Video: New app aims to unlock Leeds’ independent potential

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A new app championing independent businesses and the creative scene in Leeds has been launched.

Radius, an app which works off Google maps, tells people what is going on around them within ten minutes walking distance and the independent businesses that they would otherwise not be aware of.

The app has been launched by Leeds Ventures, an independent organisation set up by David and Sarah Laycock that manages special projects to enhance visitor experience in the city.

Mr Laycock, who is development director at Leeds Ventures, said: “One of the main drivers behind this was, I used to be the centre director at Trinity Leeds. Leeds was quite clearly a shopping destination but I was conscious at the time that Leeds didn’t have, before, a reputation for having independent businesses.

“When I looked outside Trinity’s I saw actually there’s a real rich variety that wasn’t being connected, supported and promoted. What the app does is pull that community together.”

Mr Laycock said that Radius was a good way of promoting independent businesses, which he said had a “pivotal” role to play in the city. He said that while big businesses provided the building blocks for a city, it was the independent firms that provided a difference with their character.

David Laycock.

David Laycock.

Given Leeds’ reputation as a digital and creative industry hub, Mr Laycock said that it made sense to have an app like Radius. He said: “It makes sense, as the largest employment base in digital and creative industries outside London, for Leeds to launch a new app that really celebrates the points of difference in the city.”

Radius was developed by Leeds-based designer David Simmonds.

When I looked outside Trinity I saw there’s a real rich variety that wasn’t being connected...