewal is giving traders a bigger say in the future of one of the city's finest buildings.

"From the first meeting, there just seemed to be a positive atmosphere; one of a community working together," said Guy. "It really felt different to previous visits I'd had since leaving."

The undercurrent of change was no figment of Guy's imagination. The historic place where his career took flight is being restored to its former glory.

"Once we started to float the idea to friends, family and all the stakeholders of the business, I was amazed by the sheer will for the Corn Exchange to be a centre for independent businesses," Guy enthused. "I just want to be in the middle of that."

In February 2018, On The Wall reopened in Unit 7 of the Corn Exchange and is astir with shoppers once again.

From the original sash windows of the Corn Exchange, Guy Haynes proudly looks out across his home city.

"We are looking forward to getting involved with all the plans and ideas for the building," he said. "It already feels like a great move."

To learn more about On The Wall, you can check out their website here.


 

Jennifer Lee O'Brien