An end to empty units and a future as the bustling centre of the city's independent retail offering.

That is the optimistic goal for Norwich's Royal Arcade following its £3.375m sale, as a new management company prepares to move in on the historic shopping centre.

The arcade was placed under the hammer last month before eventually being snapped up by a "private family investment company".

And this buyer, whose identity is still yet to be revealed, has appointed management company LPC1 Ltd to take on the running of the centre.

Simon Ashworth, director of LPC1 Ltd, has said the goal is to have the centre full and bustling as soon as possible


Eastern Daily Press: Norwich's Royal Arcade Picture: Antony KellyNorwich's Royal Arcade Picture: Antony Kelly (Image: archant 2017)

He said: "LPC1 has a portfolio which includes many independent occupiers and we are looking forward to working closely with existing and new tenants, as well as key stakeholders across the city, to bring the Royal Arcade back into occupation and increased footfall, by attracting the independent retailers that Norwich has such strong history and passion for.

"Working closely with retail property agents Francis Darrah, the team hopes to discuss plans over the coming weeks."

And the feeling among tenants is one of optimism, with traders desperate to see it return to its former glory.

Jenny Bealey, who owns Lady B Loves boutique, said she is confident the arcade has "a very bright future ahead".

Eastern Daily Press: Jenny Bealey, owner of Lady B Loves boutique in the Royal ArcadeJenny Bealey, owner of Lady B Loves boutique in the Royal Arcade (Image: Archant)

She said: "All I can see is really positive things - the new managers are already been really enthusiastic and I can tell they really want to make the place even more beautiful.

"I really hope they can get it full and bustling, how we all remember it and how we all love it."

Sarah Batchelor, an art consultant at Artique Gallery, said she fell in love with the arcade while studying at university and was hopeful the new owners could recapture some of that spirit again.

She said: "I think it does need some TLC and we have real problems with flooding at times, but I really think we could see it brought back to life.

"One thing I definitely think it does need is a restaurant."