If you’re looking for a go-to location to hold your next function, then consider Leeds. With Leeds Bradford Airport nearby and good connections, your guests or delegates will find it surprisingly accessible.
There is, of course, more reason than just your event to visit Leeds. This is a city full of culture, entertainment, vibrant nightlife, great shopping, sporting events and a huge variety of restaurants and bars.
If art is your thing, you’ll be pleased to find The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery on your doorstep, displaying artwork from around the world. You’re not restricted to the indoors for your art fix though. From a subway tunnel on Woodhouse Lane with the who’s who of music in Leeds and arm rests in Lands Lane shaped like little dogs, to the Black Prince in City Square and the spectacular Mandela Gardens in Millennium Square, you’ll find intriguing pieces dotted around the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.
For a spot of live culture (no, not that stuff you get in yogurts) hit the Opera House or Northern Ballet. Leeds happens to be the only city in the UK outside of London with both its own Opera House and Ballet Company.
With over 1000 shops, Leeds City Centre is the place to splash your cash. You’ll find everything from quirky boutiques in the beautiful Grade I listed Corn Exchange, to the biggest brands at Trinity Leeds – home to 120 shops, eateries and bars, and the only Everyman cinema in the north of England.
For the night owls amongst you, dance the night away in one of Leeds’ funky nightclubs. Head out to Call Lane or the Arena Quarter, where you can catch live music, cocktails and craft beers. Before your night out, how about treating yourself to some fine dining at the Michelin star restaurant, The Man Behind The Curtain, with its name inspired by The Wizard of Oz, and an imaginative menu to match!
If you fancy an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Golden Acre Park, Roundhay Park or Chevin Forest Park, for some peace and quiet.
So you’ve explored the city, but the question now is, what kind of event are you holding? And what is the venue variety like? Here are a few suggestions on different types of venue, suitable for all sorts of functions and occasions.
Lambert’s Yard is a blank canvas – a hugely flexible space that can be adapted to suit almost any kind of event. Given its vast, open plan layout, it is perfect for exhibitions or product launches. With nearby parking, ferrying everything there and back is a breeze. There is a fully licenced bar and a taxi rank just across the road, making it an ideal party venue too.
This is the perfect venue to hold your off-site meeting, with a variety of modern meeting rooms packed with the latest equipment and facilities. The Studio prides itself on its technical support. Their “IT boys”, as they call them, are always on hand to help with any techy-based requirements and hitches (of which there will be none, naturally!). They will set up video conferencing for you, web streaming and thrash you at Wii Sports!
The O2 Academy Leeds, housed in a Grade I listed building, is a renowned concert venue. With its auditorium capacity of 2300, this is the place to hold your gig! What you may not know, is that downstairs you’ll find a 400 capacity second room called “Underground”. Fully fitted out with the latest facilities, this is the ideal space to hold your own private club event.
If you’re hosting a private dinner or drinks and canapé reception, then Crafthouse is an excellent option. It is located on the fifth floor of Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, with Angelica Bar and Restaurant above it. Hold a more intimate gathering for up to 14 seated guests in the private dining room, or hire out the main restaurant for a reception of up to 180 people. In the summer months, why not opt for a BBQ for up to 80 guests on The Terrace, with stunning views of Trinity Church and the city.
The Met, a luxury 4 start Grade II listed hotel in the Victorian Quarter, is one of the most popular conference venues in Leeds. It’s no surprise, considering its proximity to the train station and on-site parking. On hand will be your own dedicated conference and event team to help you plan, manage and set up for the day. In The Met Suite, you can hold a conference for or give a presentation to up to 250 delegates. And what with this venue being a hotel, you won’t have to look very far for a place to stay for the night!
If it’s a wedding or civil ceremony that you’re having, The Mansion is a spectacular venue for celebrating your special day. Be dazzled by the 54,000 crystal chandelier over a grand sweeping staircase with a carved mahogany banister. There is even customisable lighting here, for your perfect staircase snapshot. The Grade II listed building is situated on 700 acres of parkland, beautifully landscaped, so it’s worthwhile trying to book for the summer. And not to forget the best part (in my opinion!) – the dinner – where award-winning chefs will have designed the most delectable of menus.
As the most dedicated of clubbers will tell you, Chilli White is where it’s at. The Old Townhouse has been transformed into an exciting and contemporary bar and club. Hire the space for your own private club night. You’ll have use of the venue’s unique rooms plus the terrace, providing a welcomed space for fresh air after all that dancing to the funky sounds provided by the resident DJ. Fancy yourself as a bit of a mixologist? Show off your skills at the Cocktail Making Experience. Of course, beginners are more than welcome too, and encouraged!
The White Cloth Gallery is an ideal space for art exhibitions and product or business launches, comprising of two galleries to showcase your work. The great thing about this venue is that it’s perfect for, well, any kind of event really! It’s a versatile space that has a meeting room, cafe and a bar, as well as the galleries. It also makes a fabulous party or wedding venue and can cater for up to 250 people.
For a unique dining experience, hire The Royal Armouries Musuem. Dine in one of the museum’s six galleries, displaying fascinating exhibits, and you might find your evening somewhat educational, too! There are spaces suitable for any size event, from an intimate dinner for 10 in the Edwardian Gun Room to a lavish banquette for 1000 in Saviles Hall and anything in between.
This historic building, built in 1894, is perfectly located in the city centre. An award-winning event space, Aspire really is suitable for any occasion. There is a multitude of rooms available, with meeting room capacities ranging from 6 to 300, to The Banking Hall with up to 1000 reception. Spaces are perfect for conferences, meetings, ceremonies, weddings, parties, fashion shows, sporting events… I could go on! Catering is, of course, first class and bespoke, and can range from a relaxed buffet dinner to exquisite fine dining.
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