Hundreds have signed a petition to keep the arcade through Liverpool’s India Buildings open to the public.
HM Revenue and Customs plans to convert India Buildings into its new Liverpool supercentre , bringing 3,500 jobs into the city centre.
But the plans would see Holts Arcade, renowned for its beautiful shopfronts and stunning ceiling, closed to the public for security reasons. There would be a reception in Water Street and turnstiles for staff at both ends.
The three remaining tenants of the arcade – a barbershop, a tailor and an antiques shop – will move to shop units on the outside of India Buildings.
Photographer Dave Wood has now launched a petition to keep the arcade open and has seen it attract more than 850 signatures.
The arcade was praised by Historic England for its “central arcade with its coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling and decorative bronze shopfronts.”
Mr Wood said: “It’s been open to the public since 1932 and is a world famous tourist attraction.”
The petition has also been shared by Liverpool heritage consultancy Share the City, which got more than 200 retweets after it tweeted out the petition and asked if Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman and metro mayor Steve Rotheram could help keep the arcade open.
And Share the City added: “Very important that @LouiseEllman and @Steve4LCRmayor speak up for continued public access to this jewel in Liverpool’s architectural crown.”
Conservation group the Twentieth Century Society also wants the arcade to stay open. Conservation adviser Tess Pinto said in May: “Although it is not technically a right of way, the arcade has always been open for the public to enjoy and was designed for that purpose. It is a great shame that a government body will be curtailing public access to this stunning space.”
When the ECHO asked HMRC about the arcade earlier this month, a spokeswoman said: “For security reasons, we won’t be allowing free public access into the arcade on the ground…