Victoria Gardens was re-developed by our Landscape Architects to increase the amount of green space in Leeds city centre and promote sustainability.
The work formed part of Marks & Spencer’s Greener Living Spaces programme - funded by the profit from their sales of carrier bags - and was chosen to be their flagship project, celebrating their birth as a market stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market over 125 years ago.
The site is an important space for many people in Leeds - from groups and organisations, to the individual members of the public who use it on a daily basis - but it had become tired and unappealing.
In keeping with both the ethos of the Greener Living Spaces programme and Groundwork, the design includes a range of sustainable elements including reclaimed materials, new materials sourced locally and from sustainable stock where possible, and existing features being cleaned-up rather than replaced:
We worked in close partnership with Leeds City Council throughout the planning, design, consultation and delivery of the project, and they also supplied additional funding. Further funding was secured from the Caird Bardon Community Foundation for the commission and installation of new public art on the site by artist Alec Finley.
- Existing stone planters cleaned, re-set and re-pointed
- Planters laid with high quality turf grown near York, and 3000 bulbs planted
- Existing damaged paving slabs re-laid using stone reclaimed on-site and from quarries in Huddersfield
- 26 new London Plane trees (species chosen due to its high adaptability to climate change and attractive box-headed appearance)
- Low energy LED uplighters installed
- New seating made from Sheffield stainless steel and FSC certified English Oak manufactured in Richmond, North Yorkshire
- Giant chess boards refurbished with Cumbrian stone and surrounded with new permeable surfacing
- New smaller chess boards carved into stone planters, with artwork by artist Alec Finlay
- Improved access along the site frontage