Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Leeds gets ready for Easter fun


Caption: The new lambs at Temple Newsam's Home Farm are sure to prove popular over the Easter holidays

From making traditional bonnets and searching for eggs to welly wanging and off-road biking there is something for everyone going on in Leeds this Easter.

Throughout the Easter holidays from April 2nd-18th there is a wide range of family events and fun events for people of all ages to enjoy at Leeds City Council-managed facilities and venues across the city.

Traditional Easter events include the chance to meet the Easter Bunny himself at Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey, while there are also egg hunts and arts and crafts at Leeds City Museum, Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam, where visitors will also be able to try their hand at making their own Easter bonnet.

Thwaite Mills Watermill will be hosting its ever-popular family fun day on Sunday 4th April, while ‘Jack’ the very special Hunslet locomotive will be put through his paces at Leeds Industrial Museum on April 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

Those wanting to see some real-life new-born chicks, lambs, calves and other new arrivals should head to Temple Newsam’s Home Farm, while there is also the chance to get off the beaten track and discover some of the hidden gems in Leeds with guided walks through Townclose Hills Nature Reserve and Wykebeck Woods.

For those of an arty slant Leeds Art Gallery is the perfect place to go, with the chance to create your own masterpiece and activity sheets for the family to be suitably inspired whilst wandering the galleries.

Anyone looking for a bit more of an adrenaline rush should look no further than the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre at Yeadon Tarn, where a range of sailing, canoeing and kayaking sessions are available as well as orienteering and off-road biking.

There is also the chance to get the blood pumping at all Leeds City Council-managed leisure centres in the city, with a range of special activities available including theme days for young people and taster sessions in a variety of sports.

If something a bit more unusual it more likely to catch the eye, then heading to the award-winning Leeds City Museum to see what the mysterious Dr Rock is getting up to with minerals is a must-see, while those with enough courage should go to Temple Newsam for a special tour of the ‘hidden’ underground passageways.

Courage will also be required for those visiting Tropical World in Roundhay, as the popular animal attraction is now home to three resident crocodiles and an enormous Burmese Python, while there are also considerably more cuddly new arrivals in the form of three baby meerkats.

And if all of that isn’t enough to keep the fun flowing, there is always the guaranteed entertainment of welly wanging as part of ‘Welly Week’ at Kirkstall Abbey from April 10-17th.

Leeds City Council lead member for Leisure Councillor Bill Hyde said:

“There is no reason why anyone should get bored in Leeds this Easter as there is a huge range of fantastic events going on across the city for families and people of all ages to enjoy. There are sure to be lots of things people have never seen or done before so take this chance to give it a go and I’m sure everyone will have a great time.”

For more details of all the Leeds City Council-managed events going across the city this Easter go to www.leeds.gov.uk and search for ‘Easter’.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: Work to start on new school building at Leeds West Academy

Work is to start this week on a new £30m building which will replace the current school at Leeds West Academy.

The new building will offer state-of-the-art learning facilities to young people in West Leeds and be built on the existing school site. A sod cutting ceremony, involving Ed Balls and Sir Bruce Liddington, Director General of the academy’s sponsor organisation, E-ACT, is to take place on Wednesday 31st March and will mark the start of the work which is expected to be finished by September 2011 when pupils return after the summer break.

**************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ****************

WHAT: Media are invited to the sod turning ceremony
WHERE: Leeds West Academy, Calverley Lane, Leeds
WHEN: Today (Wednesday 31st March) at 2.15pm


The new building has been designed to meet government sustainability and carbon emissions targets and will include facilities such as state-of-the-art ICT facilities, professional-standard theatre and performance spaces and brand new sports and fitness equipment which will help provide young people and their local community with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the 21st Century.

Leeds West Academy is the latest Leeds school to be rebuilt as part of the £250m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project. Leeds BSF will transform 13 of the city’s secondary schools – a total of five new builds and eight rebuild and refurbishments - to create some of the most advanced learning environments in the country.

The Leeds BSF project is being delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP) which brings together Education Leeds, Leeds City Council and the Interserve-led consortium Environments 4 Learning to shape the most advances learning environments nationally. ICT experts, RM Education, are providing schools with the latest e-learning facilities to support and enhance teaching and learning.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
”This is the latest example of Education Leeds transforming learning through state-of-the–art buildings and facilities. The new Leeds West Academy building will be another brilliant, 21st Century learning environment where children and young people can achieve success and reach their full potential.”

Sir Bruce Liddington, Director General of E-ACT, said:
“We are working with our partners to transform education and opportunities for young people in Leeds. This is an investment in their future and will provide excellent facilities for pupils and the community for years to come.”

Annette Hall, principal of the Leeds West Academy, said:
“This isn’t just an investment in bricks and mortar, this is in the community and its young people.
“We believe that Leeds West will be a place which will inspire local young people for generations to come.”

Notes to editors:
Leeds BSF schools are brilliant spaces designed for 21st century Learning and teaching, which provide:
• flexible and varied rooms and spaces, offering different environments for different styles of teaching and learning;
• purposely-designed for the curriculum of today and tomorrow;
• unprecedented levels of cutting-edge learning technology;
• bright, open and safe spaces designed with young people, to engage young people;
• fully inclusive facilities, giving every young person access to the learning, support and care they need;
• unique features reflecting the unique ethos of each school and the needs of the local young people, families and wider communities they serve;
• exciting and innovative environments for highly effective leadership and teaching.

The Leeds BSF project is being delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP) which brings together Education Leeds, Leeds City Council and the Interserve-led consortium Environments 4 Learning to shape the most advances learning environments nationally. ICT experts, RM Education, are providing schools with the latest e-learning facilities to support and enhance teaching and learning. The Public Private Partnerships Unit, together with Education Leeds, are managing the procurement process.

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. PfS was established in April 2004 as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), and is operated and funded under a joint venture between DCSF (formerly DfES) and Partnerships UK. PfS is a 100-strong organisation, with specialist expertise including educationalists, designers, ICT specialists, commercial managers and project management.

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