Friday, 18 June 2010

Mini Olympic Games to showcase future school sports stars

Seb Coe and the London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee need look no further than Leeds for how to organise a successful Olympic Games.

Pupils from four Leeds primary schools have helped to set up a mini Olympics as part of a city-wide programme to link learning and exercise to the 2012 Olympic Games.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to presentation ceremony at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Monday 21 June at 1pm to meet the pupils and find out more about Spirit Alive. For more information please call 0113 3951577 or email
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The Spirit Alive event, which will take place at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Monday 21 June, has been organised by children from Gledhow primary, Kerr Mackie primary, Moor Allerton primary and Talbot primary.

Children will take to the track and field between 10am and 2pm and the event will have many of the features of the real Olympic Games including an opening and closing ceremony and medal presentation.

Spirit Alive is an exciting cross-curricular project linked to the Olympic Games for pupils of all ages. It started four years ago in Leeds and is designed to give children and young people a chance to lead, manage and deliver a mini Olympics experience for their own schools.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:“The Spirit Alive events are an absolutely fantastic way in which our children and young people can organise and take part in a wide range of sporting activities. It not only develops a range of skills, but also promotes healthy living and exercise which ties in brilliantly with the build-up to the 2012 Olympics. The John Charles Centre for Sport has excellent facilities and is the perfect venue for the mini Olympics, which really will be a special day for everyone taking part.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“This is the latest example of children in Leeds already benefiting from the London 2012 Olympics. Spirit Alive is an innovative programme which links learning with different sports and exercises. It also helps our children learn about different countries and cultures while developing their own life skills and experiences.”

It’s hoped that Spirit Alive will help the 2012 Olympic Games provide a lasting legacy in Leeds by helping to develop and enhance education and work related skills for thousands of children and young people. Over 100 schools are already involved in the city and it’s hoped that 250 schools - representing 100,000 pupils in Leeds - will be taking part by 2012.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Council answers market deputation

Council chiefs will be responding to the deputation proposals for Kirkgate market in Leeds next week.

Members of the executive board will respond to the original deputation put forward by the National Federation of Market Traders in April this year, which called for more investment in the market, lower rents, cheaper car parking and re-investment.

A report submitted to Leeds City Council’s executive board next week ( Tuesday 22 June) will outline proposals for a rent review, a reduction in charges for ‘yellow line’ areas and proposals for marketing and further promotion of the market. A review of markets management is also proposed and with consultation with trade unions, a permanent Markets Manager post should be appointed.

An independent rent view has been proposed to see if the current levels of rents are appropriate, and in the meantime there will be a 50% reduction in the charges for extending produce beyond stalls into the ‘yellow line’ area.

In terms of marketing, an official website will be developed which will feature every trader free of charge, and will promote district markets as well as Kirkgate Market. Along with an official website a new map listing all stalls and their locations is being developed.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds Kirkgate market champion said:
“The market is a very important part of Leeds and offers a unique alternative shopping experience and it is key that we move forward and work towards improving it.

“We need to be realistic and realise that the changes we wish to implement will not happen overnight, but we understand the need to act quickly and work with the traders to demonstrate a genuine commitment to working together to improve things.”

More than 10 million people visit Kirkgate market every year but the council is seeking to improve this and encourage new shoppers to visit the market along with existing shoppers continuing their support.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds children prove to be champion energy savers

Year six pupils from Hawksworth Wood Primary School have been declared champions at saving energy and money at home.

Children from Bramley, Cobden and Hawksworth Wood primary schools have taken part in a number of workshops over the last year looking at different ways to make their own homes more energy efficient.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to attend the ceremony at Leeds Town Hall today (Friday 18 June) – the main presentation will take place at 3pm. Pupils, teachers and officers from West North West Homes Leeds will be available for interview. At the Town Hall reception, please ask for Hannah Mason or Heather Barnes.
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All three schools from the west and north west areas of Leeds will attend a champions assembly at Leeds Town Hall today (Friday 18 June) which will be the culmination of the project organised by West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) and its partners Kier Building Maintenance, Frank Haslam Milan, Connaught Partnerships and Groundwork Leeds.

WNWHL arranged the workshops at the three schools to consider aspects of climate change, global warming and energy efficiency and show pupils how small changes at home can make big differences to the environment and help to save money. The project included the children designing their own eco-towns, making draught excluder snakes and designing an energy efficient home.

Pupils from Hawksworth Wood Primary School have been declared the overall winners and will receive a trophy made from recycled plastic bottles from the Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Patrick Davey. The school will receive up to £500 of energy saving devices.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member responsible for housing, said:
“Congratulations to everyone at Hawksworth Wood Primary School on winning this trophy. The workshops have been a great way of highlighting the need for everyone to reduce their energy consumption while showing these young people how small changes can help to make big differences – financially and environmentally.

Claire Warren, chief executive of WNWHL, said:
“Every penny counts in these tough economic times and we are hopeful that the lessons learned at these workshops will prove beneficial to many families who live in west and north west Leeds. However, it’s not just about reducing energy bills – it’s also about having a positive impact on the environment and ensuring that, through small changes, we can all greatly reduce our collective carbon footprints.”


Notes to editors:
West North West Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents. West North West Homes Leeds covers the areas of Otley, Pool, Bramhope, Guiseley, Yeadon, Cookridge, Rawdon, Holt Park. Tinshill, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Burley, Armley, Bramley, Pudsey, Woodhouse, Wortley, Farnley, and New Farnley.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Go-ahead for new business enterprise centre

The future is looking bright for would-be local entrepreneurs in south Leeds with senior councillors set to give the go-ahead to a new business enterprise centre at Middleton.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will meet next week to hear of plans to provide a cash boost of over £1.6million to help build and develop the centre and to grant approval to rent it for a peppercorn rent.

The building, which will be known as Tenant’s Hall Enterprise Centre, will be rented to an independent community interest company, Health For All Enterprises (HFAE) which has a track record of promoting enterprise, entrepreneurship and self-employment to people living in deprived areas.

The new enterprise centre, based on the site of the current Tenants Hall in Middleton, will provide space for small offices, hot desks, conference and meeting facilities and on-site business advice and support for start-up local businesses or entrepreneurs wanting to start a business.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for city development, said:

“This is a very exciting project which builds on the success of other community enterprise centres in the city. It provides a great opportunity to create something right in the heart of a community that will help encourage business enterprise and tackle unemployment, which is a priority for us.

“We look forward to working with Health For All Enterprises to make this project a huge success for the people of Middleton.”

A report on the council’s plans for the new Middleton Enterprise Centre will be presented to members of Leeds City Council’s executive board on Tuesday 22 June.

Officers will outline the council’s earlier approval of £1.616million for the new centre and recommend that the council grants a new 20-year lease to Health for All (HFA) at a peppercorn rent.

Development of the centre is being funded by the Government’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) which encourages and promotes enterprise in some of the city’s most deprived areas and also the European Union’s regional development fund. To date permanent centres have been built in Beeston, Harehills and Seacroft with Middleton planned as the fourth.

Work is expected to start in November 2010 with anticipated opening of the building in September 2011.

Notes to editors:

1. Health for All (formerly known as South Leeds Health for All) was established in 1991 with a grant of £30,000 to work with deprived communities in south Leeds. Since then, the organisation has grown rapidly and now employees 143 staff with a turnover of £2.2m. Sixty percent of turnover is derived from trading activities, the remainder from grant supported activity.

2. The site on which the Middleton Enterprise Centre will be built is owned by Leeds City Council and the existing building leased to the HFA at a peppercorn rent. The lease expired in 2006 and the HFA are currently occupying the building on a holding over arrangement. The proposal is for the HFA to surrender the lease and for the council to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new two-storey enterprise centre.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602