First Direc Arena Leeds Security Control Room by Thinking Space Systems-1

Leeds First Direct Arena case study


Leeds City Council developed a new arena named First Direct Arena for concerts and events in the city. Thinking Space provided technical furniture for two control room areas, providing desk solutions tailored to meet the needs of each completely different environment.


Leeds had been the largest city in the UK without its own venue to hold concerts and sporting events. In response to requests from residents and with a widespread and public “Leeds needs an arena” campaign, which even had local artists, the Kaiser Chiefs, endorsing it, the arena commenced construction in February 2011.

Developed by Leeds City Council and completed in May 2013, the venue has a capacity of 13,500 with an expected annual revenue of $33 million for the city’s economy. It has now been officially named the First Direct Arena, after the web-based bank that sponsors the venue.


The facilities management contractor OCS deployed Thinking Space to design and install control room furniture and a media wall for the newly refurbished CCTV control room.

bespoke three person control console with technical and user storage, and a combined media wall and technical storage (racking) unit were manufactured and installed.


The first control room is a central facility providing 24/7 site-wide security and safety monitoring. The L-shaped configuration provides two comfortable operator positions. The second control room is an event-specific security and safety management facility.

In the unusually shaped room, Thinking Space was tasked with designing a console which followed the shape of the room. The console was then mounted onto a raised dais to increase viewing angles for operators. The design of the console also included the positioning of temporary and permanently fixed equipment.

Special controlled lighting was installed within the room as part of the overall project to ensure that no light escapes from the room while events are taking place. Thinking Space, as the official distributer of Novus MoreSpace desk accessories, supplied Novus Corona 2 LED lamps with dimmable task lighting for operators to use when the lighting in the room needs to be controlled.

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"Thinking Space met the design requirements and delivered a product that fully satisfied the needs of Reflex and it's customer"
Reflex Systems
Leeds First Direct Arena project