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|Leeds city centre|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||190 mi (310 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||LS1, LS2, LS10, LS11|
Leeds city centre is the central business district of Leeds, West Yorkshire. England. It is roughly bounded by the Inner Ring Road to the north and the River Aire to the south and can be divided into several quarters.
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The Arena Quarter is a mixed-use area best known for being the home of the First Direct Arena.
Its location is directly north of Merrion Street. The Inner Ring Road borders the district on both the east and north boundary, with Woodhouse Lane acting as the district's western boundary. It is mainly made up of high-rise residential properties and developments, including Sky Plaza and Opal 3. Altus House is the tallest building in Yorkshire. Other major institutions are located within the Quarter, including the Yorkshire Bank HQ and also the Merrion Centre. Queen Square is also found here.
The Calls is close to the River Aire. It is directly south of the Retail Quarter and to the west of Crown Point Road. The area's decline began in the early 20th century when industry moved away from the centre out towards Hunslet, Holbeck, Armley and Kirkstall. From 1985 to 1995 Leeds Corporation carried out a major regeneration with a careful conversion of listed building warehouses and new build in sympathetic style for a mixed-use area.
Many of the area's old industrial buildings have now been converted into modern flats and commercial buildings. The western part of the area is centred on Lower Briggate, where Leeds' LGBT nightlife is focused.
The Civic Quarter is the area roughly north-west of The Headrow and west of the Arena Quarter. It is home to a number of grand Victorian buildings that are important in the civic life of the city. Prominent landmarks include Leeds Magistrates' and Crown Courts, the City Library, City Art Gallery and Leeds Town Hall, which was completed in 1858 and opened by Queen Victoria. The city's largest hospital, the Leeds General Infirmary, has been operating here since 1869.
Behind Leeds Town Hall are Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall. Millennium Square was a flagship project to mark the year 2000 and hosts regular concerts, with past performers including the Kaiser Chiefs, Bridewell Taxis, HARD-Fi, Fall Out Boy and Embrace. Leeds Civic Hall was opened in 1933 by King George V and is home to the Lord Mayor's Room and the council chambers. Many barristers' chambers and solicitors' offices are found here because of the close proximity to the courts. Also nearby are Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds, Leeds College of Art and the Park Lane and Technology campuses of Leeds City College.
The Cultural Quarter is in the east of the city centre on Quarry Hill. Landmarks here include the BBC building, which moved from Woodhouse Lane in August 2004; the Leeds Playhouse, which opened in March 1990; Leeds College of Music, which moved to its current location in 1997; and Northern Ballet which moved to the area in 2010. Leeds City College also has a large campus here.
Leeds Dock also lies to the south of the Cultural Quarter and is where the Royal Armouries Museum can be found. The building, designed by architect Derek Walker, was built at a cost of £42.5 million and completed in two years, and has since become one of the city's major tourist attractions
The Financial Quarter is bounded by Park Row to the East, Leeds Inner Ring Road to the west, The Headrow to the north and Wellington Street to the south. It is centred on the Georgian Park Square, one of the green spaces in Leeds city centre. The City Centre Loop passes through the quarter, using City Square, Quebec Street, King Street and East Parade. Leeds Law School is at Cloth Hall Court. Major names can be found in the financial quarter such as Aviva and The Bank of England.
The district has grown out towards the west of the city. The Wellington Place development and the wider Wellington Gardens area of the city contain a number of international corporations. Wellington Place is currently under construction.
Historically, Holbeck Urban Village was Holbeck's closest area to the centre of Leeds. Due to the expansion of the city, it is now considered part of the city centre and was rezoned as Holbeck Urban Village, following the completion of a number of developments. is the name given by local government and planning agencies to a mixed-use urban renewal area south of Leeds railway station.
Bridgewater Place and also Granary Wharf are within Holbeck Urban Village. The new High Speed 2 station will border this area of Leeds, which is why much of the area is considered prime location for development.
The Shopping Quarter, extends south from the Headrow and includes Leeds' major shopping locations. It is considered the retail core of Leeds, containing Corn Exchange, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Trinity Leeds and also both Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter. Kirkgate and Briggate are the oldest streets in Leeds, from which the city grew. The Shopping Quarter can be subdivided into several areas including Victoria, a high-end shopping district home to one of the UK's only Harvey Nichols stores.
Development of the area has seen two new additional indoor malls, Victoria Gate and Trinity Leeds.
Opened 21 March 2013,Trinity Leeds shopping centre had a surge of 130,000 people enter its doors on the first day of opening. Costing £350m, and creating 3,000 jobs, this was a major development for Leeds. It was the only major retail development to open in the UK in 2013. It covers 1,000,000 sq ft (92,900 sq m) with key anchor stores being Topman and M&S. Other stores in the centre include Apple, River Island, Next, Hollister, H&M, Primark, Everyman, Conran Restaurants and Mango. It has a capacity for 120 shops and numerous pop-up shops.
Victoria Gate's construction was completed in 2016 and won numerous awards as one of the best malls in the world. It houses the city centre's John Lewis department store, along with many other flagship stores of premium brands. Older parts of the Victorian District include department stores in Leeds which have historically included Lewis's, which became Allders in 1996 and latterly closed in 2005, Schofields which was taken over by House of Fraser in 1988 and closed in 1996, the Co-op which closed in the mid 1990s, Littlewoods which closed in the late 1990s and is now occupied by Zara and H&M, C&A which closed in 2001 and is currently occupied by Next Clearance (until demolition for construction of the Trinity Quarter) and Marshall & Snelgrove which became part of Debenhams and closed in the 1970s and lies of the site of Lloyds TSB on Park Row have disappeared but currently department stores include Debenhams (historically known as Matthias Robinson), Harvey Nichols (which when opened in 1996 became the first branch outside London), Marks and Spencer, BHS and House of Fraser (formerly a Woolworths, it temporarily became premises for Schofields and latterly became Rackhams before becoming House of Fraser in 1996).
Most streets in the District are connected to Briggate, one of the main shopping streets, home to several national and international food chains, like McDonald's, Burger King and Nando's, and international shopping chains, including Zara. Off Briggate are several of Leeds' famous shopping arcades, such as Thornton's Arcade and the Victoria Quarter. Briggate was fully pedestrianised in 1996 and connected the two previously pedestrian areas either side of it. Other shopping attractions include the Corn Exchange, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Granary Wharfe, Leeds Shopping Plaza, Headrow Shopping Centre, The Light, the St John's Centre,and Crown Point Retail park which lies half a mile away from the retail core.
Within the Financial Quarter
Elsewhere in the city centre
Outside of the city centre, First Direct have their headquarters at Stourton, while HBOS have major offices in Lovell Park.
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Each Christmas the streets of Leeds city centre are decorated with a variety of Christmas lights. The widely publicised ‘switch-on' ceremony is in early November, when a celebrity flicks the switch to illuminate the decorations at Victoria Gardens and usually attracts tens-of-thousands of people to the turning on ceremony. When Leeds Lights were first established in 1983, the switch on was held on the 4th Thursday of November, however it has since been brought forward. The illuminations are renowned as being the largest display in the United Kingdom, spanning over 13 miles of city centre streets and using over 2 million low energy light bulbs.
Leeds is notable for designing, manufacturing and maintaining its own Christmas Light motifs. Its workshop began as a place to provide people with disabilities some employment opportunities. Its workshop has had several locations, beginning in a temporary location near Chapeltown Road, then to the old disused Whitbread Brewery site at Kirkstall and from 1993 to the present Seacroft location. Leeds City Council was the only local authority to do this for some years but now a small number have followed Leeds Lights example in preparing their own displays where as most other councils buy in their lights and services. The lights are repaired and pressure cleaned annually at the Leeds Lights workshop in Seacroft throughout the year. 80,000 coloured lamps are stored at the workshop, and 2000m of coloured rope light are used. A team of 14 works all year round producing the display. From October–January, a team of 9 works to erect the lights ready for the switch on in early November, before removing the lights after Christmas.
Commercial advertising has been permitted on some of the lights, such as The Headrow's champagne bottle lights.
Celebrities who turned on the Leeds Christmas lights:
Leeds city centre is served by Leeds City railway station. The station is one of 20 in Great Britain to be managed by Network Rail. It is the busiest English station outside London, and the UK's second busiest station outside London after Glasgow Central.The station serves national, regional and suburban railway services.
The city centre is served by Leeds Bradford Airport. This is situated in Yeadon approximately seven miles North West of the city centre. The city centre is linked to the airport by the 757 Yorkshire Tiger bus service. The airport serves major European destinations as well as many further afield.
Traffic passing past Leeds city centre is diverted away from the main areas by the Leeds Inner Ring Road, an urban motorway passing the East, North and West of the city centre. Much of the Inner Ring Road is in tunnels so not visible to passing pedestrians. All major routes into Leeds head towards the city centre. The city centre is served by the M621 motorway.
The most notable bus service within central Leeds is the LeedsCityBus service operated by First Leeds and funded by West Yorkshire Metro. This service runs every few minutes in a clockwise direction around the city centre. It serves major transport interchanges and both universities as well as the main shopping and financial districts. There have been calls for a second FreeCityBus to serve emerging business, leisure and residential districts in the southern part of central Leeds.
Leeds city centre has its main bus station in the east of the city. However, as a rule only buses heading out of the City of Leeds and National Express services use it. Local First Leeds buses use stops on the city streets, or a number of smaller bus stations, referred to as bus points, at Bond Street, Infirmary Street, Leeds railway station and the Corn Exchange.
Wakefield is a cathedral city in the City of Wakefield District of West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census.
Shipley is a historic market town and civil parish in the City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, by the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, north of Bradford. The population of the Shipley ward on Bradford City Council taken at the 2011 Census was 15,483.
Leeds railway station is the mainline railway station serving the city centre of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is the third-busiest railway station in the UK outside London. It is located on New Station Street to the south of City Square, at the bottom of Park Row, behind the landmark Queens Hotel. It is one of 20 stations managed by Network Rail.
Meadowhall Interchange is a transport interchange located in north-east Sheffield, consisting of a combined heavy rail station, tram stop and bus and coach station. The second-busiest heavy rail station in the city in terms of passenger numbers, Meadowhall Interchange provides connections between National Rail services, the Sheffield Supertram light rail network, intercity coach services and the city bus network.
Swansea city centre in Swansea, Wales, contains the main shopping, leisure and nightlife district in Swansea. The city centre covers much of the Castle ward including the area around Oxford Street, Castle Square, and the Quadrant Shopping Centre; Alexandra Road, High Street, Wind Street and the Castle; Parc Tawe; and the Maritime Quarter extending down to the seafront.
The Merrion Centre is a shopping centre in located in Arena Quarter area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Since opening in 1964, the centre has been owned and managed by Town Centre Securities. Originally open air, the centre had a roof installed during the 1970s.
Schofields was a department store that operated on the Headrow in Leeds, England, from 1901 to 1996. For much of the 20th century Schofields was regarded as being the pinnacle of shopping in Leeds city centre.
Briggate is a pedestrianised principal shopping street in Leeds city centre, England. Historically it was the main street, leading north from Leeds Bridge, and housed markets, merchant's houses and other business premises. It contains many historic buildings, including the oldest in the city, and others from the 19th and early-20th century, including two theatres. It is noted for the yards between some older buildings with alleyways giving access and Victorian shopping arcades, which were restored in late 20th century. The street was pedestrianised in the early-21st century.
The Headrow is an avenue in Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire, England.
The economy of Leeds is the most diverse economy of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city and has the highest ratio of public to private sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is the largest legal and financial centre in the UK outside of London, and in 2011 its financial and insurance services industry was worth £2.1 billion. with more than 30 national and international banks located in the city. Leeds is also the UK's third largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city. The largest sub-sectors are engineering, printing and publishing, food and drink, chemicals and medical technology. Leeds is also ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; Over the next ten years, the economy is forecast to grow by 25% with financial and business services set to generate over half of GVA growth over that period with Finance and business services accounting for 38% of total output. Other key sectors include retail, leisure and the visitor economy, construction, manufacturing and the creative and digital industries.
Trinity Leeds is a shopping and leisure centre in the city centre of Leeds, England, named after the adjacent 18th-century Holy Trinity Church. Developed by Land Securities and designed by Chapman Taylor, it opened on 21 March 2013, with over 130,000 recorded visitors on opening day.
Leeds Kirkgate Market is a market in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England located on Vicar Lane. It is the largest covered market in Europe. There are currently 800 stalls which attract over 100,000 visitors a week
Holbeck is an inner city area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It begins on the southern edge of Leeds city centre and mainly lies in the LS11 postcode district. The M1 and M621 motorways used to end/begin in Holbeck. Now the M621 is the only motorway that passes through the area since the end of the M1 moved to Hook Moor near Aberford. Since large parts of Holbeck have been vacated in preparation for the regeneration of the area, the district has in large parts suffered from a population exodus. Holbeck had a population of 5,505 in 2011. The district currently falls within the Beeston and Holbeck ward of Leeds City Council.
Loidis, from which Leeds derives its name, was anciently a forested area of the Celtic kingdom of Elmet. The settlement certainly existed at the time of the Norman conquest of England and in 1086 was a thriving manor under the overlordship of Ilbert de Lacy. It gained its first charter from Maurice de Gant in 1207 yet only grew slowly throughout the medieval and Tudor periods. The town had become part of the Duchy of Lancaster and reverted to the crown in the medieval period, so was a Royalist stronghold at the start of the English Civil War.
Leeds is the largest city in the county of West Yorkshire in Northern England, approximately 170 miles (270 km) north of central London. It has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a "High Sufficiency" level city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. The city is served by five universities, has the UK's fourth-largest student population and the country's fourth-largest urban economy.
The Light is a leisure and retail centre in central Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It occupies the rectangular space between The Headrow on the south, St Anne's Street on the north, Cookridge Street on the west, and Albion Street. Two former streets divide it: Upper Fountaine Street (east-west) and Cross Fountaine Street (north-south) now covered with a glass roof. It incorporates two listed buildings Permanent House and the Headrow Buildings.
Victoria Leeds is a shopping and leisure area in Leeds city centre. It combines the 1990 Victoria Quarter west of Vicar Lane and the 2016 Victoria Gate shopping centre east of Vicar Lane. It includes a casino and major stores such as Harvey Nichols and John Lewis and Partners, and the largest stained glass work in Britain, by artist Brian Clarke.
The architecture of Leeds, a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England, encompasses a wide range of architectural styles and notable buildings. As with most northern industrial centres, much of Leeds' prominent architecture is of the Victorian era. However, the City of Leeds also contains buildings from as early as the Middle Ages such as Kirkstall Abbey, one of Britain's best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries, as well as examples of 20th century industrial architecture, particularly in the districts of Hunslet and Holbeck.
Leeds Civic Trust is a voluntary organisation and registered charity established in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1965. Affiliated to the national charity Civic Voice, its stated purpose is "to stimulate public interest in and care for the beauty, history, and character of the city and locality, to encourage high standards of design, architecture and town planning; [and] to encourage the development and improvement of features of general public amenity".
Leeds City bus station serves the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is owned and managed by Metro. It is situated between the Quarry Hill and Leeds City Markets areas of Leeds city centre. The National Express Dyer Street Coach Station adjoins the bus station. It can be accessed from York and Dyer Streets.
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