Nothing puts a spring in your step like the Christmas lights coming on, and this installation is the heart and soul of Leeds’ lights.
Dear Leeds has brightened up Briggate over the last few festive seasons, doubling in size last year to add an even bigger glow to the city centre’s main shopping street. But that’s not the whole story this year – and Leeds is ready to welcome all foodies, families, festive shoppers, art lovers and more to a Christmastime that promises to be brighter than ever before. Here’s everything you need to know.
Ever since LeedsBID commissioned James Glancy Design to turn Kate Ryrie’s Dear Leeds poem into neon glory, it has become a much-loved fixture in winter. The light installation, strung up above the ever-busy thoroughfare of Briggate, has given the street the wow factor, becoming a unique talking point that not only lights the buildings around it and the shoppers below, but also provides food for thought.
The genius lies in the way the poem tells a different story depending on which way you walk down Briggate, and you’ll see first-time visitors to Leeds stopping to read every word and capture a photo. It’s also designed to make locals feel a swell of pride, especially when they read ‘Marching on together’. More imaginative and more daring than your standard Christmas lights, it has been a real success story for the city and for LeedsBID.
There’s more twinkle and dazzle of lights to enjoy as you take care of your Christmas shopping, whether it’s a well-organised family outing, or a last-minute dash for stocking fillers and that cousin you forgot to buy for. Boxes left behind your bin don’t have quite the same appeal as bags bursting with presents that you’ve chosen in the beautifully lit shopping streets and arcades of Leeds.
You can make your way from under the neon on Briggate through to the ski-themed installation at Trinity Leeds or the soaring tree inside the Victoria Quarter and you’ll be filled with the Christmas spirit. And there’s even more to be unveiled. Watch this space and you’ll soon be able to hunt for special Santas dotted all around the city, with clues to solve and fantastic prizes to be won – is there a better reason for taking the family into town?
LeedsBID has been sprinkling magic Christmas dust across the city over the last few years, but that’s not all they’ve been doing. The lighting network has been extended in key locations in Leeds to make it brighter and safer. New additions on Lower Briggate, Call Lane, New Station Street, Albion Street, Central Square and Bond Street have joined the dots in the city centre.
It also helps that the new lighting is all low-energy, making the city glow for a fraction of the cost of old-fashioned equipment, and cutting the city’s carbon footprint. Now that’s Christmas with added feel-good.
Dear Leeds will be lighting Briggate throughout the festive season.