Leeds BID: 5 Years On - Chapter 81
July 22, 2019

Leeds BID: 5 Years On

A retrospective on some of our favourite events and initiatives

Leeds BID: 5 Years On Leeds BID: 5 Years On
Words by: Simon Fogal

LeedsBID have just sent out their open invitation to their September 10th event, launching their five year vision for Leeds: The Next Chapter. 

(Wonder who or what was the inspiration behind that name? We’ll take the credit, thanks!)

As they look forward to the next five years, we thought we’d take a look back, at their first chapter.

Leeds BID: 5 Years On Bokegho

The Birth of BID

Often the hardest time in a Business Improvement District’s lifetime, the first term is all about cementing ideas and plans in the city, and creating something from nothing.

We have been lucky enough to work across many projects with them, right after this foundational period.

We pick out our favourites below; events and initiatives that we are so proud to have worked on, and that we think have made, and are still making, a huge difference to the city.

Ambassadors/ Street Rangers 

Leeds BID’s Welcome Ambassadors have been smartening up Leeds’ streets with their smart bowler hats and jackets for over three years now. There to welcome tourists to the city and provide on-the-ground knowledge and advice, they make the city centre human, and are always on hand to offer support and Leeds knowledge. We enjoyed inviting members of the BBC to try out being an ambassador and role swapping! The Street Rangers have been on the beat since late 2016, providing a deep clean service for levy payers and helping the city by offering that cleaner welcome.

Leeds BID: 5 Years On

A City Less Grey

Our first job with LeedsBID was the George Street Welcome, a beautiful mural on the side of the outdoor market opposite the brand new Victoria Gate, saying hello and welcome to Leeds. This city street art initiative from BID aimed to animate the streets of Leeds with public art installations, bringing colour to key areas of Leeds. Featuring artists Nomad Clan, Kasia Breska, Joe Dickinson, Mike Winnard, Mel Holmes and Jo Peel, A City Less Grey brought the human touch of inspiring art, on a grand scale, to some of Leeds’ more industrial, grey and faceless cityscapes. The initiative brought Leeds’ personality to the fore, and celebrated street art as the artistry it is.

Leeds BID: 5 Years On


One of the original ideas for the BID was to bring events to the city that wouldn’t normally be here. Alongside Leeds City Council, LeedsBID helped bring the MOBOs to the city twice in Chapter 1, with the second time back in 2017. Celebrating Music Of Black Origin, the MOBOs are a prestigious awards ceremony that the city are proud to welcome, and the evening glitters with starts from the music industry. Our head, Simon Fogal worked on local media and helped manage the red carpet (for local media). Stormzy interviewed on ITV was a particular highlight. It was an intense night for us, with several live broadcasts happening at once.

Leeds BID: 5 Years On Ben Bentley

Leeds International Festival 

This now annual festival celebrates Leeds’ innovation, diversity and pioneering spirit, whilst looking at the future. Celebrating its third birthday this May, L19 saw events as disparate as Sport 2.0, which saw celebrated Gold medal winners discuss technological advancement in sport, Sex Tapes, which saw spoken word performers giving sex-positive, intimate readings, punk poetry from John Cooper Clarke and a panel talk on action against acid attackers, called Facing Brave. The festival saw more than 60 events happen over ten days in May. The Open Call for L20 is currently out, click here for info.

We are proud to have come up with the concept of the open call, Discovery zone and the Village.

Leeds BID: 5 Years On Ben Bentley

A trail of Light, Art and Magic 

Bringing art and culture, as well as beauty and light, to Leeds over the festive period in dark December in 2016, this trail offered up an eclectic mix of art pieces, including lanterns made from recycled plastics hanging from the trees in Park Square, to a massive suspended human form called Spirit which was installed in the train station’s concourse. A huge media campaign helped take people on a journey around the city, and we 100% think this needs to come back!

Upcoming projects which are in the process of happening include:

Welcome to Leeds 

About to launch. Welcome to Leeds intends to act as a hub of Leeds knowledge; a go-to resource to learn more about Leeds for everyone, whether they are a visitor to the city or a Leodian who wants to know what events are on in the place they call home.

BID Power 

LeedsBID are pioneering a powerful partnership between themselves and Leeds-based Yorkshire Energy, to bring forth competitively priced energy for city centre-based businesses. Watch this space for more on this exciting project.

Sign-up for their New Chapter event, to find out exactly what the next five years holds for LeedsBID, here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leedsbid-the-next-chapter-2020-2025-tickets-65425410163

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