Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Leeds to host large First World War centenary commemoration event

A large commemoration event hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe is to be held in Leeds city centre this Saturday to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Featuring one of the biggest military parades the city has ever seen, up to 800 Armed Forces personnel will gather in Leeds on Saturday 26 July to join members of the public in remembering those people who volunteered to join regiments in Yorkshire when war was announced in 1914.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

"It is extremely important that as part of the centenary commemorations marking the start of the First World War in 1914, we reflect on all aspects of the conflict and remember those people who fought from both our city and the region.

"This occasion is one of the ways that as a city we are commemorating this poignant event, which will feature one of the largest parades Leeds has ever seen, a special service at the Minster and a Bligny Parade."

A range of events are set to be held on the day, which will begin at 10.40am with a parade march on to Millennium Square and an inspection by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor David Congreve and the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. This will be followed by a parade march around the city centre from 12 noon by members of the regular and reserve forces that concludes at Leeds Minster. A commemoration service led by the Reverend Canon Tony Bundock will then be held at the Minster from 1pm before a Bligny Parade is undertaken by 4 YORKS and Leeds comrades at 2.10pm.

Stands and stalls will also be displayed in Millennium Square as part of the commemorations, which will end at approximately 3.30pm.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor David Congreve said:

"The legacy of the First World War left a lasting impact on our city, region and people, and this commemoration to mark the beginning of the conflict one hundred years ago will honour and remember those people who volunteered to join regiments in Yorkshire.

"Hundreds of military personnel will take part in a number of events as part of the commemoration, and I look forward to joining people from our city, Yorkshire and beyond on the day."

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe said:

"The parade and church service is being held in recognition of the suffering of an entire generation of men, women and children whose lives were destroyed or blighted by the terrible war that began 100 years ago this coming week.

"The solemn commemoration is in honour of all who were involved in the Great War, whether on active service or working at home, for instance in factories or on the land. It also honours all combatants killed or injured serving our country since then. We are particularly glad that fourteen Elizabeth Cross recipients and their families will be present as well as several wounded veterans."

Notes to editors:

Please note the following road closures during the parade and selected road closures for certain times of the day. The roads specified below will be closed in sequence between 12:00 noon and 13:00 hours on Saturday 26th July 2014 for the First World War Centenary Commemoration Military Parade.

The parade will be controlled by a rolling road closure. The Police will be in attendance and limited access for residents and access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.

The parade will assemble in Millennium Square and proceed via a route comprising of Millennium Square, Calverley Street, The Headrow, Vicar Lane, Briggate, Kirkgate terminating at Leeds Minster.

The use of all parking bays located on Portland Crescent, Portland Gate, Percival Street, Rossington Street, Cookridge Street (north of Millennium Square), Kirkgate and Maude Street Car Park will be suspended from 18:00 hours on the preceding evening until 13:00 hours also including the loading bay on Calverley Street which will be suspended from 09:00 hours until 13:00 hours on the day of the Parade.

For safety reasons, both High Court Lane and the westbound feeder lanes to Kirkgate will also be closed to vehicular traffic from 11.30 hours until 15.00 hours on the day of the parade.

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

Future looks bright as new swimming talent pool emerges in Leeds

Caption: L-R Young swimmers Magdalena Cygan, Amelia Clynes and and Georgia Coates at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

A new pool of young swimming talent is ready to take on the world this summer after coming through the ranks in Leeds.

The home grown trio of Georgia Coates, 15, Magdalena Cygan, 15, and Amelia Clynes, 14, have just returned from a record-breaking trip representing Team GB at the European Junior Championships in Holland.

Amelia won silver in the 100m butterfly and a bronze in the 200m butterfly, setting a new British age group record in the process. She also helped the medley team to a fourth placed finish.

Georgia won silver in the 200m individual medley and bronze in the 400m individual medley and finished sixth in the 800m freestyle, while Magdalena came forth in the 4 x 100m freestyle team event.

Georgia, Amelia and Magdalena will now go on to compete at the National Youth and Senior Championships in Sheffield over the next two months, with their rankings expected to be given a big boost by their performance in the Netherlands.

Georgia and Amelia have also been selected for British Swimming stroke camps in September, having been handpicked by Team GB because of their potential.

All three swimmers have worked their way through the ranks in Leeds, starting with the Leeds City Council lesson programme and progressing through the council’s training scheme before going on to represent their country.

Richard Denigan, head coach with the council’s swimming training scheme, said:

“These hugely talented young swimmers have all worked incredibly hard to make it to this level and all three have an extremely promising career in the sport ahead of them.

“Their success is testament to both their individual ability and the strength of the training programme and facilities we have in Leeds.

“We’re consistently producing home grown talent that is competing on the international stage and that’s something that we and the city can be immensely proud of.”

The council’s swimming training scheme runs at eight groups around the city, focusing on technique and skill development.

Swimmers can then progress through the scheme based on their swimming ability and following assessment.

The training scheme is run by three full time coaches and approximately thirty support coaches who are all Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) qualified.

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

“The fantastic accomplishments of these three young athletes are the latest in a string of success stories for our swimming and aquatics programme.

“Leeds is now firmly established as one of the leading lights the field of aquatics on both the national and international stage.

“We are continuing to see wave after wave of outstanding young talent coming out of our programmes and thanks to the hard work and dedication of our athletes, the knowledge and skill of our coaches and the world class facilities our city boasts, the future is looking extremely bright.”

For information about the training scheme in Leeds, visit:


For more details, contact:

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

Green fingered young designers hit the heights outside Leeds Civic Hall

Caption: The Lady Mayoress Janet Harper, the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr David Congreve and Cllr Jack Dunn take a look at one of the winning designs by youngster Leo Fielding from Tranmere Park Primary School.

Talented young artists from schools across the city have seen their flowerbed designs become a reality outside of one of Leeds’ most prestigious civic buildings.

Held as part of this year’s Leeds in Bloom design a flowerbed or edible bed competition, 10 lucky winners were invited to see their designs come to life in locations outside the civic hall as part of a special ceremony where they were also presented with prizes and certificates by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr David Congreve and Cllr Jack Dunn. Gardening gift vouchers totalling £300 were also presented to the schools that each youngster attends.

Over 1700 entries were received as part of the initiative, which aim is to encourage young people to, not only become more aware of their environment and its horticulture features, but also find out more about the fun they can have while gardening.

Sponsored by Evans Property Group Leeds in conjunction with Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside team, the competition has become a firm favourite with youngsters in city schools.

Cllr Jack Dunn, Leeds City Council’s lead member for the environment said:

"The quality of designs that we received from youngsters in our flowerbed and edible bed competition really were of the highest quality and it was extremely difficult to whittle them down to just 10 from over 1700 entries.

"We are extremely proud of our in Bloom tradition in Leeds, and through projects such as this one, we hope to inspire a new generation of young people to have great pride in their local environment."

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor David Congreve said:

"The flowerbeds and edible beds outside Leeds Civic Hall look absolutely wonderful and it was lovely to be able to meet each of the winners who designed them.

"This competition is a fantastic example of the great artistic ability that exists in our schools, and I hope that if people are passing the civic hall they will take a moment to have a look at each of the designs."

Notes to editors:

The ten winners were:

Danyal Akbar aged 10 of Alwoodley Primary School
Calum Armstrong aged 12 of Benton Park High School
Jordan Andrews aged 8 of Middleton St Marys C,E Primary School
Ellis Brabbs aged 9 of Kippax, Greenfield Primary
Jasmin Findlay aged 10 of West End Primary School, Horsforth
Leo Fielding aged 6 of Tranmere Park, Primary Guiseley
Jessica Maude aged 5 of Yeadon Westfield Infants School
Malikah Rahmani aged 11 of Hunslet Moor Primary School
Paris Scott of Blackgates Primary School, Tingley
Lucy Warren age 8 of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Pudsey

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