Thursday, 27 November 2014

Road closures as work starts on removing the Majestic's roof

Issued on behalf of Rushbond PLC, owners of The Majestic

This weekend will see the next phase of works being carried out at The Majestic in Leeds city centre, following the devastating fire that took place at the end of September.

The roof removal is due to start at midnight on Saturday 29 November and Wellington Street will be closed for the duration of the works which are scheduled for completion by 6am on Tuesday 2 December, at which time Wellington Street will re-open.

The owners of the building, Rushbond, have been working closely with Leeds City Council and other relevant organisations on a traffic diversion plan for the area during this period. The roof removal works follow on from the scaffolding support work carried out earlier this month. Following the roof removal, the next phase will involve the installation of a new temporary roof, planned for early in the new year.

Mark Finch of Rushbond said: “The roof has been very badly damaged, as can be so readily seen, and needs to be removed as soon as possible before the bad winter weather takes hold. It is important that these works are carried out without delay. The team have been working closely with Leeds City Council to devise a traffic management plan to cater for an intense and concentrated approach to these roof removal works, along with debris removal, in order to minimise disruption to the road network during this time and allow for crane and related access. This will see Wellington Street closed to traffic through this short period.

“In particular, the works have been programmed to avoid a busy Saturday daytime, to aim to limit the potential disruption. Drivers are encouraged to avoid using this area during this time, with Aire Street being limited to buses, taxis and essential train station users. We thank people in advance for bearing with us whilst this important work is carried out.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy, said: “This essential work needs to be done urgently to protect the safety of the building’s structure and so unfortunately cannot wait till after the Christmas shopping period. Clearly it will cause significant disruption to traffic but this is unavoidable as we have to help enable the owners to complete the complex and challenging dismantling of the roof as safely as is possible. We are providing a safe cordon to avoid the risk of pieces of the structure dropping on people or vehicles during the removal work.

“Inevitably this will lead to delays around the city centre as traffic along Wellington Street is diverted. We have to accept such major work is going to cause considerable inconvenience and apologise for that. However, we have worked with the building’s owners to ensure this is restricted to the least busy periods and ask people travelling through to allow extra time for journeys.”

The work is being carried out by Leeds-based building contractors Wetheralds, working in conjunction with civil and structural engineers BSCP.


For further information please contact Candid PR on 0113 257 6633

Note to editors:-
Rushbond PLC is a Leeds based property company that was founded in 1986. The company has delivered a wide range of projects and developments that include residential, retail, offices, industrial and mixed use schemes. Visit the company’s website at for further details.

Stories of those who served and died during world wars remembered at Lawnswood Cemetery

Picture caption(L-R-): Stephen Liversage from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Cllr Jack Dunn unveil the Lawnswood Cemetery interactive panels.

New interactive panels detailing the stories of Leeds’ war-time history have been unveiled at a city cemetery this month.

Provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), the panels at Lawnswood cemetery are among 500 to be installed at CWGC locations worldwide and feature information about the site of the cemetery and a QR (Quick Response) code. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR Code provides access for further information including the personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated there.

Cllr Jack Dunn, Leeds City Council’s lead member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities said:

"As we continue to reflect on the beginning of the First World War one hundred years ago, the installation of these new interactive panels will offer a very poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by people from Leeds, and also how they are remembered at Lawnswood Cemetery.

"I would like to personally thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for including Lawnwood Cemetery in this extremely moving project, which will be a powerful tool in remembering and bringing the stories of those people who served with such bravery during both world wars to a new generation."

Among the host of stories revealed on the panels at Lawnswood Cemetery is that of Captain Stanley Burnett Kay who died age 26 on 28 January 1918 – just one week before he was due to be married.

Stanley was born in Leeds in 1892, the son of mining engineer Stanley Robert Kay and his wife, Hetty. When the First World War broke out, Stanley was studying at the University of Leeds. He applied for a commission, and by November he was a lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment. The following March he was promoted Captain.

Stanley was wounded twice. In February 1916, he was hit by a fragment of shell, and hospitalised for a month. The following November, he was shot in the arm during efforts to repel a German attack. On his recovery, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He died in a training accident in January 1918.

More than 220 servicemen and women of the First World War and a further 91 involved in the Second World War are commemorated in Lawnswood Cemetery.

Stephen Liversage, the CWGC’s Regional Supervisor in the North said:

"The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is at the heart of events to mark the Centenary of the First World War. We see an important part of that role as encouraging greater numbers of visitors to our cemeteries and then helping those visitors to appreciate why these places are here, who looks after them and why it is important to remember those who died.

"Here in Leeds, our new panels will be an interactive way for new generations to learn about the final resting place of so many Commonwealth servicemen and women, in an engaging and meaningful way. I hope that the installation encourages many more people to visit this moving cemetery, and remember those who fell during both world wars."

Note to editors:

For more information regarding Leeds City Council’s First World War commemoration programme, please see:

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

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Giving Leeds a healthy future

City leaders and health and care experts united to consider how to face challenges to Leeds health and care issues today [Weds 26th November].

In the face of continued financial austerity for public services, demographic changes such as an ageing population and rising birth rate, as well as rising demands for services, Leeds is seeking to pioneer new ways to look after citizens, not least by helping them look after themselves.

New healthcare innovations - including groundbreaking digital platforms - mean that it has never been easier to share information and use that data to plan care better. However, this requires better organisation of services, trust from service users and planning to link the information effectively.

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

“This ‘State of the City’ health summit brought elected members, experts and service users together to find out what we want, what we need and what is possible. It wasn’t about simplistic solutions, but making sure that we are engaging with people to make sure our planning and vision for the future match up.”

“No one should be in any doubt how challenging it will be to provide the levels of care and support people want and need in the years to come. That is why we have to use all the skills, information and good ideas at our disposal, sharing good practice from the rest of the country and far beyond. We also need everyone in the city to play their part, keeping an eye on their own health and that of friends, neighbours and family.”

The event also heard from Julian Hartley, Chief Executive Officer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who highlighted challenges facing hospitals as they face increasing pressures, scrutiny and expectations. He said:

“The healthcare system in Leeds has much to be proud of, but we cannot be complacent and need to use the knowledge of everyone – service users, staff, our NHS colleagues elsewhere to name just a few – to make sure that we are delivering the best services we can now and in the future.”

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds, and former Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

“Leeds is leading the way in integrating health services in the UK and is also in the fortunate position of having excellent digital health technology leaders in the city, universities committed to health excellence and research. It is great to be part of the increasingly joined-up vision to deliver the best health and wellbeing for the citizens of the city.”

- Ends -

For further information contact:

Phil Morcom

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

Mobile: 07891 276270
Tel: 0113 395 0244
Fax: 0113 247 4736

Experts and local representatives debate opportunities to improve health in Leeds City Council

Don’t miss out on your chance to feature in a new exhibition at Abbey House Museum

Picture caption: Items that have helped style both the young and old over many decades and centuries will be celebrated as part of a new exhibition set to open at Abbey House Museum in 2015.

One of the city’s most popular museums is offering people from Leeds and beyond the chance this week to feature in an exciting 2015 exhibition.

As part of the ‘How do I Look?’ exhibition at Abbey House Museum, which is set to open its doors from 24 January 2015 -31 December 2015, a wide range of different fashions and styles that rose to prominence over many decades and centuries will be celebrated. Included in the exhibition will be objects taken from across the Leeds Museums and Galleries collections including; Ancient Egyptian Kohl pots,1960s false eye-lashes, Victorian corsets, curling tongs, 1950s perm machines and cut-throats razors.

A key element of the exhibition will be various portraits, photographs, paintings and coins depicting different hair-styles, facial hair, make-up and tattoos that have reflected gender, cultures and classes through time. To complement this with a modern angle, on Friday 28 and Sunday 30 November, the team at Abbey House Museum will be offering a unique opportunity for people to show off their own unique style and have their portrait taken in two special drop-in sessions with award-winning photographer Sara Porter.

Once the sessions are completed, a number of shots will then be picked for inclusion as part of the contemporary section of the exhibition to showcase the fashion and style which exists in Leeds today.

The two-drop sessions will be held on the following:
Fri 28 Nov, 10am-5pm- Leeds Discovery Centre.
Sun 30 Nov, 11am-5pm - Leeds City Museum (Thoresby Room).

To find out more, or register an interest, please contact Patrick Bourne via email:

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

"We are always looking at ways to keep our Leeds Museums and Galleries programme fresh and interesting, and what could be a better than offering people the opportunity to possibly feature in one of our exciting forthcoming exhibitions?

"As part of the ‘How do I Look?’ exhibition which is set to open at Abbey House Museum in January, a wide-range of fashion and styles through time are set to be celebrated, and we thought as part of the modern section, why not showcase how people dress today.

"Award-winning photographer Sara Porter will be on hand to take the pictures at the drop-in sessions, and who knows, your modern portrait may be selected to adorn the walls of ‘How do I Look?’."

Notes for editors:

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.


Adults £3.90, child £1.75, conc £2.90, family ticket £6.70*
*based on to adults and up to three children.
Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays) Tues-Fri and Sun 10am-5pm, Sat 12pm-5pm (last admission 4pm).

For more information on Abbey House museum, please visit:

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