Boy band book in as arena’s first named act

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TOP boy band JLS made a little piece of music history today when they became the first act to confirm a show at the new Leeds concert arena.

The heart-throb foursome will play the 13,500-capacity venue next year on Friday, December 20.

They will not be the first act to appear at the arena, with other, as-yet-unnamed performers being lined up for dates straight after it opens in September.

But the announcement has still been hailed as a major coup for the Leeds City Council-backed venue, which is currently under construction at Clay Pit Lane, near the Merrion shopping centre.

Council leader Coun Keith Wakefield said: “Plans are well under way to put together a packed programme for our opening fortnight in September and it’s marvellous that already we can look forward to performances from quality acts such as JLS in the months after that.”

The main construction work on the £60m arena is due to finish in March.

It will then be handed over to operator SMG Europe for an interior fit-out.

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward contributed £10m to the cost of the scheme, with the remainder of the funds coming from the council.

Experts estimate the venue will create more than 450 jobs and generate around £25m a year for the Leeds economy.

n Tickets for the JLS gig go on sale this Friday, priced £25 or £33.50.

To buy, visit the www.eventim.co.uk/leeds-arena website, ring 0844 248 1585 or go to the box office at Leeds Town Hall.