Light Neville Street

Commissioner: Leeds City Council, Northern Way and Yorkshire Forward

Artist: Hans Peter Kuhn



Neville Street is the main thoroughfare into Leeds city centre from the south and the M621 motorway. Three lanes of vehicular traffic and two bus stop areas lead directly onto the main Leeds city centre loop road. It is also the main connection between the city centre and the communities of Beeston, Holbeck and Holbeck Urban Village to the south of the River Aire.

‘Light’ Neville Street demonstrates a practical pairing of art and science using sound, light, architecture and engineering technologies that will;

  • reduce and manage noise levels
  • create a better lit space for road users and pedestrians
  • provide a clean, bright and creative entrance to the city
  • improve perceptions of personal safety on the Street
  • encourage people to use ‘Light’ Neville Street and for it to be a positive experience
  • create a welcoming and impressive entrance to Leeds
  • mark a celebration of design quality for the city’s public spaces

The commissioning of internationally recognised artist Hans Peter Kuhn to create an ever-changing light and sound installation for Neville Street is envisaged as a catalyst for artists, young people and the public to engage with city redevelopment, urban design and their creative relationship with space through sound.

MAAP provided essential advocacy for the project and successful presentation to the key partners at an early stage. MAAP initiated the role of the artist on the design team and subsequently managed the recruitment and selection of the artist Hans Peter Kuhn and provided artist liaison over 4 years of the project.

Funding for the artist commission was secured from The Northern Way (£646,000) and Arts Council England following an application written by MAAP.

MAAP also initiated an associated cultural programme related to Light Neville Street, which included two outreach projects aimed at young people, engaging them with the Light Neville Street scheme and developing an infrastructure amongst partners from the public and private sector around concerns of sound, city space and urban regeneration. The two projects, Sonic Postcards, run through three schools in south Leeds. As well as Klanging Banging the Neville Street Bursary Programme, emerging through a partnership of the city’s four HE institutions.

Neville Street micro-site:

Photo taken by Kippa Matthews