Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Look hot on ice

Picture caption: [top] an atmospheric evening skating session and [above] crowds enjoying the Ice Cube

Take a n-ice spin or help someone keep their cool during the New Year with ice skating lessons when the Ice Cube returns to Millennium Square.

The UK’s largest outdoor ice skating rink returns for its 11th year testing the balance and grace of an expected 70,000 visitors from Saturday 15 January until 6 March 2011.

The coolest attraction in town will once again be offering skating lessons, which have proved incredibly popular since their introduction, for anyone still without Christmas presents or wanting to lose some of the excesses of the festive period.

Places on the six-week Skate UK programme aimed at beginners and improvers are limited and available on a first come first served basis only so get your skates on and book early via the City Centre Box Office at The Carriageworks on 0113 2243801 open 10am – 8pm Monday to Saturday.

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

“It is great to see this hugely popular attraction returning to Leeds and gliding around Millennium Square is a fantastic and unique experience.

“For anyone unsteady on their feet our skating lessons with qualified coaches will have you looking like an expert in no time.

“The Ice Cube is fun for all ages and it’s fantastic to see friends and families alike enjoying themselves.”

Coaching sessions will take place from 9-9:45am every Saturday and Sunday morning from 22 and 23 January and those who take part will be able to stay on the ice from 10am to 12pm for free to further perfect what they have just learned.

Skaters can develop at their own pace working up the 10 levels of basic skills on the course and will be presented with an approved certificate by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) at the end of the final session.

Tickets cost £69 per person for the whole course, and bookings close on Friday 22 January. For further details and full terms and conditions visit For further information on Skate UK visit

Organised by Leeds City Council with support from media partners 96.3 Radio Aire and the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Ice Cube is the largest temporary outdoor skating rink in the UK with over 1200 square metres of ready to skate-on real ice.

Advance general bookings, family tickets and individual skating lessons are now also available to pre-book from the City Centre Box Office.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer tel: 0113 247 8285, email:

Three Leeds schools celebrate as BSF funding gets the go-ahead

The final three schools in Leeds’ BSF programme are celebrating after plans to provide new state-of-the-art facilities were approved.

Schools in Leeds have benefited from a £250m investment through BSF but since the government earlier this year called for the remaining projects to be cut by up to 40 per cent, there were doubts whether Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School, Corpus Christi Catholic College and the new buildings for the mixed academy at Parklands Girls’ High School would go-ahead.

After revised costs were submitted in November by Education Leeds, Partnerships for Schools - which is delivering the BSF programme on behalf of the government - has confirmed that all three will go ahead with cuts of five per cent to the Corpus Christi and Mount St Mary’s budgets and 25 per cent to the Parklands budget.

This means the new co-educational academy, which will replace Parklands Girls’ High School in September 2011, and the new buildings and refurbishment at Corpus Christi and Mount St Mary’s will be completed at a total cost of £40m.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“This is great news for Corpus Christi, Mount St Mary’s and Parklands. The Local Education Partnership, which includes Education Leeds and Leeds City Council, has worked exceptionally hard to realise the government’s savings while still providing the best possible new school facilities for young people at these three schools. This has really paid off and all three schools and local communities can now look forward to fantastic new learning environments.”

Nigel Richardson, director of Children’s Services, said:
“I’m pleased we have reached an agreement with the government which will ensure these three schools will still benefit from BSF improvements. Young people at all three can now look forward to learning in the new facilities which will also provide valuable amenities to local communities. We will now work to move these projects on so the new school buildings are available for use as quickly as possible.”

Work is due to start at Corpus Christi and Mount St Mary’s in April 2011. Work is due to start at Parklands in September 2011.


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;
• purposefully 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.

Leeds BSF is delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP), which brings together Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, the government's Partnership for Schools (through Building Schools for the Future Investment), and the Interserve led consortium Environments 4 Learning (E4L). RM are contracted to provide the ICT investment in the schools.

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.

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