Leeds is getting set to welcome a spectacular new shopping experience to the city this week as the impressive Victoria Gate throws open its doors to the public on Thursday (Oct 20).
People are being advised by Leeds City Council to plan their journeys carefully on the day to take into account the large numbers anticipated to attend the scheme’s opening.
Crowds are expected to converge on the city centre to be among the first to take a look at what the £165 million luxury shopping and leisure destination has to offer. Organisers have systems in place to ensure visitors have as enjoyable an experience as possible.
Vicar Lane will be closed for the day from its junction with Eastgate/The Headrow to George Street as the opening celebration performances and showcase events take place, and George Street itself will have no public access (except for market traders up to 8.30am).
Public transport and city centre car parks, including the new Victoria Gate multi-storey, are expected to be very busy. The Leeds City Ambassadors and The Welcome People (Leeds BID ambassadors) will be out in force to help welcome and direct people to the opening.
Visitors bringing cars are advised that a good option might be to use the newly-expanded Elland Road Park and Ride, which now has 800 spaces. While the Vicar Lane closure means the shuttle bus won’t be able to get as close as usual to Victoria Gate, it will still drop passengers off in nearby Boar Lane.
Meanwhile, latest figures just published show 522 new jobs opportunities were created as part of Victoria Gate’s construction and opening and 28 new or existing apprentices have also been supported in working there.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Victoria Gate to Leeds and it’s fantastic to see such a major new development bringing jobs, investment and visitors to our city. This is in retail terms a very significant opening.
“I’d like to thank both the developers Hammerson and John Lewis for their commitment to our jobs charter, which has led to quality construction, apprenticeship and ongoing retail employment opportunities in our city. It is extremely important to us to ensure everyone can share the benefits of our city’s economic success.”
“Meanwhile, we’d ask anyone coming to the city centre on Thursday, whether you’re joining the opening celebrations or here for a different purpose, to check the travel advice and bear in mind it will probably take longer to get to your destination, particularly in the morning.”
Robin Dobson, Director of Retail Development for Hammerson said:
“The scheme is now entering the last few days before launch residents and visitors in Leeds can really see what an outstanding addition to the city Victoria Gate will become.
“There is understandably a huge amount of excitement as the people of Leeds and the surrounding region want to see the city’s latest landmark. As such, we encourage visitors to check both the council and Victoria Leeds’ social media channels during the week for up to date information.”
General information and advice on the opening of the centre and how to get there is available at leeds.gov Victoria Gate opening
For the latest up to date details on bus routes and diversions go to: Metro bus alerts
A car parking map for Leeds city centre can be downloaded under the above headline or here Leeds city centre car parks
Victoria Gate’s own website can be accessed here: Victoria Leeds