Climate Innovation District welcomes visitors to pop up riverside bar

A man and a woman sit at a picnic table in a garden by the river Aire. In the background is a footbridge and flats.

CITU’s Climate Innovation District is the place to be this summer with its newly landscaped summer gardens in full bloom and Piglove by the River, one of Leeds’s most popular pop-up beer gardens, re-opening with a new indoor space ready to welcome even more visitors to this oasis of calm and craft beer.

CITU has been working hard to ensure the Climate Innovation District – a growing low carbon community located on the banks of the River Aire in Hunslet near the Royal Armouries – is ready for the summer season as part of its long-term ambitions to rejuvenate this often-overlooked waterside part of the city. New outdoor trampolines have been added to complement the well-received public basketball court which opened last summer, alongside new green spaces which are now in full bloom with fruit and vegetable gardens ready for visitors to sample.

Capturing the hearts of residents and visitors alike, Piglove by the River, a seasonal al fresco pop-up bar and tap room which launched in 2021 run by Leeds-based micro-brewery, Piglove Brewery Co – which has established a reputation for creating bold and fragrant beers using exotic ingredients from all over the world – quickly became one of city’s best kept secrets.

Piglove by the River is now one of the most sought-after riverside spots in Leeds thanks to its winning combination of craft beers, ciders and cocktails enjoyed in an idyllic location, becoming a popular pit stop for walkers, runners and cyclists with a growing community on its doorstep.

Last month, the bar officially opened ‘The Sty’ a new 50 capacity indoor space which can seat up to and complements the outdoor riverside seating area which can accommodate up to 120 guests. Piglove by the River also offers an incredible programme of music and foodie events which puts the spotlight on the best upcoming home-grown talent and the rising stars of the city’s street food scene.

Marcos Ramirez from Piglove said

“We are thrilled that Piglove by The River is here to stay at the Climate Innovation District. We are grateful for the support of  CITU and the thousands of visitors who have made Piglove a cherished destination along the riverbank.  Piglove translates in Venezuelan to ‘when you really love something’ and it’s great to see people loving our venue. We look forward to creating more memorable experiences for our patrons and continuing to contribute to the incredible community spirit of the CID especially as we have now improved our facilities to keep up with demand and greet customers in the summer and winter months – rain or shine.”

Since its inception, Piglove by the River has welcomed over 24,000 customers, experiencing a surge of over 8,000 visitors since the arrival of warmer weather in April this year. The increasing popularity has enabled the company to expand its premises, with further plans to deliver a year-round food and drink offering in the near future.

Phoebe Nicol, Development Manager at CITU’s Climate Innovation District, said:

“Piglove is now the heart and soul of this community, and the company also aligns with our sustainable ethos and is working towards becoming a carbon-zero business. The pop-up bar is the first tenant here at the CID, and this is just the start of us opening more commercial spaces to help us realise our vision of creating a sustainable and connected neighbourhood which revitalises the riverside.”

Over the last few years, the River Aire, which flows between both phases of the Climate Innovation District, has been the target of river clean ups which has seen a surge of activity in the water. The neighbouring Leeds Dock is now a popular spot for paddleboarders, open-water swimmers and more, as well as offering a range of independent bars and cafes and creative, collaborative workspaces.

Phoebe adds:

“During lockdown, people began walking and cycling along the river and rediscovering its beauty, as well as the health and wellbeing benefits it has to offer. We want to build on this and make this part of Leeds city centre a destination for walkers, cyclists, drinkers, foodies and more, as well as a place that people can put down roots to live.”

Also on the grounds, as part of Leeds Hospital Charity Trust Bear Hunt, CITU has sponsored a bear which can be found until September. Those who locate the bear can enjoy 20% off a drink at Piglove by using the Leeds Bear Hunt app which can be downloaded at

Piglove by the River’s opening hours are:

  • Wednesday – Friday: 4pm – 10pm
  • Saturday: 1pm – 10pm
  • Sunday: 1pm – 8pm


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of CITU


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