A colourful new era for Leeds dockland

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Eye-catching artwork has been unveiled to help signal a colourful new era for the once-troubled Clarence Dock area of Leeds.

Top street artists have produced a series of one-off designs to cover more than 100 metres of hoardings at the site, now called Leeds Dock.

The hoardings will mask construction that aims to transform the area into one of the UK’s most desirable ‘work and play’ spaces.

Lucy Whalley, project co-ordinator for site owner Allied London, said: “The last month has seen some of the UK’s top street artists lend a hand or two to create what must be one of the biggest art strips anywhere in the UK.

“We’re so excited to be able to put their incredible artwork on public display and we hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to see their work and enjoy the rich array of events and spectacles taking place at Leeds Dock over the coming weeks and months.”

The site’s mix of leisure and retail destinations has struggled to attract visitors since its opening in a blaze of publicity in 2008.

Changes now being made by Allied London include the laying-down of new public gardens along the main approach to the waterfront.

Tiered grass banks are also being created to provide seating areas for outdoor events.

Entertainment designed to pull in extra visitors includes the Leeds Waterfront Festival, taking place next weekend, June 28 and 29.

A proposed revamp of the closed Alea casino building into state-of-the-art offices for technology, media and telecoms firms is also expected to bring hundreds of new workers to the area.

Allied London is the company behind Manchester’s successful Spinningfields development and bought the Leeds site in early 2012.

For further information about events at Leeds Dock, visit the www.leedsdock.com website.

The bid to revitalise the site is being boosted by a number of new developments on its doorstep.

Leeds City College’s £23m Printworks Campus opened on Hunslet Road in September last year.

Work is also under way on a new £16m Leeds College of Building base on Hunslet Lane and Black Bull Street.

And, in 2016, the country’s biggest free school, the Ruth Gorse Academy, is due to move into a purpose-built £23m home, also on Black Bull Street.

The dock originally opened in the 1830s for the transportation of goods and commodities to and from Leeds city centre, using the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation. It suffered steady decline through the 20th century.

Leeds Civic Hall.

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