This is from the Mercury Opinion column in today's Leicester Mercury:
Golden Mile gateways are a great idea
Belgrave traders have raised the idea of large Indian-style gateways to mark either end of Leicester's Golden Mile. It would create a landmark in a similar way to the Oriental arches in Manchester's Chinatown. Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby is enthusiastic about the idea and would support it if the traders were to pay for it themselves. That last point touches on the issue of how this would be funded and that does not appear to be entirely clear yet.
Notwithstanding that potential stumbling block, it is an excellent idea. This area of Leicester is already scheduled for a major change with the demolition of the Belgrave flyover next year. This has caused some anxiety among motorists. However, there are many benefits to the area itself. The Belgrave flyover is an unattractive structure which separates the Golden Mile from the city centre. Its demolition will remove that barrier.
The creation of the landmarks being proposed by the traders would further add to the character and distinctiveness of this area and make it more of an attraction to visitors to the city. It has a fine array of shops and this would help to make them even more of an attraction. One would imagine, however, that landmarks of this nature would be expensive and the crucial issue is coming up with a funding plan. We would love to see this idea get off the ground.