Arena sitting pretty as top acts set to rock new venue

BOSSES at the new Leeds Arena are on the verge of luring some of the world’s top entertainment acts to the £60m venue.

John Knight, regional vice president of arena operator SMG Europe, yesterday said “advanced talks” were under way with concert promoters.

He also revealed that an announcement on the initial clutch of acts confirmed to play the 13,500-capacity venue was due in the very near future.

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Mr Knight was speaking at the start of a new phase in the arena scheme, with the first seats being fitted into position at the Clay Pit Lane site.

“We are in advanced talks with promoters and agents who are adding Leeds to the touring schedules of some of the world’s biggest artistes,” he said.

Building work on the Leeds City Council-backed project is being carried out by BAM Construction. Its project construction manager, Gordon Alexander, said: “It will be an outstanding, high-quality building and one of the finest entertainment venues to be built in recent years.”

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

The venue should be complete and capable of staging its first gigs by next June.