Thursday, 19 August 2010

Julian Marley tops the bill for Leeds Reggae Concert

Caption: Julian Marley (top) and Horace Brown (above) lead the line-up for this year's Leeds Reggae Concert

The son of reggae legend Bob Marley has been confirmed as the headline performer at this year’s Leeds Reggae Concert.

Julian Marley, whose father is arguably the most famous reggae artist of all time, will lead the line-up of acts at the UK’s biggest free black music event to be held at Potternewton Park in Leeds from 12 noon on Sunday 29th August.

The 35-year-old British-born reggae star will be performing hits from his latest album ‘Awake’ which won ‘Best Album of the Year’ in the International Reggae and World Music Awards in New York in May and was also nominated for ‘Best Reggae Album’ in the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Also appearing at Potternewton Park will be American singer and producer Horace Brown, who has worked with a host of famous rappers and R and B stars in his career including Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, Mary J Blige, Faith Evans, Jodeci and Foxy Brown.

Organised by the Leeds Reggae Concert Committee and Leeds City Council, the free event is now in its 24th year and the star-studded line-up is again expected to attract a crowd of approximately 25,000 people.

As well as the headline acts, the Unity Housing Association Stage will also host a variety of other big-name UK performers celebrating a wide range of musical genres including gospel star Roger Samuels, grime artist Donae’o and reggae veterans Black Slate.

Local Leeds talent will also be given its chance to shine, with those performing including Congolese group The Innovation Band, reggae acts Root One Band and Tuff E Nuff and soul outfit The Moves.

Breakdancers Speak to the Street will also be on hand while new talents Moneque Pryce, Tyrone and Kushi will be performing after impressing during auditions.

With support from local business Unity Housing Association, this year’s Leeds Reggae Concert will also feature a big screen showing the event in addition to the usual range of stalls and a wide variety of refreshments available.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“The Leeds Reggae Concert is a wonderful annual event and the organisers have again been able to attract a great line-up of performers to attend this year so we look forward to another great day out and thousands of people enjoying the free show at Potternewton Park.”

Leeds Reggae Concert Committee founder member Red Rose said:

“I am so excited about this year’s event, the range of music that will be performed is amazing. We have a bit of something for everyone which promises to make it the best Leeds Reggae Concert ever.”

For further press information contact Robert Pitt press officer for the Leeds Reggae Concert Committee on 07973 801 101.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Feast of fun as Kirkstall Abbey gets ready to go wild

Caption: The popular dog show (above) and a boa constrictor like this one (top) are two of the animal attractions at Kirkstall Abbey next week

Visitors to Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds will be greeted by a blur of flying arrows, wagging tails, slithering snakes and stunning birds of prey over the next week.

A series of free outdoor events are to be held in the grounds of the 12th century abbey ruins over the coming days organised by Leeds City Council.

The events begin on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd August when from 10am to 12 noon and from 2-4pm each day visitors will be able to try their hand at the ancient art of archery. Experts from the local archery club Panda Bowmen will be overseeing events offering guidance and tips from beginners to budding Robin Hoods. Those of a more creative slant can head indoors to the Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre for the chance to design their own royal crowns.

The fun takes on a four-legged slant from 2-4pm on Wednesday 25th August when the hugely-popular annual dog show takes place. The show features five categories of competition which are sure to be fiercely contested – the waggiest tail, best trick, best nose for finding objects, best control while on a lead and musical statues for how still a dog can stay on command.

Certificates and prizes are available in each category, but due to the extremely popular nature of the event those wishing to enter must be pre-registered as numbers that can take part are limited. To pre-register please call 0113 230 5492 or email

The skies over the abbey will take centre stage on Saturday 26th August, as from 2-4pm a selection of spectacular birds of prey will be demonstrating their hunting techniques. Overseen by Yorkshire-based conservationists Falconry UK, the birds such as eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, falcons and kestrels will also be on display for visitors to admire and take photographs of when not flying.

Fans of snakes and creepy crawlies will also be catered for, as visitors will also be able to see a range of animals in the Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre. Local reptile expert Matt Pedder from Tyrannosaurus Pets will be on hand with some of his collection such as boa constrictors, corn snakes, bull snakes and geckos amongst others talking about how they live and offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal by holding them.

Keeper of Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum Sam Flavin said:

“These events at Kirkstall Abbey are going to be great fun and they will offer fantastic things to do as we near the end of the school holidays. From previous years we know the dog show is massively popular so that should be another fun event and watching the birds of prey in action is a stunning spectacle which is not to be missed as they are absolutely amazing.

“Each of these events offers something different so we hope people of all ages come along to them and have a really enjoyable time.”

All of the events are free to attend, but there will be a charge of £1 for three arrows for those wishing to take part in the archery sessions. For further information on Kirkstall Abbey call 0113 230 5492 or email

For more information about what all the council-managed cultural venues in Leeds have to offer this summer visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Early signs suggest A-level success for young people in Leeds

Early signs suggest young people in Leeds will be celebrating today (19 August) after achieving the city’s best ever A-level results.

Education Leeds is still collecting results from the city’s 33 secondary schools with sixth forms but early indicators - from around 75 per cent of schools - show that more than one in five entries achieved an A grade or the new A* grade.

The figures also suggest that Leeds will see an increase in the overall pass rate with more than 97 per cent of exams sat being passed.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:“The results so far have been promising and the early signs are that the city’s young people have done better than ever before. It is an example of education in the city improving year on year and I hope that everyone who has received their A-level results is pleased - they should be proud of their achievements.

“The schools, parents and carers all deserve praise as well for their support and effort over the last two years which will have played a huge part in the young people’s successes.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Once again we are seeing some brilliant A-level results across the city. Our young people are leaving school with essential skills and qualifications which will help them achieve their full potential in life.

“The results reflect the hard work, effort and determination of our young people and the high quality of teaching in our schools, and I’d like to congratulate each and every young person on their achievements.”

The full picture of the overall results in Leeds will be published in the autumn term.


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

£47m improvements planned for Leeds schools

Six primary schools and one secondary are in line for major improvements if £47m of funding is approved by Leeds City Council.

Education Leeds has proposed to build new schools at Swillington, SS Peter and Paul in Yeadon and Richmond Hill primary schools while extension and refurbishment works are planned for Gildersome, Greenhill and Oulton primaries.

It has also proposed to rebuild and refurbish parts of Corpus Christi Catholic College through the city’s award winning Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

A total of £33,125,500 of the costs for the improvements at the six primary schools will come from government grants for primary schools. As SS Peter and Paul in Yeadon is a voluntary aided school there is a requirement that the school governors contribute 10 per cent of the funding towards the scheme, which will be met by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds.

The £14m for the Corpus Christi Catholic College improvements will come from the £260m allocated to Leeds under the BSF programme in 2005.

Proposals for the six primary schools include:
Swillington Primary School: A new one form entry school with nursery and community space. Built to ‘Passivhaus’ standards, it will be one of the most energy efficient schools in the country.
SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, Yeadon: A new one form entry school with a large, high ceiling central space designed to be the heart of the school. All classrooms will be accessed from this area which includes a library and group rooms and will be available to the community.
Richmond Hill Primary School: Another Passivhaus design which will achieve exceptionally low running costs for heating and cooling. It will be a three form entry school and include a number of innovative features including wide corridors - or ‘learning streets’; larger classrooms to allow for future flexibility; small group rooms for personalised learning; dedicated multi-purpose community space; a multi-purpose hall and; SEN (special education needs) provision for 16 children with autism.
Gildersome Primary School: A full refurbished school, plus an extension, to increase to a two form entry. Two temporary units will be removed and the internal layout of the school will be altered. New technologies will be available throughout the school.
Greenhill Primary School: A fully refurbished and extended two form entry school including a nursery. The school will become one main building with one block demolished and a sports pitch created.
Oulton Primary School: A fully refurbished two form entry school with nursery, behavioural provision and extended services facility. The school will become one building with an existing block being demolished to provide sports pitches. A new teaching wing will be built around a central hub complete with new technologies and a library. Outdoor learning areas will also be provided for all classrooms.

Proposals for Corpus Christi Catholic College include an extension of the main teaching block, including a new sports hall, and the refurbishment of other areas including classrooms and community facilities. There will also be new ICT equipment across the school.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:“These proposals represent a huge investment in education in Leeds. These seven schools will be transformed into modern, future-proof learning environments which will help to provide a great education to many generations of children.

“In Leeds we are committed to improving our schools and will continue to look for as many ways as possible to invest in our children and young people’s future.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“We want every child and young person in Leeds to attend the best schools and for local communities to benefit from the fantastic new facilities being provided across the city. These new and refurbished schools will allow even more children and young people to learn in brilliant environments which, together with excellent teaching and support, will help them get the most out of their time at school.”

The proposals will be heard by Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 25 August.


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

High praise for Leeds Mentoring service after inspection

A service which helps develop young people’s skills and potential by pairing them with adult mentors has received national recognition for its achievements.

The Leeds Mentoring service was assessed by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation which described it as a ‘well established’ service which has ‘demonstrated its effectiveness and value to school students across Leeds for at least 10 years’.

The Ofsted style assessment took place between April and June this year and included visits to five of the 40 secondary schools which are involved in the scheme. Royds, Temple Moor, Swallow Hill, Pudsey Grangefield and Brigshaw were all visited by assessors who monitored how effective mentoring was for the young people and the adults involved.

The assessment ‘did not identify any areas of concern’ and found there was ‘clear evidence that the project has maintained the operating standards which were required for earlier APS (Approved Provider Standard) accreditations. The professionalism and commitment of the Leeds Mentoring team was highlighted and the assessors stated the assessment would recommend Leeds Mentoring to prospective funders as it clearly demonstrated good practice and provided a highly-valued service to school communities.

Good practices which were highlighted include:
• A comprehensive peer mentoring training process;
• The development of an extensive business network to support adult mentoring;
• A highly –structured monitoring format to record student progress and the use of indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of mentoring support.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“This assessment of Leeds Mentoring highlights what an effective and valued service it provides to young people across Leeds. All aspects of the programme were praised from the impact it has on the young people involved to the day-to-day management of the project.

“Mentoring is highly rewarding and helps boost the achievements of the young people involved, as well as their confidence and self-esteem. It’s also a positive experience for the adults who give up their time to help who gain a fantastic sense of achievement for every child who benefits from their help.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Leeds Mentoring is second to none. It provides a brilliant service to young people by pairing them with somebody who will advise, help and support them to make decisions which will have a positive impact on the rest of their lives.

“The assessment highlights the services many successes and achievements and acknowledges that thousands of young people have benefited from it over the last 10 years. It is a fantastic report and everyone involved should be very proud.”

Development points raised by the assessors include: more frequent training to ensure school co-ordinators who are new in post can access it more quickly; training to include speaking to an existing mentor; more information provided about 11-18 schooling, including exams, jargon etc; schools should be encouraged to provide academic feedback about the young people (GCSE results etc) to mentors.


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