The Tour effect gave Trinity Leeds big boost

Cyclists race down the Headrow at the Start of the Tour De France. Picture by Simon Hulme
Cyclists race down the Headrow at the Start of the Tour De France. Picture by Simon Hulme
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​TRINITY Leeds, the landmark £350m shopping centre in the heart of the city​​, reported a strong boost to trading from the city’s hosting of The Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France.

​Almost 100,000 additional people visited Trinity Leeds on the weekend of the Grand Depart with the Tour de France countdown clock acting as a centrepiece.

In the week from July​ 7 to 13​, Leeds City Council recorded footfall of 1,197,841 in the city centre​,​ a 19​ per cent​ increase on the same week in 2013 and, as of July ​13​, 29,183,322 ​people had visited the city centre during 2014.

An estimated ​five​ million spectators lined the ​route of the world’s greatest cycle race which started at Harewood House near Leeds on Saturday, July 5.

The economic impact of Yorkshire’s hosting of this year’s Tour de France is expected to surpass the estimated £100m benefit, according to PwC.

Trinity Leeds’ parent company Land Securities, which announced a strong start to the year in its first quarter update yesterday, said the shopping centre is now 97 per cent let.

The company is now gearing up to celebrate the 18th birthday of its other Leeds shopping centre, White Rose, next March.

The firm said that leisure is proving a key element in maintaining customer loyalty and attracting new visitors to both Trinity Leeds and White Rose.

The £7m upgrade of the White Rose food​ ​cour​t, which is now called The Balcony​, has already proved positive in terms of dwell time and customer spend​.

Land Securities ​said this bodes well for the new extension, which will see the introduction of a 12-screen cinema an​d​ new restaurants to complement Prezzo, Handmade Burger, Wok & Go and Frankie & Benny’s​.

Gerald Jennings, Land Securities’ portfolio director​,​ said: “We have in two different parts of the city created destinations that complement rather than compete against each other. We have gained new customers at Trinity Leeds and maintained and built on the loyal customer base at White Rose by providing them with new facilities that have been warmly welcomed.

“Some people may have thought that the opening of Trinity Leeds would adversely impact on White Rose Shopping Centre – the development that brought our first major presence in Leeds when it opened in March 1997 – but with more than a year’s trading to reflect upon we are pleased but not complacent.”

At Trinity Leeds​, the only major shopping centre to open last year, measures were taken to ​“​future-proof​“​ the centre​ to​ ensure it attracts customers for years to come.

It has done this through the use of digital technology and a strong leisure element, with the Everyman Cinema a​nd various restaurants, bars and cafes attracting customers through the day and into the evening.

“When our occupiers are competing with online retailing we have to create environments that offer experiences that the shopper cannot get by looking at a computer screen, tablet or other hand-held device​,” said Mr Jennings.​ “At the same time, services such as click and collect have maintained footfall.”