Andrew Cooper: Leeds - a city on an upward trajectory

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New Year is a time for looking ahead, for optimism, for setting new goals and turning over new leaves.

In Leeds we have much to be optimistic about. The city is on an upward trajectory, seeing significant new projects and investment.

In the last four years, we have witnesses two award winning shopping centres being built, a new arena, new offices development and new digital work space, along with new hotels. The city is buzzing and those looking in can see a city that is transforming.

LeedsBID, the Business Improvement District in Leeds, funded by its businesses, is playing a leading and important role in this transformation process, ensuring the stage is set for those who come to live, work and play in our city to have a positive experience.

We continue to focus on some important aspects of place management including the Welcome Ambassadors with their distinctive bowler hats, acting as human signposts and guides to all city users.

Our strong team of Street Rangers are out deep cleaning the city seven days a week. Over the last 12 months they have cleaned the equivalent of the Leeds inner loop road eight times, and made a lasting impact on levels of cleanliness in key parts of the city centre.

And our new team of Evening Ambassadors support those businesses (in the night time economy) and customers who enjoy a great night out in Leeds. Animating the city through events and physical installations is also key to this on-going transformation.

We have seen the ARIAS (Audio and Radio Industry Awards) and MOBO Awards return to the city in recent months. The Leeds International Festival (LIF) this year will be a two-week extravaganza in the spring, showcasing new ideas and innovation, reminding the world of our talent and creativity, and celebrating what makes Leeds great.

LeedsBID’s partnership with business helps to make powerful statement pieces such as ‘Athena Rising’, the 42-metre-high piece of street art on the side on the new Bruntwood building at Leeds Station, possible.

SPIRIT, a huge, ethereal figure symbolising the city’s ties to its textile history, can be seen in situ in Victoria Quarter, soaring above shoppers in the splendour of the arcade for the first few months of 2018. Projects like these do truly transform our city and give us a point of difference. So, as we start 2018, LeedsBID continues to work collaboratively on transforming Leeds into one of the best cities in the UK.

Keep up to date with LeedsBID and all our work at www.leedsbid.co.uk

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

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