A spectacular firework display lit up the skies above Leeds on Wednesday 28 January to mark the completion of a £9m multi-storey car park refurbishment.
The works carried out to the Merrion centre car park is Europe’s largest carbon fibre structural strengthening project with over 18,000m² Sika Carbodur Carbon Fibre Wrap going into the structure.
The celebration also marked CitiPark’s recent rebranding from Town Centre Car Parks to reflect the leading car park operator’s recent expansion and its plans for rapid growth over the next five years.
The Merrion Centre car park was the first of its kind in the UK and was one of the biggest car parks in Europe when it was first built 50 years ago.
Now the refurbishment, led by the company’s owner Town Centre Securities PLC, sees automated vehicle number plate recognition and electric car charging points.
Ben Ziff, managing director at CitiPark, has overseen the investment project and its success has already helped CitiPark win contracts in other cities, such as a recent partnership with Watford Council.
This partnership will see CitiPark become the new operator of three Watford Councils car parks. CitiPark plan to upgrade the car parks with improved CCTV, and install industry-leading technology such as Automatic Registration Plate Vehicle Recognition System together with a brand new parking management system.
Wednesday’s launch was celebrated with a family event with approximately a thousand spectators heading to the Merrion Centre for a firework display, live music, fire breather, LED bot, balloon twister and a LED juggler.
Ben Ziff, managing director at CitiPark, said: “We’re delighted so many people were able to join the celebrations.
“Our Merrion Centre car park is now one of the most technologically advanced, user friendly and sustainable facilities of its kind anywhere in the UK. State-of-the-art technology including automated number plate recognition systems, LED lighting and contactless payment has been introduced at the car park which serves Merrion Centre customers, the business community and visitors to the First Direct Arena and wider Arena Quarter.
Ben added: “CitiPark has an ambitious growth strategy with plans to expand the number of car parks it operates across the country, while maintaining its focus on industry-leading technology and investment into energy efficiency.”
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, who attended the event and said: “Leeds City Council has always worked very closely with Town Centre Securities PLC. This is another piece in the jigsaw which makes our City so successful, it opens up opportunities to grow the city and indeed continue to make the Arena Quarter a real success for Leeds.”
Further upgrades are being made across CitiPark’s strong estate over the coming months, including four car parks in Leeds (including First Direct Arena) five in Manchester and one in London.
The rebrand includes a new and improved website: Parking Leeds, London, Watford and Manchester.