(Originally issued on 20 March 2013)
People who have worked on the Leeds Arena over the past two years were invited to a special thank-you event yesterday (19 March), prior to the building being handed over to Leeds City Council.
With construction of the 13,500-seat capacity venue due to be complete in the coming weeks, those who have worked on the arena and their families were invited to get an exclusive look around the impressive new building, which will soon be hosting the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John.
The celebratory event was also an opportunity to raise money for Macmillian cancer care with a charity raffle. Lucky winners got VIP tickets to see Elton John as well and Harvey Nichols vouchers.
Leeds City Council will soon hand over the reins to SMG Europe, who will be responsible for running the Arena, so they can undertake the internal fit out works ready for the first performance by Bruce Springsteen this summer.
Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for economy and development said:
“The construction of the Leeds arena has been a great success with the project being delivered on time and on budget.
“The construction has seen contracts with 60 businesses from Leeds; created and safeguarded 220 jobs for Leeds residents and seen 90 apprentices work on the scheme. The venue is of great importance to Leeds, and I am delighted that so many Leeds businesses and workers have played such a key role in its construction.
“It is only right that these hard workers get to celebrate what a wonderful building they have helped to create and the event was a nice way to say thank you to those who have worked so hard whilst raising money for a good cause. “
Work on the £60m arena, which will bring world class entertainment to Leeds, started in February 2011, and the building was topped-out by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth during her Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012.
The Arena will host more than 140 events each year when it is completed later this year – including rock concerts, boxing matches, comedy shows and ice dancing.
Once complete, the Leeds Arena will be a theatre style venue with all seats facing the performance area, with perfect sight-lines and spectators much closer to the stage than other traditional bowl venues. The external design is a stunning honeycomb of lights that can change colour to reflect the mood of event at the time.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713