Dark Arches Leeds Station

These unique arches under Leeds Railway station provide a unique subterranean setting and opportunity for development. The creation of a new south entrance sees huge number of passengers alighting and boarding adjacent to these arches every day.


Dark and Little Neville Street with Granary Wharf are unique subterranean thoroughfares over the river Aire under Leeds Railway station. Their 5000 sq m of arch space was traditionally used as car parking and storage. The announcement of a new £17.3M railway entrance saw this reviewed, in the light of the 20k passengers who would be deposited on a deck adjacent to these streets on a daily basis. Dark Neville Street Arches are a special environment by virtue of their gateway station location and their almost subterranean waterside location with the River Aire crossing through the space. The place identity needed to make a virtue of this uniqueness, adding local and regional amenity whilst reinforcing a destination purpose for this geographically and historically unique location. “Bright Lights, Dark Arches – Leeds City.”

The use of ‘ghost signs’ used historically by manufacturers in the Leeds area was used as a reference for the graphic identity style andDark Arches word mark. We worked closely with the client and their development agent CF Commercial to develop a place strategy aligned with potential consumer data, a tenant mix, estimated rental values and an offer plan.

Ghost signs sample


Marketing Samples

A very localised marketing strategy was formulated using outdoor, print and digital materials referencing our ‘light’ messaging and the ‘river running through it’ campaign.

Wayfinding and Signange

A series of signing devices were developed using industrial corten steel and concrete from Totem and amenity signs to a stencil style sign writing.

Way finding samples

Environment elements

Environmental Elements

The basis for the environmental scheme relied on stripping back the existing arches, cleaning brickwork and exposing services to provide an industrial subterranean environment, where light could be used to create a unique destinational day and night retail, food, beverage and event place.



The scheme was very well received by Network Rail and Leeds City Council, however it was unfortunately moth-balled due to the sale of Network Rails Commercial Estate. to the now Arch Company we are hopeful the scheme will now be resurrected by the new owners.