Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Light Night is coming to Leeds this week

Caption: An artist's impression of the Civic Hall transformed into the Theatre of Illumination.

Light Night Leeds will be celebrating its 10th anniversary as it returns to Leeds this week.

As the darkness falls on Friday 3rd October, locals and visitors can come and see the city in a new light with over 50 free arts events coming to life across the city from 5pm until late.

Highlights for this year’s event include the Civic Hall being transformed into a spectacular Theatre of Illumination. Commissioned by Leeds Inspired and created by Omni pictures, the building’s architecture will be propelled into the next century with the explosive energy of a firework display.

Other events include the University of Leeds marking the centenary of World War One with Akeela Bertrams’ sound and light installation, Chorus, with themed ghost stories performed in the Brotherton Library. LightTAG will offer an exciting interactive exhibition that fuses art with science, allowing participants to create their own pieces of media art while learning the science behind light and photography.

This year, thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Light Night is proud to be supporting and showcasing work by new and emerging artists through the SHINE programme. Work includes Anna Politiko’s Ghost Tram, which brings a horse drawn tram back to Briggate and populates it with passengers from a bygone age, and Nick Kidd’s Squishy Sculpture Park, a fun take on British Modernist sculpture created from entirely from fabric.

The community have been getting involved as artists for Light Night this year through Playful Leeds’ March of the Robots project. Workshops will be held around Leeds during September, culminating in an exciting exhibition of work on Victoria Gardens on Light Night.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for Digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

“Light Night is one of the highlights of the Leeds calendar of events, and it is fantastic to have the event returning for its 10th year.

“There is plenty on offer this year with events at a wide number of locations across the city centre, and also street food and outdoor entertainment to top the evening off. “

Keep up to date with all the confirmed artists for Light Night at and follow the team @LightNightLeeds via #artinthedark and at

Light Night Leeds is organised by Leeds City Council’s arts development team in partnership with organisations and individual across the city, and is supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.

For further information contact
Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team
Tel: 0113 247 4450

Wool festival set to be held at Leeds museum

Caption: Armley Mills will be hosting a special woollen festival this Saturday.

A festival celebrating all things woollen is set to take centre stage at a popular city museum later this week.

Held on Saturday October 4 from 11am -5pm, visitors to Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills will be able to take part and enjoy a range of woollen delights on the day which will include a mini market with over 15 stalls, special performances and tutorials from the experts through a Finishing Techniques Knitting Workshop.

On offer to delight the crowd will be cabaret performances of ‘A Stitch in Time’ at 11.30am and 2pm, which features knitting songs, stories and poems from the United Kingdom and North America. A spinning demonstration will also be undertaken by Penelope playing the role of a Luddite, who in the 19th century, campaigned against newly developed labour-saving machinery.

As part of the Knitting workshop led by expert Audrey Wilson, which is priced at £25 and must be pre-booked, you can find out the secrets of invisible seams, buttonholes, grafting, blocking, picking up stitches, making buttonholes, professional edgings, and necklines. On the day, you are invited to bring an unfinished garment of your own to the workshop, and swatches will be provided for seaming, grafting and practice. All you will need to get involved is a pair of 4mm knitting needles and a Tapestry needle. To pre-book your place at the workshop, please visit Armley Mills or ring: Tel: 0113 2637861.

Also featuring on the programme is guest speaker Anne Kingston, who will provide an insightful talk on ‘Innovations in Hand Knitting’. Anne will talk about new knitting techniques, improved knitting techniques and developments in seamless garment construction. To top off a fantastic day some rare breed lambs will also be on site, which are sure to be a big hit at this family-friendly event.

This special event will precede ‘UK Wool Week’ from 6 - 12 October 2014, where as part of the celebrations, Leeds Industrial Museum will be also be holding on 9 October from 5pm, ‘Spinning a Yarn’. Those in attendance can listen to stories in the atmospheric cinema, while they knit or crochet. Tickets are priced at £4.50 per person and must be booked in advance. As part of the entrance fee, a free drink during the interval will also be provided on the night that is suitable for age 18+.

For more information regarding events and activities at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, please see:

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

"We are really looking forward to playing our part in celebrating UK Wool Week, and as part of the run-up to this event, a special festival is set to be held at Armley Mills on the 4 October.

"On offer will include a mini market boasting a range of stalls, special cabaret performances of ‘A Stitch in Time’, and in what promises something not be missed, a Finishing Techniques Knitting Workshop.

"An opportunity to enjoy the surroundings of the atmospheric cinema at Armley Mills and listen to a range of interesting stories while you knit or crochet is also be available on 9 October, and with tickets limited, we would urge anyone interested in attending to book their place as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment."

Sarah Barton, Keeper at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills said:

"We are always aiming to put together a diverse and interesting programme of activities and events at Leeds Industrial Museum, and we are excited to be hosting our very own wool festival.

"This promises to be a great fun for all the family and we are hoping to see a great crowd on the day."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:
Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.
There is no additional charge for visiting this exhibition. Normal admission charges apply.

To pre book your place at the Audrey Wilson workshop, please visit Armley Mills at Canal Road.
Leeds. LS12 2QF, or ring: Tel: 0113 2637861.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is open at the following times:

Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

For further information visit our website

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

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Leeds backs campaign to stub out smoking

Stoptober 2014 – the latest incarnation of the popular campaign to quit smoking – visited Leeds this week and local experts are getting ready to help the latest people to enrol. This year some of the country’s top comedians have joined forces with Stoptober to help smokers make their way through the 28 day challenge.

Over 3,700 people signed up to quit in Leeds last year and in all some 250,000 people across the country took part, with 65% of those successfully quitting for 28 days.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“I’m delighted to be backing the Stoptober campaign again. Leeds did a great job last year, with over 3,700 people signing up to stop smoking. With smoking killing half the people who smoke, we know quitting is one of the most effective ways to help people in Leeds improve their health. Evidence shows smokers quitting for 28 days are five times more likely to stay quit permanently with all the significant health, monetary and social benefits.”

Local tobacco control expert Paul Lambert from Leeds City Council’s Public Health team, said:

“Although we are reducing the numbers who smoke in the city, we still have a long way to go. Smoking rates are almost a quarter for adults, and this is far worse in some parts of the city. There is no doubt that quitting can be tough, but it is known that people who quit do feel better in time. Stopping smoking really is the best thing you can do to improve your health and Stoptober can be the perfect opportunity to quit smoking for good.”

Sandra Davis, Specialist Smoking Cessation Advisor with Leeds NHS Stop Smoking Service, said:

“Our pre-Stoptober awareness event on Briggate was a great success, with the team exceeding the expected number of sign ups and we were very busy seeing smokers and giving them information. We also had the opportunity to book people in to clinics directly. I hope people in Leeds make the most of the chance to join in with the campaign this year and I look forward to helping them!”

This year’s campaign features top British comedians including Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson, Jason Bent and Dr Bob) and Andi Osho. Smoking is no laughing matter and neither is quitting. Two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit but only four in ten told a recent survey that they have tried in the last year.

The 28-day stop smoking programme will include daily messages of motivation, persuasion and distraction, as well as jokes, tips and content for digital users.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said:

“We know the idea of giving up smoking can be daunting, but Stoptober has proved itself to be a fantastic platform for people to quit and offers all the support that smokers may need to take the first step to stopping for good. With support from this year’s line up of comedians we are asking anyone who wants to quit to join the thousands of others and take up the challenge and give Stoptober a go - stop smoking and start smiling.”

Stoptober provides a range of free tools including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media channels.

The 28-day challenge starts on Tuesday 1st October. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online and sign up.


Notes to Editors

• The new campaign images and the 3 minute Stoptober advert can be downloaded by media at:

• While smoking rates have declined over past decades, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country - accounting for over 80,000 deaths in England a year. One in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

• Andi Osho says: “I don’t smoke anymore, but I know how difficult quitting is, which is why I’m throwing my support behind Stoptober, to let people know that it can be done. You can do it.
I think it’s important to use comedy for this campaign, especially if you’ve tried a number of times to give up. We’re bringing some levity and making loads of helpful tips and videos, so you can tune into those and they’ll help you keep going.”

• The Stoptober roadshow was in Leeds on 21 September.
• See for a case study.

Issued by:
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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Discover more about the First World War at Leeds Museums and Galleries this autumn

Caption: Leeds City Museum will be hosting a special production of 'Oh What a Lovely War'.

An opportunity to see a musical theatre classic and find out more about your families’ history both feature next month in Leeds Museums and Galleries’ ‘Commemorating our First World War Heritage’ programme.

Lighting up the performance space of Leeds City Museum are the Cosmopolitan Players, who will be presenting a new production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, which is now in its 50th anniversary year. Viewed through the eyes of a soldier, this timeless and epic piece of musical theatre offers a powerful and moving commentary on the impact of war.

Tickets for the show, which opens from Wednesday 8 October - Sat 11 October, can be purchased from the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre either online at or in person from the Carriageworks Box Office for £12, with concessions priced (£10 conc.).

Leeds Art Gallery will also be introducing a series of talks in partnership with University of Leeds and their Legacies of War project. The lecture series called 'Art and the First World War: Global to Local' will kick off on Tuesday 7 October (6pm) with ‘British Artists and the First World War’ where Richard Cork will explore British artists that made outstanding work inspired by the First World War. The series will continue on Tuesday 4 November with a talk about Henry Moore and the war, following on from this there will be a further six talks scheduled in the subsequent months.

On Thursday 9 October at 11am, there is also a special re-dedication of the war memorial to workers at Armley Mills which will feature a display curated by volunteers. Set to sing at the poignant event is Canadian, Melanie Gall, who will perform a number of First World War songs.

Anyone with an interest in finding out more about how to research their families’ history during the First World War, have the perfect opportunity at Abbey House Museum on Thursday October 23, with the event ‘Discovering your First World War Heritage’. Held from 11am-3pm, come along and learn how to begin researching your own family stories of the war. On the day feel free to bring your own items and share stories with others in attendance.

For more information on Leeds Museums and Galleries First World War Programme, please see:

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

"At Leeds Museums and Galleries we have put together an interesting and diverse programme as part of the commemorations of the First World War, and this October, we are looking to hosting two fantastic events at three of our sites.

"This will include a production by the Cosmopolitan Players of the classical musical ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ at Leeds City Museum and a heritage event at Abbey House Museum that will offer you the chance to find out more about your families’ history and see pieces from our fantastic museums and galleries collection.

"Tickets for ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ are now available and we would ask people to book their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Museums & Galleries:

Established in 1821, Leeds Museums & Galleries is the largest local authority-run museum service in England and has one of the larger and most significant multidisciplinary collections in the UK. They care for 1.3 million objects which are used to inspire, educate, entertain and challenge the people of Leeds and visitors to the city. Leeds Museums & Galleries run nine historic sites and visitor attractions, which welcome over 1 million visitors each year, approximately 25% of all museum visits across Yorkshire.

Leeds City Museum is situated in one of Leeds' much loved civic buildings - the Leeds Institute building on Millennium Square. The Leeds Institute is one of the City's most important historic buildings and was completed in 1862 by Cuthbert Brodrick, who also built Leeds Town Hall and the Corn Exchange. From the middle of the last century until 2005 it also housed the Civic Theatre where amateur theatrical groups staged public performances. It has been home to the City Museum since 2008.

Leeds City Museum is one of the flagship sites for the service, and is home to four floors of interactive and exciting galleries showcasing the story of Leeds, as well as the Leeds Mummy and our Designated Natural History collection.

Admission free. Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm), Tues, Weds and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm.
Visit for tickets to Oh What a Lovely War.

Abbey House Museum is an interactive family-friendly museum overlooking Kirkstall Abbey in Kirkstall, just three miles from the city centre of Leeds. The ground floor of the museum is set out with three authentic Victorian streets illustrating a range of shops, houses and services from 1880s Leeds. Upstairs galleries feature the Childhood Gallery and the Community Gallery showcasing the nationally important collection of toys and games, as well as temporary exhibitions.

Admission: Adults £4, child £2, conc £3.20, family ticket £8.40 (based on 2 adults and up to 3 children). Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays) Tues-Fri and Sun 10am-5pm, Sat 12pm-5pm (last admission 4pm).

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:

Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.
Re-dedication event: Service is free to attend, but normal admission charge will apply.

Admission: Adults £3.60, child £1.80, conc £2.90, family ticket £7.60
Monday closed except for bank holidays. Tuesday to Saturday: 10am – 17pm. Last admission at 4pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm. Last admission at 4pm.

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