Video: Reindeer trail marks festive push to make Leeds a go-to Christmas destination

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A magical reindeer trail is being launched as a national campaign to boost the profile of Leeds continues to bring millions of pounds into the city.

The news that 16 uniquely decorated reindeer statues will be placed all around Leeds from Monday November 17, comes as the collaborative ‘Magical Leeds’ campaign was unveiled by Leeds and Partners and Leeds City Council today.

Artists Brett Thompson and Jonny Packham graffiti a zebra reindeer sponsored by Trinity Kitchen. Picture Tony Johnson.

Artists Brett Thompson and Jonny Packham graffiti a zebra reindeer sponsored by Trinity Kitchen. Picture Tony Johnson.

The campaign is part of the VisitEngland-led Growing Tourism Locally project, funded by more than £580,000 from Government’s Regional Growth Fund and nearly £500,000 of private investment, and will see a series of Christmas activities showcase the city as a go-to destination for short breaks to audiences as far afield as Scotland, the Midlands, London and the South East.

Deborah Copeland, marketing and communications director at Leeds and Partners, has revealed that the project, which launched in early 2013, has so far brought £13million of incremental visitor spend to the region as well as 272 new jobs.

“Our exposure nationally and the interest we are generating nationally from the media is definitely on the up and our visitor numbers reflect that,” she said. “This year, all city partners are working together to send a clear message that Leeds is the place to be this Christmas.”

Magical Leeds is the product of collaboration between major businesses and authorities all over the city including Leeds City Council, Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre and Opera North. Seasonal highlights include a large-scale magical forest and Santa’s Grotto in the basement rooms of Leeds Town Hall, festive concerts such as The Nutcracker and The Snowman as well as the Leeds Christkindelmarkt, which opens in Millennium Square on Friday.

Kevin Duffy, centre director at Trinity Leeds, added: “To get to this situation where we have a massive coordinated campaign that the whole city is behind is phenomenal. We want to make sure Leeds is the place to be.”

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* Leeds Reindeer Trail: A festive art installation of life-sized reindeer statues positioned around Leeds, each one uniquely decorated and sponsored by a Leeds firm from November 17.

* Kirkgate Market: Christmas carols will fill the market, a ‘Santa and the Starfruit’ play will be staged and stalls will be dressed up for a ‘Best Dressed Stall’ competition.

* Temple Newsam: The ‘500 Years of Christmas’ events will include a Tudor banquet display, carol karaoke and a secret winter wonderland.

* Animation: Every Thursday and Sunday during December Leeds city centre will host festive magicians, illuminated stilt walkers, magical birds and a festive fire show.


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