'Looks like a bouncy castle': Readers react to Leeds Kirkgate Market entrance makeover

Leeds residents have reacted to a planned revamp of one of the entrances to Kirkgate Market.
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And it's fair to say, that reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.

Leeds City Council has approved plans to repaint the surface of the building to create a ‘multi-coloured 3D geometric tunnel’ effect.

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Award-winning artist Rob Lee has been commissioned to develop the 'bold and eye-catching' work on the New York Street entrance, which is currently composed of mostly corrugated iron.

The New York Street entrance to Leeds Kirkgate Market.The New York Street entrance to Leeds Kirkgate Market.
The New York Street entrance to Leeds Kirkgate Market.

A supporting statement on the council's website read: “This location was identified by the Markets team as it is currently unattractive and not an inviting entrance to the market building. It is one of the busiest entrances to the market especially during the Leeds Night Light event."

The council documents stated: “The artwork itself is an optical illusion creating what appears to be a three dimensional tunnel effect yet being applied to a two dimensional surface.

“It is considered that this effect will help accentuate and animate the entrance to the market without offering an impact outside of the immediate locality of the entrance, with the artwork only revealing itself on direct approaches to the entrance or via a sideways glance moving eastwards on New York Street.

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“As noted by the conservation officer, the polychromatic geometrical design has a resonance with the late Victorian architecture which is the predominant character of this part of the city centre conservation area and is considered to be an enhancement of the conservation area setting.”

Most of the commenters on the Yorkshire Evening Post's Facebook page disagreed, however.

Laura Daleys said: "It looks absolutely ridiculous. It looks like some kind of fun house and will look very out of place."

Angela Hargreaves said: "Although I’m keen with seeing the market looking more updated this is definitely not what it needs. The picture looks hideous and will most definitely spoil the look of the market."

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Jo Hart agreed, adding: "It looks gaudy I love stand out and colourful but don't do this to Leeds market!"

Mick Wilde was one of the few voices in favour.

"Fantastic, mixing modern with old, works in every tourist city in the world," he said.

But Carolyn Morris summed up how many felt. "This is awful and totally against the character of the market building," she said.

While Paula Hanlon added: "What the hell have the designers been smoking! Just leave it alone; progress doesn't always mean "better" you know."