The Corn Exchange was first built on its present site in 1837, but the building that we see today dates from 1897-1903 when it was rebuilt in two stages and according to plans drawn up by two different architects.
Its purpose was to act as a trading exchange – something we can see from the large central hall – but this function declined quickly after the Second World War. By the 1960s, it was occupied by a variety of wholesale and retail businesses, which were joined in 1972 by the Royal Exchange Theatre.
The IRA bomb of 1996 caused extensive damage and the resulting £8 million restoration programme made it into an upmarket shopping mall – part of the reinvention of Manchester city centre. Further refurbishment in 2015 has led to the Exchange being given over to restaurants and cafes.