Boost for disabled at Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre

Disabled campaigners are giving their advice on layout plans to construction bosses of a new £350m shopping paradise in Leeds.

The huge landmark Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre – set to open in 2013 – will provide retail jobs for 3,000 people and will be a major shopping attraction in the north and beyond.

Tim McSharry, head of disability for the Access Committee for Leeds, said the group had been approached by Land Securities, which is constructing the complex in the heart of Leeds city centre.

Mr McSharry gave a presentation last week to construction bosses and was accompanied by Philip Gleeson, Beatrice Rogers, Dr Peter McParlin, Peter White, Muserat Sujawal and David Cuthbert.

Disability expert Mr McSharry said: "This is really positive and we are delighted to help with practical tips from real life disabled people,

"As the UK's largest property company, it would have been very easy for Land Securities to involve a core team of specialists, but Andrew Dudley and his team should be congratulated for directly involving local disabled people as experts in understanding the practical issues.

"Every day, we come across examples of access problems and layout in public places which is just not suitable for people with a disability.

"Even with planning laws and health and safety regulations, things

still get missed.

"This is not just for wheelchair users, but people with any form of special need or disability, parents with young children or the elderly

or infirm."

The group, which campaigns for fair treatment for people with disabilities or impairments, said it welcomed Land Securities' forward thinking.

Neil Read, Trinity Leeds project manager, said: "We are very happy to be working with Tim and his colleagues, and our ongoing relationship is proving extremely helpful.

"We are looking to ensure that as we continue to plan the Trinity Leeds design, we build into our thinking how we make it a place that is accessible and enjoyable for all visitors when it opens in spring 2013."

The 350m project will transform a large section of Leeds city centre.

Work on the development, which borders Boar Lane, Briggate, Commercial Street and Albion Street, is well under way, with a predicted completion date of early 2013.

It will contain 120 shops including Marks & Spencer, H&M, Next and River Island.

A British Rail Class 155 diesel multiple unit (DMU) at Leeds station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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