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History of Here: A celebration of Leeds’ retail history

24 March 2016
History of Here: A celebration of Leeds’ retail history
You can’t accuse property development company Hammerson of neglecting the history of its new shopping centre’s home. As the £165m Victoria Gate nears completion, Hammerson plans to help Leeds celebrate its rich retail past with an exhibition of historic images and stories.

Calling on the community

Opening to the public this summer, History of Here will collate photos, videos and stories from the Council archives and community. Anyone with a story to tell or image to share can submit by uploading it to Victoria Gate’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

James Hepburn, Development Manager at Hammerson explained: “Whether stories are from five or 50 years ago, we would love for as many local people as possible to be involved with the History of Here project. It can be a funny, sentimental, factual or simply a fond memory - anything goes!”

Looking to Leeds’ future

The final exhibition will showcase Leeds’ incredible transformation to become one of the UK’s biggest retail centres. It won’t just highlight the immense growth that’s already taken place in the City; it also raise awareness of what’s to come.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, is hopeful the exhibition will demonstrate the uniqueness of the City and its development: “History of Here is a great way to share memories of what makes Leeds City Centre so special to the many people who live, work and visit here every day.

“Looking back at how far we have come is a great way to celebrate our rich retail history and help us look forward to the many exciting developments like Victoria Gate and John Lewis, as well as the refurbishment of the historic Leeds Kirkgate Market which will all be ready to enjoy in the near future.”

James Hepburn, added: “Leeds has undergone many transformations throughout the years but the City has always retained a strong retail presence, which Victoria Gate will continue to grow upon with its opening later this year.

“As we look forward to bringing John Lewis and a range of new, aspirational retail brands to Leeds with the opening of Victoria Gate, we want to look back and uncover the community’s memories of shopping in the City.”

For more information about the History of Here project and further details on how to submit images or stories, click here.

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Sophie’s a jack of all writing trades. A freelance journalist and copywriter, writing culture features and opinion pieces makes her world go round.
Photography provided by TK