Businesses throughout the city were honoured at the first Leeds Lifestyle awards on Wednesday 5th of October at the Royal Armouries museum.
A success in the cities of London and Bristol, the Lifestyle awards were created by business mogul Jason Gale. Now launched in Leeds, they honour people and businesses who have been most influential to the city as a whole, and it is the residents of each city who nominate and vote for the potential winners.
According to the Leeds lifestyle website, this means it “really is a people’s choice event and that is why the accolade is so highly regarded.”
11 winners from 11 different categories who took home an award. The Leeds legend award was given to Arthur France, founder of the Leeds West Indian carnival, La Bottega Milanese bagged the best coffee shop, and Propaganda won the best Leeds club.
“To win this award is a testament to the work ethic of the promo and bar teams and the tremendous effort they put in to make our customers night a memorable one every week,” said Alan Readfearn, manager of Propaganda, “The Lifestyle awards judges are the people of Leeds, and it’s a huge step for the city to retain key performance indicators for any business to be successful.”
— Propaganda Leeds (@PropagandaLeeds) October 5, 2016
Describing the event as “professional and prestigious” Readfearn praised the “opportunity to network with lots of Leeds based businesses and charities.”
The challenges of live broadcast
The event was broadcast live on local television channel, Made in Leeds.
“When Made television decided to take on the awards, they really wanted to show off what’s possible with local television.” Mark Kielesz–Levine said, a Presenter at the channel. “With any live television, things are bound to go wrong but it’s about how you react. Just smile and carry on!”
He also reflected on the importance of being able to televise such a prestigious event.
“Having an awards ceremony that is so local to Leeds, it gives everybody the opportunity to celebrate, it’s so much more accessible and not just for the people who are attending, but for people across the country.”
Mark is optimistic about viewer ratings.
“I hope a lot of people were watching, but it’s a guessing game really. We tend to get a lot of viewers with shows like this, and if they love the city, I don’t see why they wouldn’t watch!”
Even Marketing Director for Made Television, Victoria Clapham, described the live broadcast as an “added bonus” and the key distinguishing factor for Leeds from the previous lifestyle awards in other cities.
“Leeds is a true powerhouse, and the awards were a great way of showcasing some of these as voted for by the public. We couldn’t have asked for a better crowd, it was a brilliant night with a brilliant mix of people in the room.”
Due to the success of the first Lifestyle awards, there is talk of the show becoming an annual event.
By Fatima Banglawala