From: Peter Spawforth, Past President of British Council of Shopping Centres and Yorkshire and the Humber Association of Civic Societies.
IN 1961, the city architect produced a plan for the markets area of Leeds. All to be demolished and a concrete utopia proposed. Ten years later and the Leeds Civic Trust was in its infancy, recognising the valued heritage of our city. At that time the City Centre plans from the engineer and planning officer were published in the Leeds Approach by HMSO.
To the hundreds of councillors and officers of Leeds over those years, the opening of Victoria Gate was the latest and probably the most enduring of the series of enhancing projects (The Yorkshire Post, October 21) such as the inner ring road, pedestrianisation, especially of Briggate, Millennium Square, The Light, Trinity.
The accolade now passes to Victoria Gate and John Lewis. We were there and it felt like something really special. The crowds were enjoying it and so proud of their city.
Town planning is all about people rather than bricks and concrete. I, and many others, enjoyed the Yorkshire welcoming spirit with throngs of people in this new development.
Thank you to all who made it possible and to those who work there.