Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Victoria Gate breaks new ground as piling work for John Lewis building begins

Caption: Victoria Gate groundbreaker competition winner, Margery Davey with Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan and Cllr Richard Lewis

The first major construction milestone for the £150m Victoria Gate retail development is underway, as piling works for the 24,000m² John Lewis department store, one of the largest outside London, commenced at the official groundbreaking ceremony on July 1st.

Margery Davey, from Adel, who won the Victoria Gate groundbreaker competition joined senior representatives from retail developer Hammerson, Leeds City Council and construction contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to officially mark the event by pushing the button on the piling rig to start work on the foundations.

The piling process is essential to the delivery of Victoria Gate, as it sets deep foundations to enable the arcade and John Lewis building to be supported. To support the John Lewis building 410 piles will be required which will be filled with concrete and in mid July, piling for the arcade will commence with 503 piles. The depth of the piling shafts for the foundations total 12,000m, the equivalent of 30 running tracks and over 5,000m³ of concrete will be poured into the piles – enough to fill two Olympic size swimming pools.

Margery was chosen to become a part of Leeds’ retail history for her tireless work in the local community, including running the Kidz in Kampz Community Charity shop in North West Leeds. Kidz in Kampz provides essential funding to assist the education and welfare of children living in camps for displaced people along the Thai and Burmese borders. Margery’s work has also inspired a community outreach project that works in partnership with Housing Leeds and the Sanctuary Housing Association.

The eagerly awaited Victoria Gate retail development, due to open in Autumn 2016, will feature a 21st century-inspired retail arcade, which builds on the city’s arcade history, featuring up to 30 stores, restaurants, cafes, a casino and multi-storey car park for up to 800 cars.

Hammerson’s Chief Investment Officer, Peter Cole said: “The official groundbreaking ceremony is a significant moment for the Victoria Gate team and the city.

“It was a pleasure to involve such a valued member of the local community in starting to create the foundations of a scheme that will change the city’s retail potential. Not having a John Lewis has been a major gap in Leeds’ shopping offer and this is a major step towards the store opening in 2016.”

Jeremy Collins, Property Director, John Lewis said: "We are delighted to see another important milestone reached on the delivery of our new department store for Leeds. As we look towards opening in 2016 we are focused on working with the local community across a broad range of initiatives from the Business Improvement District to training and recruitment for the new jobs the shop will create."

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for Transport and the Economy, said: “This is a very exciting first phase of what is an important £150m retail development in our city, bringing the eagerly awaited flagship John Lewis store to Leeds. Alongside transforming this part of the city, the first phase will also deliver thousands of much-welcomed jobs and training opportunities.

“Once completed, Victoria Gate will be a high quality shopping quarter that’s a fine addition to the superb retail experience we currently offer. It will also play a role in boosting neighbouring businesses and helping promote connections to surrounding facilities such as Quarry Hill.”

Hammerson is working with contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and key partner Leeds City Council to deliver the scheme.


For media enquiries please contact
Laura Ferris at Leeds City Council press office on 0113 247 5472 or
Emma Stanham or Abi Camwell at Turn Key on 0113 246 1199 or /

Notes to Editors:

Hammerson launched a competition to find the most deserving person in Leeds to become the first, official Victoria Gate groundbreaker, to mark the first major stage in the project’s construction. The winner was chosen from public nomination and undertook groundbreaking duties at the official on site ceremony.

Commuter guidance for Tour de France riders’ parade

Commuters working in Leeds city centre are advised to be aware of the impact on rush-hour traffic due to the Tour de France riders’ parade tomorrow (Thursday) night.

All 198 of the riders taking part in the race will be parading through the city centre from just after 6pm as they make their way to the official Opening Ceremony Team Presentation at Leeds Arena.

The parade will give cycling fans and the public the chance to see all of the riders in action two days before the Grand Depart begins for real on The Headrow in Leeds on the morning of Saturday 5 July.

The riders will follow a route from the university into the city centre along Calverley Street before crossing Millennium Square, heading up Upper Cookridge Street before crossing Clay Pit Lane and turning right onto Merrion Way before a final left turn takes them into the Leeds Arena.

In order to stage the parade, a number of road closures and parking restrictions will be in place in Leeds on Thursday 3 July. These can be seen below and also at

These closures are expected to have a significant impact on commuter traffic, especially for the evening rush hour. Buses will be diverted around the main closures on Woodhouse Lane, and where possible those in the city centre are advised and requested to remain and enjoy the event.

Additional road closures and restrictions for the parade have been announced today. These affect Lovell Park Road and Wade Lane.

Organised by Leeds City Council and Tour organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the parade is free for the public to attend and it is hoped spectators will flock to Millennium Square and Cookridge Street in particular to watch from.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“We recognise this is a working day and given the time of the event it will cause disruption to people’s journeys home from work. I would ask please for people to be patient and understand this is very much a special one-off, and if possible I would advise staying in the city centre and joining in the fun as it really will be something to see and be part of.”

For all the latest Tour de France information for Leeds visit

For the latest news on Yorkshire’s Grand Départ, including travel and transport planning and guidance, visit

Notes to editors:

In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for three stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London on Monday 7 July.


Tour de France 2014 Riders Parade – Thurs 3 July - road closure details

Clarendon Way The Whole
Willow Terrace Road The Whole
Calverley Street (southbound) between Clarendon Way and Great George Street
Portland Gate The Whole
Cookridge Street Between Portland Gate and Woodhouse Lane
Woodhouse Lane At its junction with Clay Pit Lane
Clay Pit Lane (south-west bound) Between the Inner Ring Road and Woodhouse Lane
Merrion Way The Whole
Elmwood Close The Whole
Lovell Park Road Between Grafton Street and Merrion Way (6.15pm-9pm)
Wade Lane Northbound
Castle Street The Whole
Lisbon Street The Whole
Wellington Street Between Queen Street and West Street
West Street Between Wellington Street and Park Lane
Park Lane Between West Street and Hanover Way
Hanover Way The whole
Woodhouse Square The Whole
Clarendon Road The Whole
Woodhouse Lane Between Clarendon Road and Hyde Park Road
Rampart Road Between Woodhouse Lane and Cathcart Street
Calverley St The Whole
Portland Crescent The Whole
Portland Gate The Whole
Cookridge Street The Whole
Clarendon Way The Whole
Willow Terrace Road The Whole
Merrion Way The Whole
Lovell Park Road Between Grafton Street and Lovell Park Hill
Wade Lane The Whole
Portland GateThe whole

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,

Cut price parking for Kirkgate Market shoppers

Discounted parking is being offered to Kirkgate Market shoppers.

From Thursday 3 July, people spending £5 at the market will be able to reduce the cost of an up-to-two hour stay at the nearby NCP car park by £2.

Market customers will pay £3.60 for a stay of up to two hours at the 600 space car park on New York Street.

Shoppers can validate their NCP ticket at the market information centre, at the bottom of row J, on production of receipts totalling £5 from Kirkgate market traders dated the same day.

In addition, a new collect-by-car point has been set up on George Street, alongside the market, so drivers can pick up shoppers and their bags of bargains.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport and economy, said:

“In addition to the work we’ve done to encourage people to use the nearby alternatives and other travel options, we’ve put in place these offers to support traders and help shoppers.

“Despite the major development on the doorstep of the market, the market and traders are very much open for business.

“As well as many loyal customers, people will be supporting the market even if they visit a couple of times a week to buy their lunch or spend a fiver.

“We’ll continue to work with traders to entice people to the market and promote all the available parking and travel options. With ongoing support from the council and shoppers, the market will be in an ideal position, following refurbishment, to benefit from the influx of visitors to the area when Victoria Gate opens.”

The parking offer compliments over 1,800 parking spaces within a five minute walk and around 7,000 parking spaces within a 10 minute walk of Kirkgate Market.

As well as the new discounted offer, improvements to signage directing people to car parks in the vicinity of the market will be made.

People can also take advantage of the newly opened Elland Road park and ride. With buses running every 10 minutes, shoppers can be in the heart of the city centre and picking up quality, value products and produce from the market in 10 minutes.

To make shopping even easier, customers can drop off their purchases for collection later at the market’s helpful shop and drop facility.

Alternatively, customers can benefit from the Market Delivered service – shop for food online and have it delivered directly to your door.


The £2 discount applies to a stay of up to 30 minutes or up to two hours at the NCP car park on New York Street only.

Flowerbeds celebrating Tour de France proving to be a big hit

Caption: (L-R)-Councillor Jack Dunn, Alison Ritchie, Clare Fisher, Moira Robinson, Ben Crawford, Kate Robinson, Emma Cooper and John Tracy (Head of TD Wealth International Europe, which includes TD Direct Investing UK).

Two flowerbeds celebrating the imminent arrival of the Tour de France are causing a stir on a main approach to the city centre.

Planted by Leeds City Council’s parks & countryside team and local business TD Direct Investing, the two bicycles shaped beds located at the bottom of Kirkstall Road, close to the inner ring road, are decorated with yellow marigolds in recognition of the forthcoming Grand Depart which is set to begin this Saturday.

Forming part of an innovative partnership between the council and TD Direct Investing, who are also sponsoring the flowerbeds, this project is another example of the fantastic work being undertaken across the city by corporate volunteers.

Councillor Jack Dunn, Leeds City Council’s lead member for the environment said:

"The two bicycle shaped flowerbeds planted by the council’s parks team and TD Direct Investing at the bottom of Kirkstall Road look absolutely fantastic and are a great example of what can be achieved through corporate volunteering."

John Tracy, Chief Executive Officer of TD Wealth International said:

"TD Direct Investing is really pleased to support this project with Leeds City Council. Our team is incredibly passionate about the local community and the imminent arrival of Le Tour and are hugely enjoying the various support activities we are involved in."

In 2013, 930 days of work on parks and other green spaces in Leeds were undertaken by corporate volunteers from local businesses, charities and organisations, keen to improve their local environment, through a number of means including sponsorship.

Any group, organisation, charity or business interested in sponsoring or undertaking corporate volunteering at a Leeds park, grass verge or roundabout should contact Leeds City Council’s parks and Countryside team on: (0113) 395 7400 or e-mail: for more details.

Councillor Jack Dunn, Leeds City Council’s lead member for the environment continued:

"We are very grateful to all the businesses that support the Parks and Countryside service and contribute to keeping the city green and pleasant throughout the year. We are always on the lookout for new corporate volunteering projects, and I would urge any local groups or businesses who may be interested in sponsoring or undertaking volunteer work at our parks to contact the team to see how they can get involved."

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578