Dawn of colourful new era for Leeds’s Clarence Dock

Artist Tim Smith with one of his paintings which will mask Clarence Dock during construction.
Artist Tim Smith with one of his paintings which will mask Clarence Dock during construction.
Have your say

A COLOURFUL new era is dawning for the once-troubled Clarence Dock area of Leeds city centre.

The owner of the site - now renamed Leeds Dock - today confirmed details of a bold bid to make it a “vibrant, must-visit destination”.

Property company Allied London is creating new public gardens along the main approach to the dock waterfront.

Tiered grass banks are also being put in place to provide seating areas for outdoor events.

Entertainment designed to pull in the visitors that the site has previously struggled to attract includes a street food and vintage festival on July 19 and 20.

A proposed transformation of the closed Alea casino building into state-of-the-art offices for technology, media and telecoms firms is also expected to help make the area a hive of activity day in, day out.

Construction will be masked by more than 100 metres of hoarding decorated with stunning designs by some of the UK’s top street artists.

Work on the hoardings began this weekend, led by Leeds-based artist CBloxx, real name Joy Gilleard.

Lucy Whalley, project co-ordinator for Allied London, said: “Leeds Dock will offer people a vibrant and social environment where work meets play. So when we heard that hoardings were being erected, we started to think about what we could do to turn something that’s typically visually boring into something more appealing.”

Clarence Dock’s mix of leisure and retail attractions opened in a blaze of publicity in 2008.

However around half of its 35 shop units ended up lying empty for years.

Allied London, the firm behind Manchester’s successful Spinningfields development, bought the site in early 2012.

PIC: Simon Hulme

£12m Leeds Grand Theatre regeneration plan includes a little extra help from the taxpayer