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Leeds City Council

15/03/2024 Case Study
Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council is the local authority responsible for governing the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire. The council regularly hosts and facilitates events around the city, including the UK’s largest annual arts and light festival, the Light Nights Festival.

Located in the heart of Leeds city centre, Millennium Square is a renowned outdoor public space, known for its live entertainment.

We won the tender for the contract, thanks to our exceptional environmental credentials and our close proximity to the site. Our employees are all local to Leeds and travel to work by foot or public transport.

The challenge

During the summer of 2023, Millenium Square hosted 15 live music concerts, all requiring crowd management and security services. The space has a maximum capacity of 8,000 people. 

The ‘Light Nights’ event takes place yearly, transforming various key locations into art installations. The event attracts over 150,000 visitors each year, and requires security across multiple venues, and crowd management around each location, and throughout the city.

As both events take place in public spaces with high foot traffic, there is an increased risk of terrorist activity. To mitigate this, we have partnered with Project Servator, which is a community policing strategy that works with businesses and members of the public to establish a network of vigilance and encourage individuals to report any suspicious activity they observe.

In addition, outdoor events require weather assessment, to ensure peoples safety in any extreme conditions.

The solution

Gough & Kelly deployed more than 50 event staff for Millenium Square and 128 staff per night for Light Nights. Our trained staff completed ticket and perimeter checks while continually monitoring crowds, offering support, and directing revellers around the city to exhibition sites or convenience stations.

When indie-pop band Blossoms performed at Millennium Square, the performance had to be cut short due to a lightning alert. The early finish was necessary to ensure the safety of the public and to carry out a pre-planned end of show. Our staff kept track of the lightning and monitored how quickly it was approaching to manage and minimise the risk.

You may have seen one of our staff, ‘Dancing Barry’ went viral for his approach to toilet guard duty and his positivity (and moves) changed the public’s perception of crowd management.

Nathan Appleby, Events Operations Manager at Gough & Kelly adds: “Our Partnership with the City of Leeds Council, providing crowd management and security, has been wonderful experience for our team to work on, especially over two significant projects in our home city of Leeds.

“Our partnership allowed us to closely with West Yorkshire Project Servator, in which enabled us to safely deliver & facilitate some great cultural moments for 2023. We are proud to have been a part of the 2023 Leeds city council event season. We look forward to our continued work with the City of Leeds Council.”

The future

Our work here led to Gough & Kelly providing security and crowd management for ‘Ice Cube’ at Christmas as well as the famous Christmas Markets.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Leeds City Council covering the 2024 events and beyond.