Moda and New Citizens let the music play at Canvas Yard

Build to Rent developer Moda Living and construction firm Caddick Group have partnered with music promoter New Citizens to bring cultural events to Canvas Yard in Leeds.

(Pictured left to right): Emma Shone from Moda, Stu Butterworth from New Citizens and Eleanor Trigwell from Moda at the Places for Life talk at this year's UKREiiF event. The fireside chat discusses the benefits that the Canvas Yard event space brings to the community | BTR News
(Pictured left to right): Emma Shone from Moda, Stu Butterworth from New Citizens and Eleanor Trigwell from Moda at the Places for Life talk at this year's UKREiiF event. The fireside chat discusses the benefits that the Canvas Yard event space brings to the community.

Based in the heart of Leeds city centre, Moda Living and cultural event specialist New Citizens launched Canvas Yard earlier this year, a dedicated event space in Leeds.

Canvas Yard will officially open in spring this year and is based at City One, a development site currently in planning for Caddick Group.

At the Places for Life pavilion during last week’s UKREiiF event, BTR News learnt that this hasn’t stopped the growing partnership between Moda Living and New Citizens from making meaningful use of the space, by holding community-centred and cultural music festivals and events that bring people together.

Once a disused car park, Canvas Yard is the city’s largest meaningful-use event space which has paved the way for the exciting partnership, which came to fruition when New Citizens required a venue to hold their popular and upcoming The Garden Party.

“We share a lot of the same values as Moda, but I think amongst the other developers we work with, Moda is definitely more forward-thinking. They appreciate that culture forms a massive part of not only meanwhile-use but finished developments as well, so it’s really refreshing to work with the guys at Moda and Caddick.”

Stu Butterworth, Founding Director, New Citizens

With both Moda Living and New Citizens being heavily involved in the community, they believe that the involvement of local partners and people play a big part in the success of the schemes and the events that are attached to them.

The emphasis for Moda lies in the legacy that they believe their community-led efforts will leave behind as the brand continues to experience great receptions in the cities that they operate in.

“We create these communities not only in the physical buildings that we build but also in the areas that we operate in, as well as the wider city, and so partnering with New Citizen to deliver these events to the communities that we’re in was just an extension of that.”

Eleanor Trigwell, Brand Manager, Moda Living

Moda Living and New Citizens welcomed 3,000 people on-site for the first Garden Party, despite the event being a last-minute plan.

The first event to be held there was New Citizens’ Hasienda Open Air festival, which was then followed by the famous Defected Leeds event soon after.

“The first two events that we delivered this year were bringing well-known brands such as Hacienda in Manchester, House Music Records and label Defected, which are massive on the worldwide scene running events from London through to Ibiza and the rest of the world. We came in at about 3,500 people per show [in attendance], slightly different demographics but definitely in line with Moda’s values, which was not only great from a commercial perspective for us in welcoming that many people, but the overspill into the wider economics in the city as well as data collection, branding and partnership.”  

Stu Butterworth, Founding Director, New Citizens

In a bid to help transform the area, New Citizens believe that Leeds city lacks purposeful cultural spaces.

Following the example that transformative places such as Manchester’s Mayfield Depot have set in recent years, this partnership has helped New Citizens establish Leeds as a new city of culture and recreation.

“To see it be brought to life, worked on by partners in the city and people in the neighbouring communities, was incredible. It’s brilliant for Moda to get out there. Ourselves and New Citizen have a lot of shared brand values which really embeds into the communities that we’re in. It’s people having fun, its people enjoying and getting the most out of the space. We don’t just build four walls of an apartment, it is so much more than that; it’s a lifestyle. By doing these events, partnering and holding events like this, we’re creating that lifestyle.”

Eleanor Trigwell, Brand Manager, Moda Living

The partnership will see a packed programme of festivals and events in the coming years, benefitting the community for the long term.

The future of the partnership is one of opportunity, and with the Canvas Yard events proving to be a success, Moda is hoping to deliver similar concepts to the rest of their portfolio.

With Moda taking a significant stance on health and wellbeing, the events (including ones in the pipeline) have enabled the developer operator to learn more about what their future residents want and need from their areas.


“The possibilities are endless… we’ve set the bar now; we’re dying to do more! We have numerous sites up and down the country that are currently going through planning and so we’re making use of the spaces, and meanwhile uses like Canvas Yard means that we can put the space on the map before we open-up. We really hope that the legacy of Canvas Yard and the event spaces lives on through the neighbourhoods and to the people living in them. There is always going to be an event space there.”  

Eleanor Trigwell, Brand Manager, Moda Living

Moda Living operate across the UK, in cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and soon Brighton & Hove.