Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Leeds: The Housing City: £7m Kickstart Funding announced to help build new homes in Hunslet, Seacroft and Gipton

The EASEL and Aire Valley projects received a further boost today when Housing Minister John Healey announced the regional allocations for ‘Kickstart’ funding, part of the government’s new approach to post credit crunch housing development.

This will provide welcome support for building another 229 brand new homes in the most deprived areas of Leeds. It’s likely that the first homes will be available by the end of 2010.

The good news means a substantial rise in the amount of funds Leeds City Council has helped bring in for housing development in recent months through several different funding programmes.

EASEL and Aire Valley’s partnerships with developers Bellway Homes and Miller Homes, and Housing Association Chevin continue to bear fruit for Leeds residents and provides a good model for future work with the private sector.

During the summer, work has gone on to develop a robust response to the downturn in market conditions. As a result Leeds is well placed as new funding opportunities such as Kickstart have been introduced.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“This is great news for Leeds. Today’s announcement justifies the faith shown by Leeds City Council and its partners in continuing to prioritise EASEL and the Aire Valley.
“It’s proof that major programmes can’t be derailed and can continue to bring investment into communities in East, South and South East Leeds.
“I’m pleased to say that four of the first eight of EASEL’s development sites in Gipton and Seacroft will see homes being built in the next two years. Despite the economic climate, the council and its partners have held to the vision for change that EASEL stands for.
“We’ll carry on exploring all sources of potential income and partnerships to ensure that we’re always getting the best deal for the people of Leeds.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Elland Road kick off for South Leeds Investment Strategy

Leeds City Council’s initiative to form an ‘Investment Partnership for South Leeds’ to attract new public and private sector investment for further regeneration, has taken a major step forward.

On Saturday more than 100 people, including representatives from community groups, the business sector, service providers, property owners, councillors, council officers and Leeds Central MP the Rt. Hon Hilary Benn, gathered at Elland Road Banqueting suite for an all-day workshop to explore the issues, challenges and opportunities in the area.

Councillor Andrew Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development, said:
“The workshop signalled the start of a consultation process, designed to inform and guide the creation of a comprehensive, long-term strategy, which will highlight the priorities and opportunities for public and private sector investment in south Leeds and help us build upon the many regeneration initiatives already underway across the area.”
“I am delighted that so many people were in attendance to make their views known. By bringing together those who represent the interests of the individual communities that make up south Leeds we will, through the initial workshop and further public consultation, be able to prepare a robust and meaningful strategy, that the local communities are at the heart of.”

Among those from the private sector playing an active role in helping the council establish the partnership to create an overarching investment strategy for south Leeds is Millshaw Property Co. Limited – a joint venture between Land Securities Group PLC and Evans Property Group.

David Helliwell of Millshaw Property Co. Limited, said:
“As long-term investors in south Leeds through assets including White Rose Shopping Centre and Millshaw Park Industrial Estate, we welcome the opportunity of working with other property owners, council officers, elected members, local businesses and community representatives to play our part in creating a vision for south Leeds, which will emerge from wide-ranging consultation.”

Saturday’s workshop was facilitated by planning consultants David Lock and Associates, who will use the inputs from the event to prepare a draft investment strategy, which will be the subject of further public consultation.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

In the pink for breast cancer care

Caption: staff and guests at East North East Homes Leeds celebrate their In The Pink event with Leeds Rhinos mascot, Ronnie the Rhino

Staff at East North East Homes Leeds were in the pink at an event to raise funds for leading cancer charity Breast Cancer Care.

Taking part in raffle and lots of fun sideshows at the organisation’s headquarters, guests raised a magnificent total of £697 for the charity. There was also a morale-boosting visit from Leeds Rhino mascot, Ronnie the Rhino.

All the prizes for the event were donated by staff and local companies, including partners of East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), one of the three organisations that manage and maintain council housing in the city on behalf of Leeds City Council.

Leeds-based regeneration firm Lovell, which is working on a major housing improvement programme for ENEHL, handed over a luxury hamper packed full of tasty goodies, which was won by Janet Mulroy.

Janet Mulroy, East North East Homes Leeds rehousing officer and organiser of the event, said:
“One of our colleagues has just recovered from their third case of breast cancer so we were keen to help raise this cash for such a worthwhile charity that can help people who’ve been touched by cancer.
“Special heartfelt thanks go to Marcher Roofing for their very generous donation once again, ICE35 for the amazing buffet donation, Unilever on Coal Road for their generosity, Lovell for the amazing hamper and to everyone who has given donations and their time.
“In the UK, someone is diagnosed with breast cancer every 11 minutes. By holding an In the Pink event we really can make a difference to their lives by helping Breast Cancer Care provide them with free support and information when they need it most.”

Sharon Tyer, Lovell regional training advisor, said:
“When we heard about the In the Pink event, we were only too pleased to lend our support. Everyone knows somebody who has been affected by cancer, so we were delighted to help ENEHL to raise funds for this fantastic cause.’

Notes to Editors
Breast Cancer Care is a charity for PEOPLE affected by breast cancer. Call the free helpline on 0808 800 6000 or visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Recycling services during the bin strike

Council recycling centres are extending their opening hours to meet increasing demand from residents continuing to recycle during the industrial action.

As normal household bin collection services continue to be disrupted, many residents are taking their recycling or rubbish to the household waste sorting sites. Nine of the eleven sites have remained open during the strike action with staff on hand to help and extra containers provided.

From tomorrow (Wednesday 14 October) some sites will be open for longer. Kirkstall Road, East Leeds in Seacroft, Meanwood Road, Thorpe Arch Industrial Estate, Pudsey Grangefield, Ellar Ghyll in Otley will open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Sunday (extended from 9am -5pm).

All sites take a range of materials including general ‘black bin’ waste. Containers specially for recycling the mixed contents of residents ‘green bin’ waste have been installed in some the sites – Meanwood Road, Thorpe Arch Industrial Estate, Milner’s Road in Yeadon, Stanley Road in Harehills and Pudsey Grangefield. These skips are for a mix of cans, paper, card and plastic.

The council has also relaxed rules to allow residents to use vans or trailers to transport household waste to the sites on a daily basis.

There are almost 500 bring sites across the city where residents are able to recycle a range of material locally including glass, paper, cans, textiles (clothing), plastic bottled and plastic bags.

Recycling bring sites, often known as bottle or paper banks, and are usually found in the car parks of supermarkets, shops and public houses.

Residents can also donate their unwanted second-hand white goods such as fridges, washing machines, cookers and furniture at four of the council’s household waste sort sites - Meanwood Road, Milner Road in Yeadon, Grangefield Road in Pudsey and Thorp Arch.

Suitable items are checked, tested and repaired before being donated to local re-use groups.

Cllr James Monaghan, executive board member for environmental services, said:

“We apologise to residents for the ongoing disruption to their normal waste and recycling collection services caused by the ongoing strike action.

“We’re collecting households general ‘black bin’ waste as a priority but to help people to recycle during this period, we have arranged to open our household waste sort sites for longer and have provided extra containers for their materials.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk