2019 will be another huge year for Leeds, with loads of things to look forward to…
We’ve got a really good feeling about 2019. There are already some great projects in the pipeline, with oodles of new openings to get excited about, but what are you looking forward to the most? We’ve put together a list of ten things that will make 2019 one to remember – but don’t be shy, let us know in the comments what would make your list.
A slew of new openings
So far, we’ve got a list of 14 new openings coming in 2019 – and it hasn’t even started yet. Imagine how many more we’ll have by the time the year is out. There’s a new rooftop bar in Trinity Leeds, a permanent eatery for an Indian street food favourite and the first all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant in the city. But it’s not just food and drink – there’s also a retro gaming venue, a support centre for people dealing with cancer and two new hotels.
The re-opening of Leeds Playhouse
The £15.8 million refurbishment of Leeds Playhouse will be finished this summer. It’s the theatre’s first update in nearly 30 years, and will add much-needed facilities, like improved disabled access and a street-facing entrance, as well as a restaurant, cafe and bar. There’s a new theatre too. The Bramall Rock Void will add a 100-seat auditorium under the building, creating a dedicated space for innovative new productions and their youth development programme.
The return of Leeds United to the Premier League
The dream that’s been in the minds of Whites’ fans since relegation from the Premier League at the end of 2003-04 is starting to look like a real possibility. They’ve been in the automatic promotion places for the majority of the season, so the hunt for the top division is definitely on and they’re in good form. Can Marcelo Bielsa lead them, and us, to glory? Here’s hoping…
The city’s new innovation centre
NEXUS is the new £40 million Innovation and Enterprise Centre at the University of Leeds and it will finally open in January 2019. Designed to drive innovation through collaboration, it will bring bring businesses and academics together to solve real problems, covering everything from health and engineering to data and the environment. That, in turn, will help boost the city’s ever-growing reputation as a forward-thinking hub for modern innovation.
The two big events coming to Roundhay Park
There are already two huge events planned for Roundhay Park in 2019. Tom Kerridge’s hugely successful food and music festival Pub in the Park turns up in May and June. That’s followed by two huge concerts from pop favourite Ed Sheeran in August. It’s been three years since Roundhay Park last hosted a major outdoor concert and more than 140,000 people will see the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ star, which will beat Robbie Williams’ attendance record set when he played the park in 2006. Here’s hoping this is a sign of things to come…
The new Leeds City College campus
The £57 million Leeds City College campus opens in 2019. The 11-storey complex on Quarry Hill will provide state-of-the-art facilities for vital courses like Digital, Creative Arts and Health Sciences. It will give the next generation of talent the best opportunity to succeed as they make use of the specialist childcare training centre, a new set of science, computing and digital technology labs and a dedicated arts performance centre, which will also be used by their neighbours, Leeds College of Music.
The long-awaited arrival of the city’s ice rink
It’s finally here. After 6 years of construction and one big storm that blew it all down, the new ice rink on Elland Road will open in early 2019. Planet Ice will have room for 1,800 people, so get ready to don a pair of blades and circle their enormous ice rink. They’re going to run skating classes and you can even try your hand at ice hockey or ice dancing. When you’re done, head to the bar or grab a bite to eat in the on-site restaurant.
The new and improved Headingley Stadium
The Emerald Headingley Stadium is undergoing the biggest renovation in its 128-year history and the £40 million project will be completed in 2019. The old shared stand will be replaced by a new stand with up to 4,200 seats and the rugby side will get a new 7,700-capacity South Stand. It will have a massive impact on the city as a world-class sporting venue, in fact, the 2019 Cricket World Cup and 2021 Rugby League World Cup are already on their way to Leeds.
The arrival of a world-renowned cycling race
The UCI Road World Championships will take place in Yorkshire for the first time ever in 2019. Harrogate is the hosting the event, but Leeds will be the starting line for the Men’s Elite Road Race. It will kick off in Millennium Square and head north through Headingley and Otley, before circling around the Yorkshire Dales and finishing in Harrogate. But that’s not all, because Leeds Cares is the Official Fundraising Partner, which means this huge event will help support Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
A solution to our transport woes
Is it too much to hope that this year might be the year? So far, every transport solution we’ve been given has fallen short, but as we look at all the exciting new developments in the pipeline for Leeds, it becomes blatantly clear that what Leeds really needs is an integrated transport system and until we get it, we’re not going anywhere… much like the traffic.