• The creative business hub, LCB Depot take its name from the ‘Leicester CityBus’ company that were based in the building previously
  • Opening in the late 1960s, the bus depot had a control room with live feeds from a state of the art CCTV system that monitored traffic across the city
  • LCB Depot hosts regular creative business events and family activity days

On the Buses

The Leicester City Transport Operating Centre in Rutland Street opened in 1969. Its concrete construction, LCT cube and bright white tiles were a startling contrast with the surrounding Victorian architecture. The Depot became the central hub for Leicester City Transport, replacing older offices in Humberstone Gate. Buses drove through a narrow entrance at the front into a yard at the back and drivers then had to reverse into a very tight space.

CCTV and entertainment facilities

Customer Enquiries, Lost Property and the Duty Office were located on the ground floor as well as a state of the art Control Room that used radio and the new technology of CCTV to monitor road conditions across the city. The first floor housed administrative offices and the second a staff canteen. The top floor housed the Transport Club with bars, a dance hall and concert stage.

 

Leicester City Transport Operating Centre 1969. Leicester Transport Heritage Trust, Rob Haywood and Keith Wood

The last bus

The bus company was rebranded Leicester CityBus (LCB) in 1984 and the letters in the cubes changed. Municipal bus operations in Leicester ended in 1986 when bus services were deregulated. By 1987 the Depot was no longer being used. For the next 15 years the site lay empty, but in 2002 it became the Council´s first major regeneration project for the proposed Cultural Quarter.

The birth of a creative hub

Retaining the LCB Depot abbreviation, though now standing for Leicester Creative Business, it opened in 2004, providing 50 studios for artists and creative businesses, as well as exhibition spaces and a public café. As part of the project many of the original bus depot features were retained and restored.

The heart of the Cultural Quarter

The aim of the LCB Depot is to support, develop and stimulate the city's creative businesses. Since opening in 2004 it has gone from strength to strength and has now become home to a thriving community of creatives that support the local economy.

The depot provides work-spaces and studios for creatives to rent as well as hosting exhibitions and related arts events in the on-site gallery. Grays coffee shop and kitchen, within LCB Depot, serves up a variety of fresh, seasonal food and award-winning coffee and is open to the public. Regular family events and creative business networking meeting are held at LCB alongside a programme of publicly accessible exhibitions, find out how to visit.

With thanks to the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust, Rob Haywood and Keith Wood.

Visitor information
Public access inside

Gallery

Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Early 20th Century Leicester

(1910 – 1973) The diverse industrial base meant Leicester was able to cope with the economic challenges of the 1920s and 1930s. New light engineering businesses, such as typewriter and scientific instrument making, complemented the more traditional industries of hosiery and footwear manufacturing.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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