Friday, 6 March 2015

Investment boost for Leeds as Orion confirms move to new Enterprise Zone premises

Caption: Left to right on site are: Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy; Liam Magill, managing director of Orion and Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

A manufacturer of computer racking and enclosure systems has been confirmed as the latest company planning to relocate to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, which is set to become one of the UK’s premier locations for business investment and expansion.

A deal has been agreed with developer CDP Ltd to build a 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facility for Orion, a specialist supplier to the server and data centre markets. The company is investing £2.6 million in new purpose-built premises at Thornes Farm in the Enterprise Zone.

A grant of £358,000 has been received from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards the cost of the relocation, new plant and machinery, which is expected to create up to 30 new jobs including four apprenticeships.

Orion’s new premises are one of three units being built at Thornes Farm by developer CDP Ltd on land formerly owned by Leeds City Council, which is leading the development of the Enterprise Zone in partnership with the LEP and private sector developers.

Work started in January on a 50,000 sq ft operations centre for packaging firm Samuel Grant Group Ltd and a further 20,000 sq ft unit is being developed speculatively. It brings the total employment and development space currently under construction in the Enterprise Zone to 425,000 sq ft.

Developments by Wilton and Muse at the Connex 45 and Logic Leeds sites will see 160,000 sq ft of premium industrial space ready for occupation this summer. Work is also well underway on Veolia’s 165,000 sq ft recycling and energy recovery facility at Newmarket Lane.

Engineering and infrastructure work currently underway at Temple Green and Logic Leeds, the two largest sites within the Enterprise Zone, will pave the way for further stages of development with the potential to accommodate buildings up to 500,000 sq ft suitable for large scale manufacturing, distribution and logistics uses.

The move by Orion is part of an ambitious five-year plan to double the company’s workforce from 30 to 60 employees and expand into new markets in the UK and overseas. Orion’s existing workforce, currently based in Wortley, will relocate to the new facility which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Managing director of Orion Liam Magill said:

“Our existing premises are at full capacity with no scope for further expansion. The new, purpose-built facility will allow us to scale up and take advantage of significant growth opportunities we have identified. Our plan is to employ local staff along with graduates and apprentices who will be trained to the highest engineering standards.

“These are exciting times for the company. Support from the LEP has given us a major opportunity to expand our business at a faster rate than previously envisaged, opening doors to export as well as domestic markets.”

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

“There is real momentum developing in the enterprise zone with companies moving to take advantage of the combination of incentives and benefits it presents as a location for modern manufacturing and related supply chain companies.

“Situated at the heart of a £60 billion economy and enjoying superb transport links, the Enterprise Zone is a first class business location. But what sets it apart is the scale of the opportunity. Over the next ten years, the Enterprise Zone has the potential to attract unprecedented levels of investment, create thousands of skilled jobs and deliver a major boost to the Leeds City Region economy.”

Chair of the LEP Roger Marsh said:

“I am delighted that LEP investment has enabled yet another company to locate in the enterprise zone, as well as support a fast-growing business in a key employment sector to expand and create new jobs.

“The fact that ambitious firms such as Orion see the enterprise zone as the ideal place to realise their growth potential underlines the strength of investment opportunity in the zone – particularly for firms in the modern manufacturing sector. LEP funding is enabling businesses such as Orion to bring forward these investments, accelerating growth for the benefit of people across the entire City Region.”


Notes to editors:

Orion takes product from sheet steel through to fabrication, powder coating and assembly to build bespoke housing systems for the data centre and IT markets. The business has been trading for 13 years and has grown to become the UK’s leading manufacturer of enclosure systems, with clients including AT&T, National Air Traffic Control, construction company Laing and a number of government agencies.

Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, less than 3km to the south east of Leeds city centre, Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is a prime location for business investment and expansion with direct access to the national motorway network at junction 45 of the M1. Companies locating in the Enterprise Zone receive reduced business rates worth £275,000 over a five year period plus a bespoke package of business support. Building work is now under way on all four of the main sites within the 142 hectare Leeds City Region enterprise zone with 260,000 sq ft of employment space currently under construction and committed. The Enterprise Zone is a spatial priority within the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan with significant potential to create employment and boost economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector and related supply chains.

New city Faith Covenant officially signed at civic hall

Picture caption: (L-R) - Cllr Peter Gruen, the Reverend Canon Charles Dobbin and Daniel Singleton, executive director of FaithAction, at the signing of the city's Faith Covenant.

A new covenant setting out the principles which will underpin future partnership and engagement work between Leeds City Council and faith and belief organisations has been officially signed this week.

This follows the approval of a report by Leeds City Council’s executive board in February 2015 which looking at how the authority and faith and belief groups could strengthen further their relationship, recommended the formation of a covenant as a basis to promote open practical working at all levels in the future. As part of the discussions which formed the executive report, the council, in partnership with the University of Leeds, consulted a range of faith and belief groups including the Leeds Faiths Forum and FaithAction.

The Faith Covenant will practically focus on developing the following key areas. These include:
• Sharing examples of work already being undertaken, in particular best practice;
• Ensure the council and the religion and belief sector share learning and development opportunities where possible.
• Provide clarity around the availability of support and funding from the council and third sector and;
• Ensure the religion or belief sector take part fully in city wide and local community consultations to inform the delivery of services.

At the official signing of the covenant at Leeds Civic Hall included Leeds City Council deputy leader Cllr Peter Gruen, national executive director of FaithAction Daniel Singleton and chair of Leeds Faiths Forum, the Reverend Canon Charles Dobbin.

To find out more about the covenant, please see:

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader said:

"We are delighted to sign this covenant, which underlines the council’s ongoing commitment to build positive relationships and partnerships with all faith and belief groups in our city

"Included in the covenant are a range of principles which will guide our future work with faith and belief groups. This will not only be beneficial in helping us engage better with residents in our communities, but also inform how the delivery of important council services can be further improved."

The Reverend Canon Charles Dobbin, chair of the Leeds Faiths Forum said:

"I really welcome the covenant between the Leeds City Council and the faith communities in Leeds.

"The covenant will address potential tensions in Leeds by helping faith communities to build up cooperation as a matter of ordinary life rather than crisis management. It is an enlightened step forward, recognising and building on the work done by Leeds Faiths Forum over the last 14 years."

Daniel Singleton, executive director of FaithAction said:

"FaithAction members are involved in making a positive difference to their communities through social action projects the length and breadth of the country. Faith really is too significant to ignore and here in Leeds it’s fantastic to see how the council has recognised this. Leeds City Council is one of the earliest adopters of the covenant, and hopefully this will encourage other local authorities across the UK to empower faith organisations to both expand their social action programmes while also providing greater transparency in their governance."

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

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Event to celebrate valuing women and their contribution to Leeds

Women and girls from across Leeds are being invited to inspire change at a special event at Leeds Civic Hall this week.

Over 100 inspirational women will be attending the second annual ‘Celebrating Women’ event on Friday 6 March, which is being hosted by Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.

This year, the event has adopted the theme of international women’s day ‘Make It Happen’
and will build on the outcomes from the successful inaugural event last year.

The overall aim of this year’s event is to make sure that women are valued even more in Leeds over the next year - not just on one day, and to connect mentors and role models to support women and girls in Leeds.

Guests at the event will hear about positive activities and ambitions from inspirational women, including the city’s first female MP Rachel Reeves. Rachel will be updating the guests on her work with girls at Castleton Primary School around entrepreneurship and inspiring women and girls, which was started as part of last year’s conference.

Also speaking will be Gill Keddie who is on a secondment from Sport England, and will talk about the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign to encourage more female participation in sport.

Representatives from Yorkshire Jets Netball team will also talk about the important role participating in sport can play in encouraging ambition in girls and young women. The Jets are one of the top eight teams in the country, and play in the SuperLeague, which is televised on Sky.

Heather Nelson JP, chief executive of the Leeds Black Health Initiative, a community engagement organisation, will be delivering an informative and thought-provoking presentation on female genital mutilation.

The guests will also be able to take part in a number of interactive workshops including:
Women and Democracy – led by Nan Sloane, who is the director of the Leeds-based Centre for Women & Democracy (CFWD) and has wide experience of democracy, politics and public life as well as the task of involving more women in them all.

Leaderful Women – led by Sue Congram Founder and Director of Engendering Balance Ltd. and Shelley Adams who has a PhD in Leadership and has been working with developing women, as well as men and women together in leadership for over 25 years

Interactive health workshop – with Heather Nelson JP, the Chief Executive of the Black Health Initiative, which works to provide health information to disadvantaged communities, so they can make informed health decisions.

Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council said: 
“Women already play a huge role in the strengths and successes of our city so it is only right that we celebrate their continuing achievements through events such as this.

“It is so important that we encourage women from all walks of life to realise their own potential and take their rightful place in Leeds. Only that way will they be able to have their say in shaping the city from now and into the future.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:
"This year we are looking at practical examples of how we can help the next generation of women achieve their potential in Leeds’. We have some really inspirational stories to tell about the achievements of women and girls in Leeds and this conference will look at how we can continue to build on these successes throughout the year, for example though an extended mentoring programme."

Members of the media are invited to attend the event at Leeds Civic Hall between 9.45am and 1.45pm on Friday 5 March.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Pop-up running event at shopping centre as council backs This Girl Can campaign

Caption: Councillor Lucinda Yeadon at Trinity Leeds, where a pop-up running event will take place this Sunday.

Women in Leeds are being invited for a dash round the shops with a difference this weekend.

A special pop-up running event will take place at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre this Sunday as Leeds City Council and Run Leeds back UK Sport’s This Girl Can initiative.

Aimed at celebrating active women everywhere, the national campaign is also hoping to inspire more women to get involved in sport and physical activity no matter what their level of ability.

Sunday’s event takes place from 12pm-5pm and coincides with International Women’s Day.

It will include guided runs led by Leeds-based Veggie Runners that will take in some key city centre landmarks and a Trinity Trail treasure hunt that will see families searching the centre for clues and prizes.

Members of the public will be invited to join in the activities for free and an event expo will also offer advice and information from experts including Leeds Let’s Get Active, Park Run and Veggie Runners.

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

“This Girl Can is all about trying to break down the barriers that prevent women from taking part in sport and physical activity.

“I know from personal experience how difficult it can be if you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what an active woman is and it’s fantastic that we’re doing something about that.

“Women and girls face completely unrealistic images in the media and wider society about how exercise should look. This campaign will go a long way to dispelling myths around things like having perfect hair and makeup after a run or workout in the gym.

“We’re all different, we all have our imperfections and sometimes lack confidence, but we should all be able to take part in sport and physical activity and enjoy it irrespective of our abilities or experience.”

Cllr Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council's executive member for health and wellbeing, added:

“I’m delighted the This Girl Can campaign is helping to give proper recognition of the importance of healthy and active lifestyles for women, promoting women’s exercise and sport.

“We know exercise can make a huge difference to health and we also know women’s sport is often overlooked in the media, so this is a great chance to raise awareness of exercise and its benefits.

“Leeds is doing a wide range of positive work to promote active lifestyles, from cycling with Skyride, walking with the Walk Leeds initiative, and the many, many Leeds Let’s Get Active opportunities.

"It’s great to see this pop-up event at Trinity Leeds and I wish everyone taking part every success.”

A national campaign developed by Sport England, This Girl Can aims to break down barriers preventing women from exercising.

Nigel Harrison, CEO of West Yorkshire Sport, said:

“It’s been fantastic to see women and girls participating in sport on the back of the This Girl Can campaign, either returning to sports they’ve not played for a while or trying something completely new.

“Once you find something you enjoy then you’ll keep doing it again and again, and events like this provide the ideal opportunity to give something a go and find out if it’s for you.”

For more details about This Girl Can, visit:

For details on Sunday's event or to sign up, visit:


For media enquiries, please contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937