Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Leeds council leader's meeting call for Clarence Dock

Clarence Dock
The Clarence Dock development opened in 2007

The leader of Leeds City Council is calling for a meeting to discuss the future of the £250m Clarence Dock development in Leeds.

Some businesses have raised concerns that the waterside leisure complex is not attracting enough trade and is in danger of turning into a "ghost town".

Council leader Andrew Carter now plans to meet with major stakeholders to discuss how businesses can be helped.

Developers said it was working on initiatives to attract more visitors.

The development was created to transform the industrial riverside area into a fashionable urban village with upmarket shops and restaurants.

Since it opened in 2007, a coffee shop and clothes store have closed, with other businesses warning they could also be in trouble unless more people are drawn to the area.

There are concerns that the effects of the recession, coupled with high car parking charges, could have contributed to the lack of trade.

'Important' development

Mumtaz Khan, who runs an Indian restaurant at Clarence Dock, said he believed the outcome could be "disastrous" for businesses if they did not attract more customers.

Rob Abraham, manager of the Hob store, said: "if you look out the door anytime from Monday to Friday it is quite often like a ghost town.

"Compared with the city centre, there is not the passing trade."

Mr Carter said: "The Clarence Dock development is a most important part of the Leeds waterfront.

"It is time for all parties to sit round the table, including representatives of the businesses, to see what else can be done to help".

The developers behind Clarence Dock said in a statement that Yorkshire Water would be moving into offices at the site which should help business.

They added that their team were working on initiatives aimed at attracting more people.

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