Thursday, 24 July 2014

New milestone for High Speed 2 vision

The firm responsible for the Sydney Opera House has been appointed to carry forward Leeds City Council’s vision for HS2.

Consultant Arup, which has a stunning reputation for dealing with major projects, are teaming up with acclaimed Gehl Architects to deliver the master plan.

Together the two firms will form a formidable team ensuring Leeds is ready to make the most of HS2 in terms of economic and regeneration benefits, while connecting opportunities with surrounding communities.

Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a multi-disciplinary team with experience undertaking major developments both in the UK and abroad.

Based in Copenhagen, Gehl Architects’ ambitious portfolio has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards people.

Plans, which should be completed by the end of year, will explore location and footprint of a cutting-edge railway station as well as how it would connect with the existing station.

As well as identifying the size of the station along with car parks and associated public transport interchanges, including the trolley-bus, buses, pedestrian and cycle access it will propose design principles and images of the station.

The ambition is to create a world-class arrival space and interchange both in terms of design and ease of access while the need for car travel to the station is reduced.

Leeds City Council executive member for transport and economy, Councillor Richard Lewis, said:

“The redevelopment of the South Bank area of Leeds will be the biggest change the city centre has seen in more than 100 years. It is absolutely vital we shape it in the right way because people will have to live with what happens over the next few decades for many generations to come.

“This is a huge and very exciting opportunity and it is essential to get top-class consultants on board to ensure that potential is realised. Arup is a prestigious organisation with a stellar reputation and Gehl have an ethos which is very much in line with our aspirations for the city. For such a major project it is clear that we need to have the best people creating a master plan for Leeds.”

Ongoing work around HS2 also includes a Leeds city region growth strategy providing an economic case for High Speed Rail from the perspective of Leeds city region.Plus a Leeds city region connectivity report that will ensure region’s transport networks are ready for the arrival of HS2.

Jerome Frost OBE, Project Director at Arup, said:

“Leeds Southbank represents a tremendous opportunity for Leeds. It is a key area for future growth and the arrival of HS2 will help to accelerate this. The Arup team is looking forward to bringing our global expertise to develop a visionary plan to support regeneration and economic uplift and create efficient transport and pedestrian links. Arup has a strong history of working successfully with Leeds City Council and we are excited to be taking this master plan forward.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Spend another day on the beach….in Leeds city centre!

Caption: The magic of City Beach will be returning this year.

The fun and atmosphere of an unforgettable trip to the beach is once again set to transform a popular city centre square next month.

Following a successful debut last year, Leeds own ‘City Beach’ will be returning for a second summer season to Millennium Square from Saturday 9 August until Sunday 31 August. Organised by International Funfairs in partnership with Leeds City Council, City Beach will be open daily from 10.30am to 7pm.

Set to take centre stage this year is a traditional Ferris Wheel which will overlook the real sand area surrounded with boardwalk style decking, deck chairs and palm trees. Once again a wide range of themed activities, rides and stalls will also be available for all the family to enjoy including ‘Bamboo Bungees’ trampolines, a tropical jungle adventure funhouse, beach slide, ‘Waikiki’ cars, seaside carousel plus water attraction favourites; Pirate boats, Aqua Walker balls and new water cannons. For those people with a more adventurous nature, a number of thrill rides will also be returning including the ‘Crazy Wave’ and ‘Beach Buggies’ dodgems.

Another new feature for this year will be a regular programme of weekend entertainment on the beach including a series of live Punch & Judy shows every Saturday and Sunday from 12noon and appearances from the ‘Heart Angels’ with various beach games and activities. The events very own ‘City Beach Radio’ courtesy of media partner Heart will also be playing a wide range of popular hits and summer tunes throughout each day.

Whilst at a visit to the beach, visitors will also be able to sample a selection of delicious treats and refreshments including a beach style BBQ swing grill together with traditional seaside sweets and an old fashioned ice cream parlour. Existing street café areas will also operate as normal within themed licenced areas.

To make visitors feel at home in their sun and sand surroundings, the whole event area will be fully dressed and themed by the council’s P&C nursery team with bamboo and tropical greenery to provide a unique, vibrant and attractive venue.

Entry to the site and beach area will be free, with individual admission fees for all rides and attractions. Discounts will also be available for LEEDSCard and Breezecard holders.

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

"It is really great news that the sights and sounds of the summer will be returning through ‘City Beach’ to the unique surroundings of Millennium Square this August.

"Once again there will a range of fun and attractions on offer for all the family to enjoy, which will include thrill rides, attractions, and beach themed food and drink."

Roger Tuby and Stewart Robinson of International Funfairs said:

"International Funfairs are very excited once again to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council to bring ‘City Beach’ back to Millennium Square following a highly successful first year. We can guarantee there will be plenty more fun in the sun with a few exciting new rides and attractions for all the family."

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578