Leeds Dock

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Leeds Dock
Leeds Dock
Waterfront Festival Day at Leeds Dock
The Boulevard at Leeds Dock, looking towards the Royal Armouries Museum
Public art on display at Leeds Dock
New House
Map of Leeds Dock

Leeds Dock (formerly New Dock and also known as Clarence Dock between 2001 and 2012) is a mixed development with retail, office and leisure presence in central Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It has large residential population in waterside apartments.

New Dock was built in 1843 and was in service until 1990. The Royal Armouries Museum opened in 1996. New Dock was redeveloped as Clarence Dock, a £250 million mixed-use development between 2001 and 2007. The retail and leisure sector was launched on Saturday 11 October 2008 with fashion shows from celebrity fashion consultant and TV presenter Gok Wan. Leeds Dock now attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year [1] although most of these are due to the proximity of the Royal Armouries Museum. Clarence Dock experienced a turbulent time since launch and is largely viewed as a failure in terms of achieving its initial vision.[2]

It is located by the River Aire next to the Royal Armouries Museum, which faces onto Armouries Square. Leeds Dock's main shopping street, 'The Boulevard' radiates southbound from Armouries Square. Another focal point is 'The Anchorage' at the top of the dock. Clarence House is a 218-foot (66 m) tower containing 227 apartments and six retail units. On completion in April 2007, it became the eighth tallest building in Leeds but is now the twelfth tallest building.

Leeds Dock plays host to an annual Waterfront Festival each June with Dragon Boat Racing centred on Armouries Square.

The site reverted from the name Clarence Dock to the name New Dock in mid-2012 by Leeds City Council after the development failed in its rebranding aims when it was built from a brownfield site.[3] In 2013, the site was bought by Allied London, and rebranded Leeds Dock.


New Dock was constructed for boats using the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation to tranship goods and commodities from Leeds city centre. It was primarily used to bring coal from collieries around Rothwell and Wakefield to supply heavy industries in Hunslet and business and commerce in Leeds city centre. The western side of the dock once had a large crane on tracks along the side of the dock to load and unload goods from canal barges. In the 1990s the surrounding area was made up of Victorian industrial buildings most of which were derelict.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century the area suffered steady industrial decline. The mills and many heavy engineering works began to close, move further out of town or scale down. The docks survived Victorian canal decline after the introduction of rail freight but the move to road freight in the 20th century killed trade. Construction of the Royal Armouries Museum marked the start of the area's redevelopment. The museum opened in 1996 but no further development was made until 2004 when a multi-storey car park opened followed by a hotel in 2006. The regeneration of Leeds Dock was slow and the Royal Armouries was located in a run-down area for five years making it difficult to attract visitors and it nearly closed on several occasions. The museum car park has since been paved and converted into a pedestrianised square and museum car parking relocated to the multi-storey car park.

Visitor attractions[edit]

Leeds Dock is the home of the Royal Armouries Museum, a major national museum which opened in 1996 in a £42.5 million purpose built museum.[4]

Shops and restaurants[edit]

There have been various shops and restaurants at Leeds Dock. Although the site was originally intended to include a destination shopping centre with negotiations with stores such as Armani being cited, few of these designer shops opened and most shops that have opened at Leeds Dock - with the notable exception of Tesco Express - have since closed.[5] Developments at Leeds Dock include:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.royalarmouries.org/assets-uploaded/documents/2012_13_Royal_Armouries_Final.pdf
  2. ^ "Video: Failed corner of Leeds desperate to make a splash - Yorkshire Post". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Clarence Dock renamed back to New Dock". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Royal Armouries: Leeds". Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Clarence Dock: Ups and downs of Leeds cornerstone development". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°47′30″N 1°32′01″W / 53.7918°N 1.5335°W / 53.7918; -1.5335