Leeds Corn Exchange will unveil a new outdoor space after a huge renovation project
Leeds City Council and partners have spent the last year creating the new piece of pedestrianized open space next to the Grade I listed monument.
The creation of the space complements motorway improvements carried out under the council’s Leeds Public Transport Investment Program (LPTIP).
New infrastructure suitable for buses, bicycles and pedestrians has been put in place, both on the roads around the Corn Exchange and on other streets in the city centre.
On Saturday, the stage will be marked in style with a free day of fun and activities in the centre, which was built in the 19th century and is now home to a host of independent businesses.
Councilor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “The Corn Exchange is one of the jewels in Leeds’ crown and we are delighted that it now has the high quality framework quality it deserves.
“Creating public space and improving local roads will breathe new life into the neighborhood while encouraging active travel.
“People-centric infrastructure projects like these will also make our city more investment-friendly and help unlock its full business potential.
“We are very grateful for the support and patience shown by residents and businesses, including the City’s bus operators, as the work took shape.
“Saturday’s celebration event will be a great way to showcase the changes that have been made.”
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Almost 1,750 square meters of green space has been created outside the Corn Exchange by improving two existing pedestrian areas and removing the section of Call Lane that runs between New Market Street and Crown Street.
New seating, trees and sandstone paving are among the design features and the council hopes it can be enjoyed by buyers, workers, local residents and visitors.
An integrated bike path runs east to west alongside this plaza-style area, which will also serve as a venue for pop-up events and gatherings.
In addition to the improvements made by the council, the building’s owner, Rushbond plc, designed and co-financed part of the project to improve the appearance of the area.
Jonathan Maud, Managing Director of Rushbond, said: “It is thanks to the collective vision of everyone involved in this scheme that Leeds Corn Exchange now has a world-class public space befitting this unique gem of a building and a much-loved icon of Leeds.
“Inspired by the marvelous architecture of Cuthbert Brodrick with its striking roof structure, this milestone will allow the building to once again play a central role in the city, linking the beautiful, bustling interior of the Corn Exchange to an elegant outdoor space.
“With the scenery set, we now have the opportunity to allow the magic that takes place inside the Corn Exchange to spill over outside.
“Working with the independent businesses that make the Corn Exchange experience so different, the new public space will host all kinds of events and activities for all to enjoy.”