Andrew Cooper: Work together to enhance Leeds

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The hallway in my house is the place everyone goes through to get to all the other rooms and yet often it is the last place to get decorated and the first to need a new carpet!

Similarly, the city centre of Leeds is our hallway. It is where we walk through daily; we all use it to get to work or the shops and we need to maintain its upkeep.

No one organisation can do this on its own and LeedsBID, the Business Improvement District in the city, has been instrumental in implementing a number of new initiatives.

Firstly ‘cleaning the carpet’. The space between our buildings is vital. A team of 11 Street Rangers is on hand daily, funded by businesses, to enhance the appearance and cleanliness of our streets and public spaces. Jet washing and deep cleansing is a service above those provided statutorily by the local authority.

We all have our part to play in keeping public areas clean and well maintained.

New investment has taken place in The Calls, thanks to a collaboration of funding from landlords and property owners to provide new furniture and a digital piece of artwork.

Retailers in Commercial Street are working with LeedsBID and Leeds City Council to animate this street to give it ‘definition’ and a sense of place with new street infrastructure and potentially a new surface treatment.

And we saw the recent addition of big screens broadcasting all the action from Wimbledon in Bond Court and Wellington Place, with deck chairs and a vibrant ‘continental café style’ atmosphere.

These are just some examples of making sure we do not neglect the hallway we all walk through and use on a daily basis.

Working together to manage and enhance the city we all love and are proud of is key to its future success.

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