Friday, 18 July 2014

Team work delivers better communities

A mixture of Leeds local organisations joined forces to improve housing and communities in the Edinburghs area of the city yesterday.

The event was part of the Leeds Neighbourhood Approach aimed at targeting properties where landlords have failed to respond to invitations to work with the council to improve their private rented accommodation or bring their empty home back into use. It also provides advice and guidance to local people about safety and crime prevention.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said:

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide support to people in the Edinburghs as part of our commitment to working in targeted areas which house some of the city’s most vulnerable people. The conditions found inside some of the properties justify our partnership approach.

“We know some of the tenants the teams met would never complain to the council for fear of retaliatory eviction and working in this proactive way offers them a safe way to make their concerns heard.”

Officers from the council’s Neighbourhood Team and the Neighbourhood Police Team inspected 15 properties where formal notice to gain entry had already been served. They found conditions including overcrowding, fire safety issues, electrical hazards and entry by intruders and will now start follow up enforcement work to deal these concerns.

Crime Prevention Officers gave specific advice to residents on the day and general advice was handed out to all properties in the area regarding the Police’s Summer Burglary Campaign 2014, while Leeds City Council’s digital inclusion bus was present throughout the day to provide online access to services for residents and for use as a base by the partners.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team, Leeds City Council,
4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile:  07891 276270
Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736

Key worker accommodation at former college site gets the ‘go-ahead’

Plans to build key worker accommodation on the former St Michael’s college building and old police depot site in Little Woodhouse have been approved by planning chiefs.

The major £40m scheme will provide three new buildings comprising of student accommodation (320 bedspaces), key worker accommodation (259 units) and 61 open market apartments on land at St John’s Road and Belle Vue Road.

All existing buildings on the former police station depot and St Michael’s College site would be demolished except the original 1908 element of the college which would be retained and refurbished to form part of the proposed keyworker accommodation.

Leeds councillors at the City Plans Panel approved the scheme by the Watkins Jones Group, subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement. The scheme was refined following comments by Panel members at a meeting on 8 May 2014. The architecture of the new buildings has been revised and some of the smallest key worker studios have been increased in size in response to councillors concerns.

The applicant also increased their contribution by £150,000 (£170,000 in total) towards green space to provide improvements to much needed quality public space in the Hyde Park area, following negotiations with the council. 

Planning chiefs gave a further boost to the city’s housing growth by also approving planning applications for a development of approximately 70 homes on land near Calverley Lane, Farsley and the ring road, and proposals for 160 apartments, office space and car parking spaces and at 2 Skinner Lane, Leeds.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:
“It’s welcoming to see a range of housing development coming forward to meet the growing demand in our city, particularly significant investment targeting affordable, quality homes for key workers. The investment in construction and support offered for local employment during the works is also welcome.”

Councillor Jim McKenna, chair of City Centre Plans Panel, said:
“We’re pleased that the developer has taken on board the comments we’ve made during the planning process. Today’s application is much improved and more acceptable. It’s good to see this vacant brownfield site being revitalised with a positive future after suffering from anti-social behaviour. The mix of residential types proposed will help provide a sustainable community.”


For media enquiries, please contact:

Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472

Who will they become this summer at Leeds Museums and Galleries?

Caption: A range of family friendly activities will be available at Leeds Museums and Galleries sites this year.

Visitors to Leeds Museums and Galleries’ nine fascinating attractions will have the chance to let their imaginations run wild as they take part in a range of fantastic activities and events planned for this summer.

Kicking off the summer celebrations is Leeds’ fine Edwardian country home, Lotherton Hall, with their ‘Six Weeks of Summer Fun’ series and the return of family favourite ‘Summer Sixties Picnic’. Boasting extensive grounds and an enchanting bird garden, ‘Six Weeks of Summer Fun’ will incorporate activities including ‘Into Africa Week’ from Monday 28 July and the ‘Lotherton Challenge Week’ which from 11 August will set a number of challenges across the estate. Are you good enough to come out on top?

Not far away from Lotherton Hall is another jewel in the city’s crown, Temple Newsam House, filled with decorative art treasures and set within beautiful parkland. Over the summer visitors will have the chance to join in an action packed list of activities. ‘The Many faces of Temple Newsam’ event from Weds 23 July will be bringing to life characters of the stately home with, caricatures, posing in a portrait, face painting and lots more. Continuing the theme of meeting people from the past, there is also the opportunity in ‘Meet an Ancestor’ to join perhaps Lady Hertford or Arthur Ingham as they show off their wonderful house and finery.

The historic surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey are always a perfect place for all the family, and this summer will be no different as every Friday during the school holidays there will be a fun musical session for all the family at their ‘Funky Fridays’ event and a special ‘Picnic with a Dragon’ every Wednesday. Just make sure he doesn’t eat your sandwiches!

Over the road at the fantastic Abbey House Museum, families can also take part in a special ‘Pick & Mix’ event every Friday in the school holidays where they can choose from an amazing range of activities including crafts, dressing up and much, much more. If this was not enough, as part of the ‘Tall Tales Family Fun’ events, a range of crafts and activities will also take place every Tuesday during the summer around classic children’s books such as ‘The Jungle Book,’, ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Black Beauty’.

The city’s two industrial museums Leeds Industrial Museum, once the world’s largest woollen mill, and Thwaite Mills Watermill, nestled in a wonderful riverside setting rich in wildlife, are also pulling out all the stops to present a fascinating insight into the city’s industrial heritage and provide the chance to get in touch with nature. At Leeds Industrial Museum why not join in and enjoy all things watery in the ‘Splish, Splash, Splosh Water Fun!’ events or become an island explorer every day in the holidays at Thwaite Mills Watermills?

The chance to showcase your creative side at the spectacular Leeds Art Gallery is never far away, and as part of the ‘SatARTday Club’ and ‘Paint Yourself’ events why not use your imagination to create something memorable? There is something for children to enjoy on a Saturday morning throughout the school holidays or join one of our Adventures in Artspace events inspired by our exhibitions or collections and supported by a different artist each time. Other city-centre favourite Leeds City Museum will also be providing activities sprinkled with mystery, magic and enchantment at their special ‘Myths, Legends and Fairytales’ event on 14 August where the world of escape and fantasy will come to life.

Last but not least in what also promises to be something not to be missed Leeds Discovery Centre will once again be offering the chance to go behind the scenes in their state-of-the-art storage facility, home to over one million objects. Join in their free special guided tour every Thursday of the holiday and see what delights are in store and the work that is undertaken to keep objects in great condition.

These exciting events form part of a larger packed programme which will be delivered by Leeds Museum and Galleries over the school holidays that will also offer crafts, magic, mystery and fun.

With so much taking place to keep the kids busy and let their imaginations run wild, who will they become this summer?

For more details on all the summer events at Leeds Museums and Galleries, please see:

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"We are always looking at ways in Leeds Museums and Galleries to inspire our young people, and as part of our packed summer programme of events and activities we will be pulling out all the stops to fire their imaginations.

"This promises to be a summer not to forget, and we look forward to welcoming both old and new friends to our museums and galleries in the school holidays."

John Roles, Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

"Over many years, Leeds Museums and Galleries have put together a packed programme of events to enjoy in the summer, and I am delighted to say that this year is no different.

"Our nine sites have really pulled out all the stops, and I hope children will enjoy our range of activities and events which will not only be great fun, but also we hope inspirational."

Notes to editors:

For more information on events and admission, please visit:

Summertime family events at Leeds Museums & Galleries:

Lotherton Hall

Summer Sixties Picnic
Sun 10 Aug, 11am – 3pm
Games, Band, Children’s entertainment, juke box and more!
Six Weeks of Summer Fun

Into Africa Week - Mon 28 July – Sun 3 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Activities inspired by all things African in the Bird Garden and Hall.

Conservation week - Mon 4 – Sun 10 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Learn about how we look after the Birds and Museum objects, with recycling craft activities to enjoy.

Lotherton Challenge Week – Mon 11 – Sun 17 Aug, 11am – 4pm
We'll be setting challenges across the Estate. Can you tick them all off?

The Gascoigne’s Abroad Week – Mon 18 – Sun 24 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Learn about the Gascoigne’s travels and try out our worldly inspired crafts.
End of Summer Fun – Mon 25 – Sun 31 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Make the most of your summer holidays and enjoy activities and games at Lotherton.

Abbey House Museum

Tall Tales Family Fun
Every Tues in the summer holidays, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Family crafts and activities based around classic children’s books.
The Owl and the Pussy Cat – Tues 22 July
The Jungle book – Tues 29 July
Alice In Wonderland – Tues 5 Aug
Wizard of Oz – Tues 12 Aug
Treasure Island – Tues 19 Aug
Black Beauty – Tues 26 Aug

SPLAT Science and Play Time
Every Weds in the summer holidays, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Join us at Abbey House to explore, create and have lots of science fun every Wednesday of the summer holidays. Each week has a different theme and there will be a variety of activities suitable for all ages. No scientific knowledge is necessary just lots of playful curiosity!

Magic & Mystery Museum
Every Thurs in the summer holidays, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
A day of magical and mysterious activities in the museum. Each week there will be different activities that will include; a mystery to solve, a magic trick to learn, an optical illusion to make, a dotty invention, mystery objects, a science experiment. Designed for the whole family to work together, have fun and learn something new.

Pick & Mix – The Choice Factor
Every Fri in the summer holidays, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Fridays at Abbey House we are giving families a pick and mix of options. There will be a range of exciting activities, some messy, some crafty, some dressing up, some quick, some that take longer. The choice is yours!

Leeds Industrial Museum

Splish, Splash, Splosh Water Fun!
Help us to appreciate all things watery at Leeds Industrial Museum this summer by joining in these fun activities.
Wash Day - Thurs 24 July & Thurs 7 Aug, 1pm – 2pm

Help Molly the washer woman with her Victorian weekday wash.
Tales of the Water Folk - Thurs 31 July & Fri 1 Aug, 10.30am – 11.00am & 2.30pm – 3pm
Listen to wonderful water based tales from our storyteller. After the session grab a water colour art pack and take inspiration from both the stories and our watery setting to create some water colour masterpieces as you tour the site.

Water Force! - Tues 12 & Weds 13 Aug, 1pm – 3pm
Have a go at making a waterwheel.
Wonderful Water Experiments - Weds, 20, Thurs 21, Weds 27 & Thurs 28 Aug, 1pm – 2pm
Take part in these science based water experiments.

Film Time
Tues 22 Aug, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
The Armley Palace picture hall closed exactly 50 years ago. Some of the fixtures were removed and can now be seen in the cinema at Leeds Industrial museum. Come along and watch the last ever film shown in the old cinema.

Leeds City Transport Vintage Bus Running Day
Sun 31 Aug, 11am – 5pm
Travel in vintage style around the city and take in two of Leeds premier heritage sites. Free buses will be running from New York Street, Leeds City Centre to Thwaite Mills and to Bramley Town end via Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. Every 15 mins from 10.30am to 5.15pm. The buses are Preserved A.E.C., Daimler & Leyland Leeds City Transport buses from 1950's & 1960's operating in service. A souvenir timetable brochure can be purchased by post (one month prior to the event sending a A5 Stamp Addressed Envelope with a cheque or postal order for £3.00 to Richard McAllister, 16, Dam Head Road, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2SR) or purchase on the day of the event.

Temple Newsam

The Many Faces of Temple Newsam
Weds 23rd – Thurs 31 July & Fri 1 – Fri 22 Aug
An action packed summer of activities bringing to life the many faces of this stately home, including historic face painting, caricatures, posing in a portrait… Check the website to see what's happening on different days

Meet an Ancestor
Weds 30 July, 2,30pm
A very special invite to join one of Temple Newsam's ancestors, perhaps Lady Hertford or Sir Arthur Ingram, as they show off their house and its finery

Grayson Perry - Look, React, Make
Sat 23 – Sun 31 Aug, 10.30am – 5pm
Activities to react and reflect on the unique, bold, vibrant tapestries of Grayson Perry.

Elizabethan Dancing in the Picture Gallery
Sun 31 Aug, 2pm – 3.30pm
The White Rose Revels put on a sumptuous performance of Elizabethan dancing in the ambient Picture Gallery

Kirkstall Abbey

Funky Samba Drumming
Fri 15 & Tue 19 Aug, 10am & 11am

Colouring Day
Mon 25 Au, 10am – 3pm
A day of colouring, sketching and sticking in the abbey. A relaxing way to spend your Bank holiday.

Arty in the Abbey
Every Thurs in the summer holidays, 10am – 11.30am
A morning of fun art activities in the abbey. Each week we will try a different artform or craft starting with clay tiles to celebrate the British Festival of Archaeology.

Funky Fridays
Every Fri in the summer holidays, 10am – 11.30am

Leeds City Museum

You Beauty!
Tues 29 – Thurs 31 July & Fri 1 Aug, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Take a walk on the wild side in our temporary exhibition Natural Beauty 2. Capture your own artworks inspired by the beauty of the natural world and wildlife.

We Are Leeds
Tues 5 – Fri 8 Aug, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
What does Leeds mean to you? Explore the history and stories of Leeds in our Life in Leeds Gallery and design bunting using 'iconic' Leeds images.

Myths, Legends and Fairy tales
Thurs 14 Aug, 10am – 6pm
Free Family activities inspired by the summer.

The Romans are coming!
Tues 26 – Fri 29 Aug, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Join us in the build up to our upcoming Roman Empire: Power & People exhibition, with free activities to explore and bring to life our Roman collections.

Leeds Art Gallery

Paint Yourself
Thurs 24, 31 July, 7 & 14 Aug, 11am – 4pm

Self-portrait day in artspace.
Picture Me in Artspace
Thurs 24 July – Sun 31 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Fun activities all about making pictures of yourself.

Fri 22 Aug, 10am – 12pm
Exciting multisensory events inspired by a different gallery artwork each month for very young people to gain confidence in themselves as learners, explorers, discoverers and thinkers. Please wear suitable clothes.

SatARTday Club
Sat 2 Aug, 11am – 4pm
Drop-in workshops for families to enjoy being imaginative and creative together whilst finding out more about the art and artists in our collection and exhibitions.

Adventures in Artspace
Sat 14th June, 28th June, 26th July, 9th Aug, 23rd Aug & 30th Aug, 11am – 4pm.
Adventurous artists and activities in Artspace for all ages to enjoy

Thwaite Mills Watermill

Mousetrap Challenge
Thurs 31 July, Thurs 14 Aug & Thurs 28 Aug, 11am – 3pm
In 1897 James Henry Atkinson, a Leeds Ironmonger, claimed to have invented the mousetrap called the “Little Nipper”. The mousetrap design is still used to this day. Can you design and build a more humane mousetrap using the materials supplied before locating the thirteen mice hiding in the mill and house.

Mouse Hunt
Every day in the summer holidays, Sat – Sun, 1pm – 5pm & Tues – Fri, 10am – 5pm

Island Explorers
Every day in the summer holidays, Sat – Sun, 1pm – 5pm & Tues – Fri, 10am – 5pm

Leeds City Transport Vintage Bus Running Day
Sun 31 Aug, 11am – 5pm
Travel in vintage style around the city and take in two of Leeds premier heritage sites. Free buses will be running from New York Street, Leeds City Centre to Thwaite Mills and to Bramley Town end via Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. Every 15 mins from 10.30am to 5.15pm. The buses are Preserved A.E.C. , Daimler & Leyland Leeds City Transport buses from 1950's & 1960's operating in service. A souvenir timetable brochure can be purchased by post (one month prior to the event sending a A5 Stamp Addressed Envelope with a cheque or postal order for £3.00 to Richard McAllister, 16, Dam Head Road, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2SR) or purchase on the day of the event.

Leeds Discover Centre

Behind the scenes guided tour
Every Thurs in the summer holidays, 11am – 12pm & 2pm – 3pm.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Cyclists inspired by Tour de France are invited to join free summer bike rides in Leeds

Caption: The scene at the start line of the Grand Départ in Leeds, which Sky Ride Local organisers hope will inspire the city's cyclists this summer.

Cyclists inspired by the Tour de France are being invited to saddle up for a series of free events around Leeds.

Following the huge success of this month’s Grand Départ, the Sky Ride Local events will give cyclists a chance to emulate their heroes and take in some of the sights and sounds of Leeds.

British Cycling in partnership with Leeds City Council is running the series of free bike rides throughout the summer.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“Everyone in Leeds was proud of the incredible success of The Grand Départ.

“Now we’re hoping that amazing experience will galvanize the city’s cyclists and inspire them to get on their bikes this summer.

“These free events are a great way for people, whatever their level of ability and experience, to get active and be part of what we’re sure will be a lasting cycling legacy for Leeds."

The Sky Ride Local bike rides will take in some of the best routes in Leeds, with British Cycling selecting the rides and training up friendly Ride Leaders to guide and support those taking part.

Three different difficulty levels also mean anyone can take part, from novice riders to more seasoned cyclists looking for a challenge.

And anyone taking part in two or more Sky Ride Local rides in July and you can grab some British Cycling gifts, including water bottles, neck Buffs and the chance to win a VIP cycling experience to the Tour of Britain this September.

The next rides coming up are:

Date: Sunday, July 20
Time: 10am
Start location: Rothwell Leisure Centre


Date: Sunday, July 20
Time: 10am
Start location: John Charles Centre for Sport

For more information about Sky Ride Local and other bike riding opportunities in Leeds this summer or to book a place on a free guided bike ride, visit


Press release issued by:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

About Sky Ride

Sky Rides are big, celebratory cycling events which take over a town or city centre so lots of cyclists of all ages and abilities can ride safely together on a traffic-free route.
With a real festival atmosphere, they’re a fun, free day out for families and friends to enjoy, with loads to do both on and off a bike.
Sky Ride Locals are free, local bike rides guided by friendly British Cycling trained Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes.
With different levels, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge. For more information, visit

About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport.
Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation.
There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. For more information, visit

New community project giving local older people some stick

Caption: L-R Robin Silverwood, 66, and Eric Dalton, 85, working on one of their walking sticks.

Older people in Leeds are sticking with some exciting new hobbies after getting connected with their local community.

A number of the city’s Neighbourhood Networks, funded by Leeds City Council, have engaged community connectors from their local areas, who are helping people to pass on their skills and knowledge to older residents through a new pilot project.

Among those who have got involved through the scheme is 66-year-old Robin Silverwood, who is teaching members of Middleton Elderly Aid, along with other people from the area, how to carve their own walking sticks from pieces of wood found in their local park.

Robin began carving walking sticks around 30 years ago from wood he found while he worked in Middleton Park for Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service.

He has since taught a number of other local men how to craft their own sticks and even sources pieces of antler, shed by deer in Scotland, to carefully fashion the handles.

He said: “I used to find all these bits of wood in the park and I started carving them just as a hobby. I was asked if I’d come along and show other people how to do it and now there’s quite a few of us who work on walking sticks every week.

“Sometimes people come in and want to buy one too, which helps us to get more materials to keep the project going.

“People have been carving their own walking sticks for hundreds of years but a lot of people living in a city would never get the chance to do something rural like this.

“It’s great that older people are coming along and learning something new and we have the time of our lives here.”

Former motor mechanic Eric Dalton, 85, is one of those who has been taught how to carve his own walking sticks.

He said: “Robin asked if I’d like to come along and now I really enjoy it. It’s really friendly and we get to meet lots of different people. I’ve got two of my own walking sticks at home now too.”

Other activities set up through the community connectors include a group making their own terrariums (small scale ecosystems grown in glass containers) a baking group and a knitting group.

The knitting group is currently working to create dozens of tiny blankets which they will then donate to the premature baby unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Jackie Somerside, 60, who helps run the knitting group, said:

“I’ve been knitting since I was a teenager and people have just been coming along and picking it up. Everyone is friendly and I think the community connectors are a brilliant project.”

The community connectors pilot is being delivered by three of the city’s Neighbourhood Networks- Middleton Elderly Aid, Action for Gipton Elderly and Farsley Live at Home.

The initiative is part of the Seniors Network Support (SeNS) project, which Leeds City Council is participating in, and which is part funded by European Regional Development funding through INTERREG IVB.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“The community connectors project is an amazing chance for us find local people who are passionate about their area and give them the chance to pass on their years of knowledge and experience to other people in their community.

“It’s also a brilliant way of helping people who might be at risk of becoming lonely or isolated to pick up new skills, form new friendships and open up a whole world of social opportunities.”


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937