Artistic designs put pupils’ stamp on Leeds’s fast-growing Victoria Gate site

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Creative young people have put their artistic stamp on the fast-growing Victoria Gate development.

Pupils from a handful of Leeds primary schools have teamed up with the children’s art school at Leeds College of Art to produce a series of shopping images depicting retail trends from the past century, the present day and the future.

The timeline of illustrations has been installed on a series of hoarding panels in George Street, opposite the entrance to Leeds Kirkgate Market.

Students from Leeds College of Art, Quarry Mount Primary School and Blenheim Primary School have unveiled the community hoardings.

Gareth Wadkin, progression support worker at Leeds College of Art, said: “It was an engaging and fascinating project to work on, raising the children’s aspirations and inspiring creativity for all involved.

“The school children and students from the college were all very excited and enthusiastic to be part of this prestigious scheme.”

Last week the YEP was given an exclusive tour of the under-construction shopping centre, which will be home to two arcades – a north and a south arcade with around 30 retailers – as well as a casino, restaurants, a multi-storey car park and a flagship John Lewis store complete with rooftop restaurant.

The scheme by developer Hammerson is due to open in autumn 2016, and is expected to be delivered on time.

James Hepburn, Hammerson’s development manager for Victoria Gate, said: “The community hoardings project is a fantastic opportunity to publicly showcase Leeds’ evolving landscape.

“It has also allowed us to actively involve local school children in the development, giving them a chance to learn about Leeds’ history as well as an insight into what it might look like in the future.”