Cycle sticker roll out is to boost independents

Duke Studios directors Laura Wellington and James Abbott Donnelly cutting out a vinyl bike sticker. Picture by Duke Studios
Duke Studios directors Laura Wellington and James Abbott Donnelly cutting out a vinyl bike sticker. Picture by Duke Studios
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Bicycles could be emblazoned across 120 Leeds shop windows in time for the Grand Depart this summer.

Creative arts space Duke Studios, in Duke Street, Leeds, is putting together a range of vinyl stickers in the shape of bikes to promote the city’s thriving independent business sector to Tour de France visitors around July 5.

Companies each buy stickers branded with their firm’s name and links to an interactive map of companies on the Leeds Independent Bikes website, which will be put in windows randomly chosen by Duke Studios six weeks before Le Tour in a bid to get visitors to explore Leeds.

Nearly 70 businesses have signed up, and more independents looking to make the most of the estimated 50,000 spectators expected to crowd into Leeds for the event are being urged to sign up before the April 17 deadline.

Laura Wellington, director of Duke which she cofounded in 2011, said: “It’s about finding those hidden gems that you might not necessarily know about, while independent businesses help to cross-promote each other. The Tour de France is a fantastic opportunity, there are going to be so many people coming. I can’t wait to see what the city’s like when it’s on.”

Duke is working with Leeds City Council and landlords to secure window space all over the city. The likes of East Street Arts, George and Joseph Cheesemongers, Our Handmade Collective and Playful Leeds have so far signed up to what has become a Yorkshire Festival fringe event.

Dave Olejnik, owner of coffee shop Laynes Espresso, in New Station Street, was among the first to sign up. He said: “It’s a nice, interactive, colourful way of engaging with people and supporting local businesses.”

There are 24 white vinyl bike sticker designs to choose from costing £30, which will be produced and publicised by Duke. Visit www.strikingly.com/leedsindependentbikes.

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