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People of Leeds invited to re-design first direct arena bar

12 Jun 2014

first direct launches unique Tumblr competition for West Yorkshire residents to lead iconic Arena design project

People in Leeds are being given the chance to re-design the first direct bar within the first direct arena, taking inspiration from their unique city in a competition launched today.    

first direct , the  ‘unexpected’ bank, is asking West Yorkshire residents and wannabe interior designers to make their mark on the city’s iconic venue - inspired by their idea of what makes Leeds unexpected - to have their ideas brought to life by a professional design team.  

The picture-led competition can be found on first direct ’s new page on the Tumblr social network and opens for entries from Thursday 12 June.   Entrants are asked to create a visual mood board expressing their idea of what they think the bar should look like. 

Entries will be shortlisted by an expert judging panel made up of first direct chief executive, Tracy Garrad, sales & marketing director at first direct arena, Tony Watson, interior design blogger, Carole King, founder of Leeds Retail Association, David Laycock, all adding valuable community insight into the project. The winner will then be announced following a public vote online. 

The winner will have the opportunity to help bring their ideas to life with a two-week paid design work experience with the team at first direct arena or, two sets of four luxury experience tickets at first direct arena for upcoming events.  

Tracy Garrad, chief executive of first direct , said: “Sponsoring the Arena is our way of giving back to the city we call home.  We want people to show what makes Leeds unexpected to them -  It’s where we started and it’s helped us become the bank that’s a little bit different, a bit unexpected. 

“It’s the first competition we’ve done of its kind and an amazing opportunity for local residents and budding designers, artists and music fans to make their mark on one of the most thrilling developments Leeds has seen for many years. We can’t wait to see the entries.” 

The competition can be found at and entries close 09 July.  first direct is kicking off the competition with its own set of images demonstrating its own idea of ‘unexpected Leeds’.  People can help inspire entrants by adding their own pictures to first direct ’s collection at




Media Enquiries

For more information about the competition and the first direct arena bar contact Rebecca Armstrong, Aberfield PR on 0113 357 2076 or email 

About first direct

first direct provides both telephone banking and online banking services to its 1.2m customers.  It is recognised as one of the more advanced banks in the social customer revolution. As well as its Facebook page, first direct uses social media to engage with customers through sites like YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.  The bank has recently launched as an extension to it is customer service offering. The company has an award winning social media newsroom, its own beta testing site, first direct Lab, and has won awards for individual social media campaigns such as 'Live', a campaign that aggregated what people were saying about the bank online. 

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