Let's support our indies and locals as they work together to revive Leeds - YEP says
There’s nothing better than the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre.
Arms engulfed by shopping bags, mouths replenished with a cold beer or cocktail, the high street decorated with beaming faces as conversation and laughter fill the air - it’s great to see people back out and enjoying all there is to offer in the heart of our city.
As businesses reopened last week, more than 201,000 people visited Briggate, with Leeds City Council recording a total footfall of 211,829 across the city centre in the first ‘reopened’ weekend.
These are heartening figures as we see people breathing life back into our city and making the most of it as lockdown eases.
But as shoppers make an emphatic return to the high street, let’s remember the lifeblood of Leeds - our locals and independents.
This past year has been challenging for businesses.
They have worked tirelessly to adapt, often changing the way they operate completely.
Some, despite their best efforts, were forced to close completely due to factors entirely out of their control.
So now as we get back out there, the landscape of our city centre has changed.
Major names like Topshop have disappeared, while Debenhams has only reopened for its final closing down sale.
And sadly, some of our indies have been badly-hit by the pandemic as well.
We’ve loved and lost Call Lane’s rock and heavy metal music hub, Bad Apples Rock Bar, and other popular clubs like Mission were also forced to close.
So, as we become familiar again with our high street, let’s remember those who aren’t a part of that hustle and bustle any more.
And as we do, let’s support those indies who need us to carry on - those who live, breathe and work Leeds.
Those people and families who rely on our support to keep them, and their businesses, going.
Those who are there for us when we need a shop, or a drink, or a chat.
This is what Savannah Roqaa, known as The Savvy Baker, speaks so passionately about in today’s edition of the Big Leeds Weekend.
Savannah is a 24-year-old woman who began baking brownies in her kitchen in north Leeds last year.
Now, Savannah’s small, independent business is about to become a part of our city centre for the very first time this weekend.
However, if she wants to continue to be a part of the feel-good atmosphere in Leeds, she relies on every single one of us to support her.
So let’s support locals, like Savannah, now more than ever, as they work together to revive our city.