Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The council is doing its bit – now it’s time for Leeds to do the same

A council has pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 40% - and is planning on making sure the rest of Leeds does the same.

Leeds City Council councillors have pledged not only to cut 40% of the council’s carbon emissions by 2020, but also to do the same to the city’s emissions.

This radical move means the council must devise ways to work with businesses and residents to drive down the city’s carbon emissions, not just those of civic and council-owned buildings and the services it provides.

The plan is to find innovative ways to fight climate change, including setting ‘carbon budgets’ for both the council and the city, giving help to businesses to increase their energy efficiency and providing support for commercial power ‘microgeneration’, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Residents and businesses alike stand to benefit financially with reduced bills, more efficient services while helping secure the future of the city.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“The council is already well on its way towards the target of cutting its carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, but we want that cut to apply to the whole city.
“This is a bold pledge but bold moves are needed if Leeds is to lead the fight against climate change.
“Over the next few years we hope to work with organisations, businesses and residents to achieve this goal, and we’re confident that together we can do it.”

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

A quartet of council projects amongst some of Leeds’ architectural gems

Caption:Pudsey Grangefield School wins prestigious award at the Leeds architecture awards for 2009.

A state of the art learning environment and two of the city’s most important buildings have been honoured alongside some stunning new developments at the Leeds Award for Architecture 2009.

The restoration of the Mansion in Roundhay Park was doubly successful with prizes in both the Altered Building category and the Conserved building category.

Pudsey Grangefield school was successful in the New Building category for it’s state of the art design. The school, which was built as part of the Leeds Building Schools for the Future programme is designed to have a minimal amount of corridors to ensure it is as open and welcoming as possible.

The prestigious accolade of being Leeds’ favourite building went to Leeds Town Hall – an award which was voted for by the people of Leeds. Designed by Cuthbert Broderick and built in 1858 the Town Hall is one of Leeds most iconic buildings.

The council was also awarded for one of its more unusual design projects – five eye-catching sculpted stone seats which take pride of place in Albion Place, a busy Leeds city centre shopping area. The seats which were unveiled in July last year won the ‘Public Realm’ category.

The event at the Broad Gate complex, was watched by 400 people, as the winners of the Leeds Award of Architecture – now in its 23rd year – were announced.

Cllr Andrew Carter, executive board member for city development, said:

“What these awards show is that Leeds remains a city of iconic and innovative architecture – not just with new buildings but also with refurbishments of some of our architectural masterpieces.

“We are particularly proud that the Town Hall has been named the city’s favourite building especially because it was voted for by the public.

“Leeds has changed immensely over the last decade, but we will continue to celebrate a city that is becoming renowned for its visionary approach to architecture.”
Guest assessor and chair of the judging panel, Renato Benedetti of Macdowell+Benedetti was joined by the leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Andrew Carter and Richard Pellatt, development director for Highcross in speaking at the ceremony.

The night also served as an opportunity to recognise the commitment of Leeds own Civic Architect John Thorp MBE, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Director of the council’s development department, Jean Dent.

Notes to editor:

John Thorp MBE:

John Thorp MBE, was born in Leeds, studied at the Liverpool School of Architecture and has worked for Leeds City Council for over 35 years. Examples of John's work include the Henry Moore projects at Leeds City Gallery and more recently the £12 million creation of Millennium Square - which was the result of a Millennium Bid and remains the only Millennium Bid project still in existence today. John has been instrumental in developing the current programme of city centre squares, buildings and spaces including City Square, Briggate and major civic building renovations, such as the Leeds Town Hall, the City Library and Art Gallery. His work also extends to the city's green spaces including Victoria Gardens, Park Square and Merrion Gardens. He is a member of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Design Review Panel, the Yorkshire Forward Renaissance Programme, West Yorkshire Society of Architects, Leeds Architecture & Design Initiative, and 'Concourse' a group established to encourage an understanding of the interdependence of art, design and construction in the built environment.
Renato Beneditti: Was born and educated in Canada. He studied architecture at the University of Waterloo and has worked for practices in Canada, Italy, and for BDP and YRM in London. Before joining Jonathan McDowell to form McDowell+Benedetti, he worked for seven years as an Associate with David Chipperfield Architects where he was responsible for award-winning buildings such as The River & Rowing Museum at Henley and The Christian Science Church, Richmond

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk