The future success of the high street depends on more than just shops and brands.
With more demand from the consumer for it to be a leisure experience, there needs to be more food and drink, night-time activity but also an attractive environment that people want to come to.
While Kate Hardcastle calls for towns and cities to address these gaps in the market, LeedsBID has employed dedicated teams to keep our high street safe and clean with the mantra that “first impressions count”.
While the rest of the city is only just stirring and before the sun comes up, LeedsBID’s street rangers are out and about on a daily basis clearing litter, removing chewing gum and power washing the pavements as well as reacting to hotspots and isolated incidents.
In planned works to date they have cleaned the equivalent of the city loop eight times.
As people start to arrive in the city for work, meetings and appointments, or just a day mooching about, LeedsBID’s Welcome Ambassadors are on hand to set you off on your day.
Each one chats to an average of 40 people per day from giving directions to personally meeting and greeting high profile visitors to Leeds.
Then as the day comes to a close and people head out for the night, the Leeds Evening Ambassadors, all with professional security training, are deployed on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm to the early hours.
They work help address anti-social behaviour, crime intervention and are on hand to make sure people get home safely at the end of the night.
Andrew Cooper, chief executive of LeedsBID, said: “We want to make sure our city centre remains vibrant as a destination and not just for shopping.
“We work with all city centre businesses to ensure this is achievable. This is why we clean Briggate, it is like our London Oxford Street.
“Look at the Trinity, Victoria Gate and The Merrion - someone manages those areas and you have a great experience.
“Our job is to make sure the spaces in between are as well managed and kept clean. We are working with these landlords to make sure we continue to punch our weight as a top destination.”