02 Feb 2024
Striking new murals highlight industrial heritage and wildlife protected by the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme
The murals, painted by artist James Mayle and funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund celebrate heritage and wildlife, add vibrancy to the area and act as a deterrent for vandalism.
The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme is an innovative, multi-million-pound scheme that has been protecting 22,000 jobs, 500 businesses and 3,000 residential properties in Leeds from flooding since 2017. The main element of the scheme are two state-of-the-art moveable weirs, at Crown Point and Knostrop. Since their completion, the moveable weirs have been operated nine times, and remain ready for when they’re needed during periods of heavy rain. Each of the weirs are operated via a control room at each site. Unfortunately, the doors on each control room have been frequently targeted by vandals.
Leeds City Council secured 100% of the funding for the works through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, working in conjunction with The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to commission a mural artist to create bespoke designs for the doors at the Crown Point and Knostrop control buildings.
The artwork highlights Leeds’ historic mills, as well as ducks, pike and eels that are all present in the river. The Flood Alleviation scheme was built with protection of wildlife in mind, with fish and eel passes included as part of the design. In addition, it is hoped the new artwork will deter vandalism going forward, reducing the time, effort and money that the council has previously spent on reinstating the doors.
Executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, Councillor Helen Hayden, said:
“These murals showcase how we can work creatively to deter vandals from leaving anti-social graffiti around our city. By supporting artists to create stunning work like this, we brighten up previously unremarkable spaces, we shine a light on an important flood scheme that protects us, as well as including a nod to our city’s past and the animals that also call it home.
“The murals can be considered a part of the Leeds Street Art Trail – any residents who make the trip out to Knostrop could use the towpaths that were maintained as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme – I look forward to going to see them for myself.”
For media enquiries contact:
Leeds City Council Communications team