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Leeds waterfront is where the art is as first fund projects approved

Applications by the Canal & River Trust and Canal Connections CIC have been approved to proceed after being backed with funding support from the new Waterfront Enhancement Fund, set up last year by Leeds City Council and the Chamber of Commerce to help transform the waterfront of Leeds city centre with culture at the heart of its development.

The capitalfund is open to activities which will enhance the waterfront by making it more accessible and attractive, with projects needing to be at least match-funded by those applying.

Applications for the next round of funding are now being actively encouraged, with the deadline for bids on March 21.

From the first round of bids put forward, the Canal & River Trust is to create ‘The Heroes of Leeds’, an installation of eight panels along the path next to the River Aire in the South Bank between Crown Point Bridge and Leeds Dock. The panels will feature different themes linked to some of the city’s most famous names, with the project being awarded £7,000 from the Waterfront Investment Fund to support funding of £9,750 from the Canal & River Trust.

The Canal Connections CIC project is to install the ‘Grey Heron photoreal mural’ on the north bank of the river, next to Centenary Bridge. The mural will be at water level, with its appearance changing from when it is submerged to when it is above the water line. The project has been awarded £2,000 from the fund, matching the same amount from Canal Connections CIC.

The Waterfront Enhancement Fund supports the broader Waterfront Charter put forward by the Leeds Chamber of Commerce and partners last year, which encourages landowners and stakeholders along the River Aire through the city centre and South Bank to commit to working together to maximise the potential of the waterfront and its connectivity with the city centre and neighbouring communities.

Culture has a key role to play, with the charter supporting local communities and celebrating their diversity, rethinking public spaces into attractive and welcoming places where art and culture can thrive.