Dinosaurs the length of a bus and taller than a house have descended on Leeds in the UK’s first ever city centre animatronic dinosaur trail.
Featuring moving heads, eyes, limbs and tails, the full-size dinosaurs have arrived across the city centre as part of the Leeds Jurassic Trail – a free event running during the summer holidays from Saturday July 27 to Sunday September 1.
LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District) has teamed up with three separately owned shopping centres and Leeds Kirkgate Market to create the ground-breaking new partnership and experience which aims to attract people to Leeds this summer.
Shoppers had a sneak preview of the six purpose built, specially commissioned dinosaurs which include:
- 11m long apatosaurus at Victoria Leeds shopping centre
- 18m long T-Rex at Trinity Leeds shopping centre
- 7m long triceratops at Merrion Centre
- 8m long carnotaurus in Leeds Kirkgate Market
- 2m tall caged raptor installation in Trinity Leeds’ street food venue, Trinity Kitchen
- 4m long walking T-Rex (selected dates)
An animatronic walking T-Rex the length of a car will also be visiting St John’s Shopping Centre and Leeds Corn Exchange as well as roaming the streets of Leeds during the summer on special event days.
Martin Dickson, head of marketing for LeedsBID, said: “We wanted to create something that brought businesses together in a show-stopping way and Leeds Jurassic Trail will do just that. Animating the city centre with things that would not normally happen is a key part of our work and everyone loves dinosaurs. But this is Leeds so we’ve gone bigger and this ground-breaking summer long event will generate footfall from across the age ranges into the city by working in collaboration with independently owned shopping centres, Leeds City Council and ourselves to do something special.”
Dan Wharton, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “We like to be part of huge things and it doesn’t come much bigger than dinosaurs. Our T-Rex and the rest of the amazing trail are reasons to visit our centre, the entire city and enjoy a great day out this summer. It’s another example of Leeds leading the way and I can’t wait to see the faces on people when they see it all. I think we might break Instagram!”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, employment and skills, said: “Whatever age you are, you’re never too old to enjoy dinosaurs and Leeds Jurassic Trail will be a fantastic spectacle for children and families over the summer and completely free to see. We are incredibly excited to be part of the Leeds Jurassic Trail and play host to the towering Carnotaurus in Leeds Kirkgate Market – our purpose-built event space will be the perfect home for this super-sized new attraction.”
James Broughton, Head of Marketing for Town Centre Securities (TCS), owners of the Merrion Centre, said: “We have already fallen in love with our triceratops and hope our shoppers will do too. The city-wide trail gives people even more reasons to adventure into Leeds this summer and with the opening of our new Chamber of Time, there’s never been a better time to visit. By joining forces, we’ve created something special again in Leeds that will help drive footfall and create an unforgettable experience.”
Jo Coburn, General Manager of Victoria Leeds, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to play home to this amazing beast. We knew it would be big, but seeing it with our own eyes has blown us away! We hope visitors will be as impressed as we are with the trail that offers so much to see for absolutely free. We are excited to be part of this event that will appeal to both children and adults, giving them a reason to visit our city centre this summer.”
The project is being overseen by Leeds-based experiential marketing company, Banana Kick.
Free printed trails featuring a passport where visitors can get stamps from each location will be handed out to people to encourage them to explore all five dinosaurs and everywhere in between.
The Leeds Jurassic Trail launches on the same weekend that classic blockbuster Jurassic Park will be screened on Millennium Square with a live orchestra from Opera North on Sunday July 28 at 4pm.
The wider event also forms part of Child Friendly Leeds, which aims to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to grow up in.