Briggate to get piece of “public art” courtesy of Leeds Trinity shopping centre developers

Shopping Man - an artist's impression of the iconic new sculpture

It looks like Briggate is going to get a new piece of “public art”, courtesy of Land Securities, the people behind the new Leeds Trinity shopping centre.

Councillors on the Plans Panel (City Centre) are going to get the low-down on what the developers have got in mind when they make their very own exclusive visit to the site on Thursday 12th April.

They’re also going to be updated on progress in the landmark £350m retail and leisure development, the design of which is “continually being refined and updated” in response to “current retail thinking and design progress.”

“Shopping Man”

Among the refinements are proposals for Leeds’ first digital advertising screen to carry general commercial advertising (yay!) and a “new food concept”(sorry? what?) to be located on the upper floors.

Following last week’s “exclusive” visits to the site by BBC Radio Leeds and the Yorkshire Evening Post on the same day, it had been thought that there were no further immediate PR opportunities for the iconic development – two thirds of which have already been snapped up by the likes of Primark, Next and Topshop.

But the councillors’ visit – and the ensuing public debate on the sculpture that’s going to be erected in Briggate – will guarantee that our “retail soul mate” Trinity is going to be on the tip of our tongues for some while to come.

Debate? Well, a little bird tells us that the piece of public art in question could be a 250ft-high sculpture in fibreglass and plastic in the style of Anthony Gormley called Shopping Man.


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7 Responses to Briggate to get piece of “public art” courtesy of Leeds Trinity shopping centre developers

  1. John says:

    Top Shop, Next & Primark already have shops in the city centre. If they move into Trinity does this mean they move out of where they are and leave empty shops?

  2. Good question, John. My guess is yes, they’ll move out.

  3. I wonder if the “new food concept” will marry the Leeds’ love affair with Gregg’s and Subway and create a sit-in restaurant only serving 12 inch pasties?

    In all seriousness, the idea of public art coming out of big money developments is not a new one. It’s often referred to as lipstick on the gorilla and seldom has any artistic merit. It’s a nice way of developers showing the local authority what good and public minded people they are without costing as much as, lets say, helping to improve the road networks that the new development will have an impact on.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of public art. I’m not necessarily in favour of the art being a developer led olive branch when other civic realm projects could benefit from the expenditure.

  4. Harriet says:

    “Lipstick on the gorilla” – I’ve also heard “turd on the plaza” referring to a sculptural mass in the middle of ‘public’ space. I like Shopping Man. I’d like to propose a video artwork “Winners and losers” that can leverage the real estate of the commercial screen and show some nice graphics e.g. the carbon footprint of consumption in Leeds City Region and how it affects different people, or some of our inequality stats, or how much of the dollar spent in the city stays in the region, etc.

  5. Michael says:

    The PR bullsh*t coming out of this development is an absolute joke. Independent Leeds – Primark? TopShop? Next? No thank you.

  6. natalie says:

    I think Leeds council has flagrantly wasted precious funds on these eye sores

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