Thursday, 7 August 2014

Local projects reveal the benefits of neighbourhood panels' funds

Over 100 neighbourhood projects across Leeds have been given an investment boost thanks to funding from local Housing Advisory Panels (HAP).

A total of eleven panels have supported 104 different projects to the value of £430k, with projects benefiting from £85 to £30,200.

Leeds City Council provides the funding for local Housing Advisory Panels (HAP) and has recently increased the total funding pot to £1.32million.

Examples of some of the projects that have benefited include:
• Improved bin and recycling facilities in and around various communal areas of high and low rise flats across the city.
• Lots of community projects like Pembroke’s Community Group Activity Club, Chapeltown and Harehills Hope Kids Club and the Ciaran Bingham Trust’s project to promote social inclusion of elderly people.
• Environmental projects like security lighting, communal area enhancements, footpath upgrades, signage improvements and fencing.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel said:
“I’m delighted we have been able to give this much-needed cash injection of £430k into the neighbourhoods of Leeds, with over a hundred projects initiated in local communities around the city. These represent a wide range of community schemes which will make a real difference to local people and allow local people to lead these projects.”

Ted Wilson, Chair of the HAP Chairs meeting, said:
“All eleven Housing Advisory Panels want to let tenants and communities know that this money from the council is in place, and are really keen to make sure a wide range of projects and activities are funded. The panels are especially important as they are responding to the needs of local communities and the local panels can see the funds they give making a real difference.”

Andrea Edwards, from the Ciaran Bingham Trust, said:
“The funding from my local Housing Advisory Panel is vital to secure the longer term future of our projects helping reduce social isolation for older people across South Leeds. It allows us to introduce new services and increase the frequency of our existing lunch clubs/breakfast cafe to ensure we reach more service users when they need us most, at weekends and bank holidays.”

The Housing Advisory Panels are able to support a range of environmental or community projects that benefit council tenants, and the communities in which they live. Anyone wanting more information about accessing funding help or any council tenants interested in doing more in their community by volunteering to be a panel member should email, visit or phone 0113 378 1340.

Issued by:
Phil Morcom,
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244

City Beach set to officially open in Leeds city centre this Saturday

Caption: The fun of a trip to the beach will be available on Millennium Square from this Saturday.

The magic and atmosphere of a visit to the beach will be arriving on a popular city square from this Saturday when ‘City Beach’ returns for a second summer season.

Following a successful debut last year, Leeds own urban beach will once again pulling out all the stops to transform Millennium Square into an oasis of fun 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.

The official opening, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr David Congreve and the Lady Mayoress Janet Harper JP, will take place this Saturday 9 August at 11.30am with a short ceremony hosted by radio media partner Heart.

A new feature 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 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 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:

"We are really looking forward to the opening of the City Beach on Millennium Square, which for a second successive year will be bringing the magic and fun of a summer holiday right to the heart of the city centre from this weekend.

"All of the favourite attractions from last year are set to return, along with a number of new activities, rides and stalls, which are sure to add to the experience."

Emma, presenter from Heart Breakfast, said:

"City Beach is a wonderful event that all of the family can enjoy and we are excited once again to be officially opening the event this Saturday and in helping to bring a taste of a traditional beach experience to the people of Leeds."

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