Leeds Civic Trust

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Quay Brothers' Transformation of the Dark Arches into the County Arcade

Kirkgate Market

Leeds Arts Club plaque unveiling 16 May 2012

Leeds Arts Club Plaque, 8 Blenheim Terrace

Director's Blog June 2012 - What's New to the Trust

Welcome to the Trust's new website which went live in May. We've been keen to provide much more accessible information about what the Trust is doing and the hot topics in the city which the Trust is involved in or has a view on. The new website is going to allow us to do this. There are lots of aspects of the site that we can develop, so let us know what you think and any ideas you have for its improvement. You can also follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, and see our Flickr pages too; just click the icons at the top right corner of the Home Page.

This Director's Blog will be updated regularly and will highlight recent activities and topics of interest. For example, did you see the Quay Brothers' astonishing transformation of the Dark Arches as the river cascaded through this weekend, part of the Overworlds and Underworlds event? Why not comment on our Facebook page?

Trust Director on TV (BBC ONE 10.35pm Tuesday 12 June) 'A Great British Story: Along the Aire'

BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire has produced an excellent programme involving a 70 mile boat journey on the River Aire jumping off at key places of interest. I was pleased to be asked to play tour guide as the boat travels through Leeds City Centre. If you missed the programme you can find it on the BBC I-Player in the Yorkshire and Humber regional programme section.

Kirkgate Market

The publication of the Quarterbridge Report commissioned by Leeds City Council which advocates reducing the size of our famous city market by 25% has set alarm bells ringing within the Trust. Just because the market presently has a significant number of empty stalls does not mean that it needs to be smaller. Investment in improving the fabric of the market and better promotion could well greatly reduce the number of vacancies and restore some of the vitality the market has lost in the recession. The Trust's Planning Committee has created its own working group to investigate the situation.

The Trust's Planning Committee had an in depth session with the Council's consultants for the feasibility study, NPS, on 30 May and we are hopeful this will herald a close involvement in work on the study.  For further information on the market please click here.

Leeds Arts Club Celebrated

The Trust's very latest historic blue plaque (no. 135) was unveiled on 16 May at 8 Blenheim Terrace by Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. It commemorates the Leeds Arts Club. Though the life of great industrial cities has often been castigated for its provincial philistinism and narrow-mindedness, from 1903-1923 the club placed Leeds in the vanguard of modernist thinking.

The plaque reads: 


A highly influential forum for the avant-garde in politics, philosophy, art and literature met here from 1908. Ground-breaking exhibitions included the 1913 Post-Impressionist show and Cubist and Futurist Art in 1914. Famous speakers included G. B. Shaw and W. B. Yeats.


Next blue plaque unveiling: The Majestic Cinema, City Square 12.30 pm Thursday 12 July 2012

The Majestic's exterior has been wonderfully renovated by the Rushbond Group. We welcome members of the public to view the unveiling but I regret that only invited guests are able to attend the bun fight which follows.

For more about the Trust's Blue Plaques Scheme click here.

Kevin Grady
Trust Director