Words: John Baron
Special ‘greeters’ are set to show people the friendly face of Armley Town Street and encourage more people to visit, it has been revealed.
Armley is one of the areas in Leeds to benefit from a successful Leeds City Council bid for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) cash from its Welcome Back Fund.
The aim is to help draw people back to shopping areas after the pandemic lockdowns of the past 18 months and breathe new life into high streets and boost local businesses.
Members of Armley Forum heard the council has secured just under £25,000 for temporary staff to be employed on Town Street to provide a warm welcome, guide people to shops and businesses, and help people by providing a visible presence.
The meeters and greeters are being facilitated by the Armley Action Team, which is a community group set up to help work towards a more integrated and sociable Armley Town Street. It aims to make Town Street and beyond a safer and family friendly shopping experience for all.
Louise Megson, Armley Action Team chair, said they would be recruiting part-time greeters for the roles, which will run until March next year. She added:
“We hope they will provide a visible presence on Town Street, encouraging people to visit the many independent shops and businesses here.”
The funding will also employ a co-ordinator to help bring together community organisations in Armley and apply for larger pots of money.
Armley Action Team is also hoping to get more funding to fund a series of community events in Armley.
Leeds City Council’s neighbourhood centres co-ordinator Peter Mudge welcomed the moves and told the online Armley Forum:
“There is so much happening on Armley Town Street, we’ve got new restaurants, shops and quality cafes opening. We’ve got butchers, bakers, shops selling fresh fruit – there’s a lot of choice.
“There are so many positive things happening and so many people involved in making Town Street a better place.”
This service is being funded through the Welcome Back Fund, which has been granted to Leeds City Council by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This funding supports the safe re-opening of the local economy, helping to make Leeds a welcoming and friendly place for visitors, residents and businesses.