Clarence Dock

Clarence Dock is a shopping and leisure destination in central Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It also hosts a large residential population in waterside apartments, as well as a significant office presence.

Clarence Dock was developed as a £250 million mixed-use development between 2001 and 2007 and is located by the River Aire next to the Royal Armouries Museum which faces onto Armouries Square. Clarence Dock's main shopping street radiates southbound off Armouries Square and is called 'The Boulevard'. Another important focal point is 'The Anchorage' at the top of the dock itself. The whole development opened officially to the public in late 2007. The retail and leisure sector of the development was launched on Saturday 11 October 2008 with fashion shows from celebrity fashion consultant and TV presenter Gok Wan. Upon completion, Clarence Dock now attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year.

The Clarence Dock development scheme features Clarence House, a 218-foot (66 m) tower consisting of 227 apartments and six retail units. Upon completion in April 2007, it became the eighth tallest building in Leeds, it has however now been pushed to being the twelfth tallest building.

History


Originally Clarence Dock was constructed for the transportation of goods and commodities on barges to and from Leeds city centre, using the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation. Like the Middleton Steam Railway it was primarily used to bring coal from the collieries around Rothwell and Wakefield to supply the heavy industry in Hunslet and business and commerce in Leeds city centre. The Western side of the dock (the side of Livingstone House) formerly sited a large crane which was on movable tracks along the side of the dock. This was used for the loading and unloading of goods from the canal barges. Until recently the surrounding area was made up of Victorian industrial buildings, albeit throughout the 1990s most were derelict.

Decline

Throughout the second half of the 20th century the area suffered steady industrial decline. The mills and many of the heavier engineering works began to either close, move further out of town or scale down. The docks managed to survive the Victorian canal decline, after the introduction of rail freight, however the move to road freight in the twentieth century killed trade at the docks. By the 1990s, the docks were barely used for the movement of any freight and most of the industrial buildings around the dock lay derelict. The building of the Royal Armouries Museum marked the start of the redevelopment of the area, however the museum opened in 1996 and no further development was made until 2004 with the opening of a multi-storey car park, followed by the opening of a hotel in 2006. The regeneration of Clarence Dock was a slow process and for The Royal Armouries first five years of opening it was located in a run down derelict area, making it difficult for the museum to attract visitors and for the first few years of opening it nearly closed on several occasions. The original car park for the museum has since been paved and converted into a pedestrianised square, with car parking for the museum now within the new multi-storey car park.

Shops and restaurants


Clarence Dock comprises the following:

  • 370,000 sq ft (34,000 m2) of retail space including hotels, shops and cafés.
  • A hotel occupied by Holiday Inn Express
  • Serviced Apartments from Leedslet
  • Tesco Metro
  • Alea Casino
  • Mumtaz Restaurant
  • Pizza Express
  • Royal Armouries Museum
  • G-star (closed in 2010)
  • All Saints
  • Replay (closed in 2010)
  • Hob
  • Joy (closed in 2010)
  • Daniel Footwear (closed in 2010)
  • 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of modern office space.
  • 1,100 apartments.
  • A covered car park for approximately 1,650 vehicles.
  • Public Spaces including The Boulevard and Armouries Square.

There is also a conference and exhibition centre and a variety of leisure facilities on site, including a major Alea Casino

Building Activity

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