Clarence Dock (Leeds)
Clarence Dock was developed as a £250 million mixed-use development between 2001 and 2007 by the River Aire next to the Royal Armouries Museum which faces onto Armouries Square. Clarence Dock's main shopping street, 'The Boulevard' radiates southbound from Armouries Square. Another focal point is 'The Anchorage' at the top of the dock. The development opened officially in late 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. Clarence Dock now attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year.
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.
Clarence Dock plays host to an annual Waterfront Festival each June with Dragon Boat Racing centered around Armouries Square.
Clarence 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 Clarence 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.
Clarence 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. Since 2012 the U-8047 Submarine Museum, a converted 45 foot narrowboat offering historical education for children has been moored at Clarence Dock.
Shops and restaurants
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
There have been various shops and restaurants at Clarence 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 Clarence Dock - with the notable exception of Tesco Metro - have since closed. Developments at Clarence Dock include:
- The Leeds Kitchen by James Martin
- A hotel occupied by Holiday Inn Express
- Serviced Apartments from Leedslet
- Tesco Metro
- Alea Casino
- Mumtaz Restaurant
- Pizza Express
- All Saints
- Cafe Aagrah
- A covered car park for approximately 1,650 vehicles.
- Public Spaces including The Boulevard and Armouries Square.
Knights Way Bridge at Clarence Dock over The River Aire, linking Clarence Dock with the East Bank, designed by Buro Happold
- "Royal Armouries: Leeds". Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "U-8047 Submarine Museum". Retrieved 7 May 2012.
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