New Leeds Evening Ambassadors to extend city welcome after hours
A new street team launching this weekend is planning to be a welcome addition to an evening out in Leeds.
The Leeds Evening Ambassadors will be taking to the city centre from Friday (29th September) to provide a warm and friendly welcome to those coming in to Leeds after hours for entertainment, leisure and pleasure.
The team will be out and about every Friday and Saturday from 10pm to the early hours (4.30am Fridays and 5.30am Saturday) in addition to Bank Holiday Sundays (plus Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve) to help ensure people have a great evening out.
Similar to the Welcome Ambassadors who are now an identifiable meet and greet service in the city centre, the Leeds Evening Ambassadors will extend that all important city welcome into the evening and overnight – on hand to help, advise and guide people.
They will be at Leeds Station taxi rank and other city ranks, supervising queues and helping members of the public to access taxis and get home quickly as well as providing a street presence in popular areas of the city centre including Call Lane, Albion Street and Lower Briggate.
With professional security training, the team will work alongside other organisations to help identify anti-social behaviour, and work on early intervention and crime prevention in liaison with city centre venue owners, door staff, Street Angels Leeds and emergency services to ensure Leeds is an attractive, welcoming and safe place to be.
Leeds was awarded Purple Flag status at the start of the year in recognition of its vibrant, diverse, clean, safe and well managed evening and night-time offer. The strength of existing city partnerships and passion of key partners, including police and emergency services, transport providers and positive, supportive businesses, was noted by official assessors who awarded the accolade.
The Leeds Evening Ambassadors will utilise the existing BACIL radio network, connecting over 350 retailers and night-time venues with each other and the police, to keep in touch and share information.
Andrew Cooper, LeedsBID Chief Executive said: “The Evening Ambassadors are an essential part of ensuring that great evening experience for those coming into the city centre. An extension of that all-important Welcome to Leeds means that regardless of time of day, people are getting the same warm and friendly reception, with businesses, statutory and voluntary organisations all working together for the benefit of city users.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said: “Working closely with a range of partners including LeedsBID and BACIL, we want to ensure that a visit to Leeds city centre is a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone. We very much support the introduction of the Evening Ambassadors that will offer a helpful, reassuring and supportive presence in the city centre for both visitors and local businesses.”
“BACIL are proud to announce their partnership with LeedsBID and Leeds City Council on this project, which will widen the information sharing network to include LeedsBID levy paying businesses and provide a consistent weekly evening economy support service,” said Jon Hancock, NTE Co-chair of BACIL and LeedsBID Steering Group member. “We are confident that the evening ambassador service to the night time economy will support business growth and diversity by enhancing the consumer Leeds welcome experience and reducing anti-social behaviour in the city centre.”
Purple Flag status is awarded annually and the city will be submitting its renewal for the accreditation next month (October).