100 Club: Luke Barker from Broad Gate

Luke Barker is the client and communications manager for Broad Gate. He is a member of the Leeds Community Foundation’s 100 Club, a patronage scheme for individuals who are motivated to make a difference in Leeds.

Here, he discusses what he loves about the city, and why he’s involved in the foundation.

What is your favourite thing about Leeds?

I love how compact and walkable the city centre is and how each part of it has such a differing vibe. What’s really appealing to me is the ability to enjoy the bustle of city life but be out in open countryside within a 10 or 15 minute train ride – when I recently moved from my LS1 apartment to a house in leafy Rothwell, this transition became something to enjoy daily on my commute.

I think it’s rare to find a city that’s as metropolitan as Leeds is whilst remaining authentically down to earth and genuine.

What would you change about the city?

From a shopping point of view I’d love to see Selfridges take space in Leeds and for the city’s retail credentials to continue to thrive. I think it’s also very important to protect and nurture independent traders in places like the Corn Exchange and the arcades off Briggate so Leeds keeps it’s unique and quirky retail offering. I’d love to see trams come back to the city one day too!

Why did you decide to join the Leeds Community Foundation’s 100 Club and how does it benefit your company?

The investment company that owns and manages Broad Gate, Northwood Investors, is North American but as a building management team we are very Leeds-focused. Broad Gate is an iconic Leeds landmark  (formerly Lewis’ department store and later Alders), so we feel it’s vital to play an active role in the city, helping out wherever we can.

Additionally, the monthly 100 club events are a great way to network with other local businesses and get an insider’s feel for what’s really going on in our city. We have a fabulous roof garden and a breath-taking atrium space at Broad Gate so we’re excited to host our first Autumn event for LCF this month.

What community issues are important to you and/or your organisation?

I think sustainability is something that’s becoming increasingly important to our occupiers as well as the team at Broad Gate. Being in a historic building can present certain challenges where we need to think creatively to ensure energy efficiency. We recently changed all internal lighting to LED’s to further improve our environmental ethics. Local animal charities are also close to our heart.