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9 Things We’re Looking Forward to in 2017

· Joseph Sheerin · Discussion

From promotion to new developments, 2017 will be as busy as ever.

OnRoundhay

2017 is set to be another huge year for Leeds, with loads of things to look forward to.

2016 was great year for Leeds, but 2017 is set to follow suit, with loads going on for people to look forward to. Whether it’s the arrival of an pioneering eco-friendly school, work beginning on landmark developments across the city or just a slew of new food and drink openings that you won’t want to miss, find out what’s coming in the year ahead.

The fiftieth anniversary of Leeds West Indian Carnival

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Credit: Ali Turner

Leeds West Indian Carnival is the oldest of its kind in Europe, which makes it a special event in itself. However, 2017 holds extra importance as it marks the event’s 50th anniversary. Expect colourful costumes, incredible dancing and wonderful music, as the parade makes its way through Chapeltown to Potternewton Park where the festival spirit continues with street food and entertainment.

A slew of new food and drink openings

George's Great British Kitchen

Hardly a week goes by without a new food and drink venue opening its doors in Leeds and it looks like 2017 will be no different. By our count, there are already 15 new openings planned for 2017, from refined Chinese restaurants to renowned burger joints and classy prosecco bars.

The arrival of a game-changing school in a shipping container

The Works School

Plans have been approved for a new eco school in the South Bank. Based in a series of shipping containers, it will be a solar-powered facility focussed on practical skills and training rather than standard classroom learning. It’s being set up by charity The Works, who also have a skate park in the city, and aims to make learning more fun. The open date pencilled is in for May, so the city will soon have ground-breaking new way of learning.

Another major music event at Roundhay Park

OnRoundhay Festival

The first major music festival at Roundhay Park in a decade went down a storm in 2016. The onRoundhay Festival proved that Leeds can make use of one of the biggest parks in Europe to put on stellar musical events, attracting James, Primal Scream and Wolf Alice. They’re already planning to return in 2017 to do it all over again – fingers crossed it’s bigger and better than ever.

Leeds United in the Premier League… maybe

Elland Road, Home of Leeds United

Credit: Chris Robertshaw licensed for commercial reuse under Creative Commons.

It’s no longer a pipe dream (or a heavy dose of sarcasm). Leeds United are in the heady heights of the play-offs and the dream that’s been in the minds of Whites’ fans since relegation from the Premier League at the end of 2003-04 is looking like a real possibility. Can Garry Monk lead the Leeds lads to glory? Here’s hoping…

A plan for devolution

Our Favourite Leeds Buildings - Civic Hall - WEB

With Brexit and all the other political goings on in 2016, devolution has fallen off the table a bit over the past year. The idea is to make things easier for local governments to do things to help their communities, taking powers from Westminster and putting them right here, something that is vital to both the city’s and the region’s progress. While over cities have moved ahead with their plans, Leeds has struggled to agree on anything. With a 2017 deadline to put plans in place to lay out what the city can control – by this time 12 months, we’ll hopefully have a better idea as to that and the impact it will have Leeds and its residents.

The arrival of the Dakota Hotel

Dakota Hotel, Leeds

For a while now, Bond Court has been a building site. The old stacker car park has come down and the Dakota Hotel has risen in its place over the last 18 months. It’s set to open in early 2017, and when it does, it’ll help to change the face of the area, bringing 90 deluxe rooms across 10 storeys with a £20 million investment in Bond Court.

A new start for The Majestic

The Majestic, Leeds

When fire gutted The Majestic in October 2014, many feared for the building’s future, but while much of the inside was lost, the stunning facade has been saved – and now it will finally be put back to use. New plans have been released for a huge glass structure that will rise out of the Leeds landmark, creating a 65,000 square foot office development – and work is set to start in 2017.

The re-opening of Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art Gallery is one of the city’s biggest touring attractions, but we’ve been without for nearly a year now as they set about restoring the roof and improving access. It’s going to take longer than originally expected, but our impressive collection of twentieth century art should be back on display by autumn 2017 – and we can’t wait.

Feature image copyright Andrew Benge.