A new light installation will be an illuminating addition to the high street as people look to return to Leeds city centre this Christmas.

Making an entrance for Christmas 2020, the “Dear Leeds” installation brings more than the spirit of the season to Briggate as it delivers a series of personal, uplifting and fun greetings to people passing beneath.

The eye-catching neon lyrical messaging suspended over the street speaks to the city while echoing subtle sentiments of the season. The words of local creative writer Kate Ryrie have become neon art, bringing warmth and colour to the city’s main pedestrianised walkway.

“Dear Leeds” forms the centrepiece of the Welcome back to Leeds this Xmas as retail and some businesses look to safely reopen from Wednesday 2nd December.

The installation is brought to the city by LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), working with renowned design and infrastructure consultancy James Glancy Design, who specialise in standout festive lighting and bring high profile illuminated displays to Carnaby Street, Regents Street and Piccadilly to name but a few.

“This year more than ever we felt it important to bring a little Christmas cheer to the city for local businesses and to welcome back everyone the city has missed over the last few months,” said Karen Butler, LeedsBID Head of Place. “We want these words to lift spirits, bring a smile to people’s faces and inject some colour to the city centre during the festivities and beyond.”

James Glancy owner and Director at James Glancy Design added: “It’s been such a pleasure working with LeedsBID in bringing this new installation to the city and I hope it shows in terms of the content and the type of display that we have collaboratively produced. We are really proud of it and hope everyone enjoys it.”

Creative writer Kate Ryrie, whose words have become taken from poems she penned, said: “These words began as a hopeful letter to Leeds from the depths of the first lockdown, and they’ve gone on to become so much more – from coming to life on film, to lighting the skies of Briggate.” Kate said.
“I’m honoured to have been part of creating this powerful message at a time when our city needed it most, and I hope people can look up and my words and feel proud to call such a vibrant, resilient place home. Now, with light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, I like to think these lights serve as a reminder of what we’ve been through together – and all the good times still to come.”

“Dear Leeds” switches on from 8am on Wednesday 2nd December and will be shining out on Briggate until 17th January 2021. The neon greetings which can be seen include: Dear Leeds, we are your people; Past, present and future; Of big hearts and bigger minds; Exactly where you’re meant to be; A new year, your future’s in sight; Marching on together; Where tomorrow is ours; This is your time, love Leeds x

For details on returning back to Leeds city centre safety this Christmas and key information about store opening times, parking, and things to see, visit http://christmas.welcometoleeds.co.uk from Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Pic caption: Credit Simon Fogal. “Dear Leeds” providing a personal welcome back to the city centre