Leeds Waterfront Festival launches with two stunning artworks

The Grey Heron by Peter Barber
The Grey Heron by Peter Barber
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The Leeds Waterfront Festival has launched with two breathtaking artworks.

The pieces - 'The Grey Heron' and 'The Heroes of Leeds Trail' - are both situated near the Royal Armouries and further down the river along the South Bank.

The Grey Heron by Peter Barber

The Grey Heron by Peter Barber

The Grey Heron is designed to be submerged and then reappear as the river level changes.

The Heroes of Leeds Trail includes eight ‘heroes’ who have significant links to the city - including the father of the waterways John Smeaton, prominent civil rights activist Leonora Cohen and Yona Knight-Wisdom, the Leeds born and bred diver, who represented Jamaica at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment, said: “We’re pleased to see more activity and animation along the waterfront in Leeds city centre, as a result of the Waterfront Enhancement Fund.

“Through projects such as the Flood Alleviation Scheme, improvements to Leeds Bridge and the Waterfront Enhancement Fund, we continue to invest to ensure the success of the waterfront, and the ongoing regeneration of the South Bank puts the river firmly at the centre of our growing city.

“The Waterfront Enhancement Fund is still open for new applications and I would encourage anyone interested to apply”

The pieces have been funded by the Waterfront Enhancement Fund.

Artist Peter Barber, who painted the Grey Heron, said: “The grey heron was chosen as a subject for the mural because several of these birds are now regularly sighted slightly further down the river, just beyond the Royal Armouries. The presence of these birds demonstrates the health of the waterway running through the city. The mural represents the first step towards what is hoped will become an active art and sculpture trail along the waterfront”.

Six more schemes have also been recently approved, which are set to be delivered over the coming months.

The newly awarded grants include a project to light up Leeds Minster, improvements to the water taxi stops and enhancement of the Leeds Wall artwork near the canal towpath.

For more details on the winning schemes, and how to apply, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/wef