Andrew Cooper: First impressions count in our city

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It is said that emotions drive 80 per cent of the choices we make while practicality and objectivity make up the remaining 20 per cent.

We do this every day to the people we meet before they even speak, but how does this transpose to what people think about our city?

It’s fair to say that first impressions really do count. A good visual impression followed by a good experience means we are more likely to share this experience with others.

The city’s physical welcome is a key priority for LeedsBID, the Business Improvement District, ensuring the physical welcome and experience is a positive one for all those who live, work and visit Leeds. Here are some examples from the last week.

‘Athena Rising’, to be the UK’s tallest piece of street art, on the side of Bruntwood’s new Platform building next to Leeds Station, will give an immediate bold statement for those who arrive in the city.

This stunning visual artwork by Nomad Clan creates a fantastic and lasting impression.

On the ground, we have a team of 14 Welcome Ambassadors, distinctly recognisable by their bowler hats and smart attire.

As human sign posts, they provide a warm, friendly and informative welcome to anyone visiting the city.

During the busy triathlon weekend, they were on duty supporting the experience of those who came to watch or take part.

Finally, we all want the public areas in our city, the ‘carpet between buildings’, to be cleaned, well managed and of a high quality.

LeedsBID is working collaboratively with other organisations to help keep our city chewing gum, graffiti and litter free.

No one organisation can achieve this in isolation. With a team of 11 Street Rangers, working seven days a week, again distinctly recognisable in 
a blue Street Ranger uniform, their work is to raise standards of cleanliness which is an ongoing priority for the businesses in the centre 
of Leeds.

So yes, first impressions really do count and Leeds is creating that 80 per cent emotion in so many different ways and we all have our part to play.

‘Welcome to Leeds’ www.welcometoleeds.co.uk

Andrew Cooper is the Chief Executive of LeedsBid (Business Improvement District).

Victoria Gate in Leeds.

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