The Leegate Shopping Centre opened in 1963 when local shopping centres faced less competition and enjoyed a greater share of overall retail spending.
A key feature of the centre was the opening up of an inward-facing retail precinct between Leyland Road and Burnt Ash Road, which diverted pedestrians from the shop parades around the Lee Green crossroads.
Over time, shoppers have switched to larger centres and modern covered malls for most shopping trips. Leegate no longer attracts national retailers.
The shop parades along Eltham Road and Burnt Ash Road remain mostly occupied, but a lack of pedestrian activity has led to high numbers of vacant shops within the main precinct.
These economic factors have been exacerbated by the dated architecture and the aged appearance of the buildings which reinforces negative perceptions of the centre despite attempts to keep shops and offices occupied.
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