Last week, Leeds City Council started unveiling its roadwork-free spaces across the city centre- and the new green space outside the Corn Exchange has been more than well received.
Holding a day of celebrations for the new city spaces, which are covered in trees and seats with no vehicle access, the corner of Call Lane was packed with arts, music and dance performances.
The events were all staged on the new pedestrianised area, which has been under construction for the past year. Including performances from Opera North, Foxwood Panyard with bhangra and breakdance performances to keep all ages entertained whilst they perched on a new seat to admire the greenery or take part in craft activities, face painting or learnt new circus skills.
Forming an important part of a public realm scheme and a major package of Connecting Leeds highways improvements, (included as a component of the £173.5 million Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme)- if you haven’t seen the difference the removal of the roadworks makes, you’ll struggle to recognise the Call Lane corner.
Saturday’s celebrations marked both the £1.2million public realm scheme and the wider £25m highways improvements project. This included seeing the likes of Regent Street Flyover finally open for full public use, which has been under construction since May 2022.
In addition to this, Leeds City Council had been working in tandem with the construction on Meadow Lane, Cookridge Street and Greek Street and made these areas roadwork-free as construction finally came to an end last week.
According to Leeds City Council, the new unveilings “underline the council’s commitment to giving Leeds a greener, better connected and more inclusive city centre.”
During the event, speeches were given by Councillor James Lewis, the leader of the council, and Councillor Helen Hayden, the council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, as well as important figures from the construction.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, commented that “It was wonderful to see so many people out enjoying themselves at the event – there was a lovely atmosphere and we were delighted to receive plenty of positive feedback.
“We are really proud of the improvements that have been made around the Corn Exchange and this weekend’s celebrations were a great way of showcasing them to the public.
Meanwhile, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin shared her excitement at the new space, stating: “It was great to see so many people making use of this new space to relax.
“Improving cycling and walking forms a key part of my pledge to tackle the climate emergency.
“I’m delighted that the Combined Authority is able to play its part, not only in these schemes but others around our town and city centres, to create more green spaces and space for active travel.”
Feature Image- Leeds City Council