Dino-mighty new Leeds event set to be a UK first
15th July 2019
The UK’s first ever city centre animatronic dinosaur trail will roar into life this summer when Leeds takes a trip millions of years into the past.
Giant dinosaurs will be taking up residence across the city centre as part of the Leeds Jurassic Trail – a free event running during the summer holidays from Friday July 26 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.
The six purpose built, specially commissioned dinosaurs 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 visiting other city centre locations
Plans are also in the pipeline for an accompanying dinosaur hub, running Jurassic-themed events and activities.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, employment and skills, said: “The sight of these gigantic dinosaurs across Leeds will be an unforgettable spectacle for children and families over the summer and we’re delighted to be welcoming our very own prehistoric special guest to Leeds Kirkgate Market. The market’s purpose-built event space will be the perfect home for this super-sized new attraction and we’re proud that the market will be helping to encourage visitors to have some fun, explore the city centre and experience our world class retail scene.”
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, said: “LeedsBID is about bringing businesses together and animating the city with experiences which would otherwise not normally happen – and you don’t get much bigger than dinosaurs. This is one of our most roar-some projects to date, working in collaboration with independently owned shopping centres, Leeds City Council and ourselves to do something no other city to our knowledge has done before.”
Dan Wharton, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “We gave people a taste of what can be done last year and now we are going bigger and better – more teeth, more dinosaurs and more reasons to visit us and the whole of Leeds city centre. In an age where people want to see things first-hand and capture it on their cameras, this trail provides them with the perfect reason to do just that.”
James Broughton, Head of Marketing for Town Centre Securities (TCS), owners of the Merrion Centre, said: “The Merrion Centre has a long history with Leeds, although maybe not as far back as 65 million years, so it’s amazing to be part of this game-changing dinosaur event across the city. We love to give visitors to the Arena Quarter an experience that they can’t get online and it is attractions like this that really drive footfall to the centre and whole city, which can only be a good thing.”
Jo Coburn, general manager of Victoria Leeds, said: “Here at Victoria Leeds we are always striving to bring experiences to people in real life and we’re thrilled to welcome Leeds Jurassic Trail to Victoria Leeds for the first time. This is a fantastic opportunity for children and adults alike to immerse themselves in such an exciting event in Leeds city centre like no other before.”
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 walkabout T-Rex will also be out on the streets of Leeds at various points throughout the summer.
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.
For more details, see www.leedsjurassictrail.co.uk