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Signs Express (Leeds) was announced as a finalist in the Outer Space category at this year's Signs Express Awards Ceremony held on Friday 28th November at the Nottingham Belfry hotel. In a change to the standard voting process and for the first time ever, the awards were voted for by the franchisees themselves, making this a true reflection of the centre's talent.

This year, Signs Express was celebrating their 25th birthday and so the convention was very much a celebration as well as a conference. Welcoming franchisees from their 70 centres across the UK and Ireland, the convention was a huge success, celebrating past achievements and looking towards the future, a notion supported by their futuristic space themed evening event. The blind vote for the sign awards took place at lunchtime on the day of the convention with the entries displayed on boards lining one of the walls at the conference. A special category created especially for this year's celebrations, the Outer Space award called for entries which were that little bit different from the norm. Signs Express (Leeds) impressed voters with the sign they provided for locally based company AQL. As Signs Express (Leeds) was already a trusted supplier, AQL approached the sign makers to tell them about a new transmitter mast they were erecting and to see what they could do to brand it. This was a very technical build as the Leeds team had to ensure that the letters would be strong enough to withstand the wind so high up as well as having different sized returns. The letters are thicker at the top than the bottom so that the letter faces don't face towards the sky, but sit vertical despite the mast being angled backwards. With the differing sized returns, full 3D CAD drawings had to be created to accurately laser cut the returns. Signs Express (Leeds) used a 58 metre cherry picker for fitting due to the difficult access to get to the mast. The mast overlooks busy main roads leading into the centre of Leeds, and can be seen when travelling on the M621 so it is in a great position. The mast is also illuminated using colour changing LED flood lights. This allows AQL's customers to text a colour to a telephone number and the mast will instantly change colour. This sky scraping design was much appreciated by the voters and led to a well-deserved accolade for Signs Express (Leeds). Dave Nurse, supported by wife Kim and son Rick who also work within the centre, opened the doors to Signs Express (Leeds) in December 2003. The highly skilled team work with national and local customers including Leeds City Council, Siemens, European Metal Recycling, Taskmaster, Service Point, Audi and McDonalds.

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