Friday, 28 January 2011

Leeds City Region LEP submits projects to competitive Growth Fund

The Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership (LEP) has coordinated a submission to the first round of the regional growth fund (RGF).

The LEP has played a role during the first round of bidding which closed 21 January, by bringing together partners and projects from across the city region and supporting development of bids that are able to create long term economic growth.

The £1.4 billion regional growth fund is open to projects led either by private sector or private/public partnerships to support the creation of private sector jobs, particularly in communities currently dependent on the public sector, helping them make the transition to private sector led growth and prosperity.

Having just recruited Neil McLean of DLA Piper as its private sector chair, the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership provided support to a range of projects including those directly supporting enterprise and innovation to those that unlock infrastructure and physical development to allow businesses to grow.

The LEP brought together partners across the city region, presenting an overall case for investment, and packaged up projects which were less than £1m in project size.

There were 15 projects submitted by the Leeds City Region LEP, with a total grant ask of £100m, with the potential to generate over £480m in private sector leverage.

Although the details of round two are yet to be announced, the LEP is already starting to work with partners to develop projects and programmes for this further bidding round.

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

Notes to editors

The Leeds City Region (LCR) partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.

The Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership area is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £51billion economy representing 5% of the overall UK economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.

Through the LEP businesses and local authorities will work to achieve: sustainable and affordable housing, a better connected transport system, skills and training that reflect the needs of city region employers, creating the environment for businesses to innovate and supporting the move towards low carbon communities.

more information on the Leeds City Region LEP please visit:

New Cardio Tennis classes set to be a smash hit in Leeds

A new form of fitness comes to the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds next week as Cardio Tennis sessions begin at The Tennis Centre.

Running twice a week from Wednesday 2 February, Cardio Tennis combines a high-intensity aerobic workout with improving tennis skills and is open to people of all abilities from complete beginner to experienced tennis player.

The sessions are limited to 10 people in each class aged 18 and over, with everyone taking part using a heart rate monitor to ensure the maximum benefit is gained. Sessions are carried out by qualified coaches, and are conducted to music.

Every session throughout February will be half-price, with all required equipment and heart monitors provided.

Leeds City Council tennis development officer Charlie Tatman said:

“Cardio Tennis is not just for tennis players or people interested in tennis, it is a great way of using tennis movements to have to a really effective high-energy general fitness workout. The music adds to the fun element, and the heart monitors really show people the effect of the effort they are putting in. We want as many people as possible to come along and give it a try.”

For further details of prices, session dates and times and how to book places, visit www. or call 0113 395 0010.


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

Day support to be a bridge back into the community

Mark Smith, who has received support from the community alternatives team

Daytime support for people with mental health needs is changing, which will mean more – not less – services will be on offer, according to council leaders.

Under plans proposed by the council, day services are set to move away from traditional ‘building-based’ delivery towards more individualised support, which helps people get involved in social activities, access training or education, or get back to work. This approach has already won some passionate supporters, like Philip Wharton* and Mark Smith.

Philip is a 61 year-old quality engineer who lives in south Leeds. A series of tragic events, including the death of his daughter, a divorce and a cancer scare led Philip to seek help for mental health problems early last year. Physically weak after a prostate operation, he had to give up work and became housebound and isolated.

During a period of support at a day centre, Philip was told about the community alternatives team (known as CAT), which offers support in the community rather than in the environment of a traditional day centre.

Through this scheme, Philip started to attend evening group sessions known as ‘Chill’, and got involved in a wide range of other activities. Philip feels that this community-based approach was the key to helping him regain his confidence and get back to work.

Philip said:
“After my operation to remove the cancer, I just spiralled downwards. But through the CAT I was able to get involved in lots of things – walking groups out into North Yorkshire and the Dales, which I loved, socialising, cinema, theatre, day trips, bowling…

“The more I did, the more confident I got. Last June I was able to go back to work full-time, which I was really pleased about. I was sick of being stuck at home, staring at the four walls.

“The support I got through the CAT made all the difference. Whereas before I’d walk about with my head to the ground, now I can go into Leeds and look people in the eye. I feel able to take part in life again.

“Day centres are very helpful for some people, but everyone needs different things. To anybody who is going to a day centre, I’d say you must definitely try the CAT approach, because it’s just so different. It’s in a public environment, it’s social, and there are so many activities.

“Getting back to work was my main goal. Now I just want to take all these positives I’ve learned, and move on and enjoy my life.”

Mark Smith, 50, of Armley was diagnosed with depression in 1998. After a period attending a day centre, Mark found out about the CAT and started to take part in a range of activities, many of them organised by service users themselves. He is amazed by the difference this has made.

Mark said:
“When I was first diagnosed I couldn’t leave the house; I was even scared to go to the shops. But through the CAT I’ve made so many friends and done so many things. It has given me the confidence to say yes I can do this, I can move on.

“The service users run their own group called the SET team – it stands for ‘Get Set Go!’ – I’m now vice-chairman. We organise lots of things – Christmas parties, karaoke nights, walks. We’ve even arranged holidays to Ireland and Scotland, with support from the CAT.

“I haven’t worked for 13 years, but I’m now at the point where I can think about going back to work. It’s been a long time coming.

“Getting back to normal day-to-day life is so important. You want to get to the point where you’re able to set goals for yourself rather than someone doing it for you.”

The proposed change in approach is the result of a combination of factors, and builds on the results of a wide-scale consultation, which brought together a combination of day centre users, staff and local support groups to decide how mental health services should look in the future.

By the end of the consultation it was clear that, although day services play a vital part in helping people with mental health issues, this doesn’t always have to mean visiting a building for support. Increasingly, many other options exist outside of the traditional day centre model. Many people felt that services should be based more around people’s individual needs, and that they should have more freedom to help design and run activities if they want to. Services should act as a ‘bridge’ back into the community, helping people access opportunities such as work, education, training and social activities.

Meanwhile, the government’s Putting People First agenda has been instrumental in driving through major changes to the way social care services are designed and delivered, to make sure that services are more tailored to people’s individual needs and that the people using them have more say in how they are run.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care, said:
“These changes are about finding more meaningful alternatives for people, based on how citizens and staff have said they would like support to be delivered in the future.

“Our day centres have provided a good service for years, but many people are telling us they would like to be supported in other ways. Increasingly, people want services which are more tailored to their needs. After all, what works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else. The future of mental health day support is about individuals, not institutions.

“Making these changes will ensure services are available to help people to recover, or to better manage their condition, and enable them to take part in activities which are available to everyone – like education, training and employment.

“Good mental health day support should be a bridge back into the community.”

Leeds’ adult social care department will be asking the council’s executive board to agree these plans in February 2011. If the changes are approved, the council will work with the NHS to commission a wide range of modernised mental health services, focused on recovery and supporting people to access mainstream opportunities.

* Name has been changed

Additional info

There are currently 50 different mental health day services in Leeds, provided by four different types of agency. About 2000 people are registered with 14 day services, with around 200 people using more than one service at the same time.

The whole service costs £2.5m a year, split between the council and NHS Leeds (the council pays £2.25m, rest paid by NHS Leeds).

Participants in the ‘i3 consultation’ (2005-8) included local day centre staff and users, Leeds Mind, Dosti, Leeds Housing Concern, Making Space and Touchstone.

The community alternatives team (CAT)
The CAT has been in existence since 1996 and was originally designed to offer a complementary service to day centres, in recognition of the fact that not everybody with mental health problems would want or need to access a day centre.

It supports people to improve their mental health by helping them to put in place things we all take for granted, such as friendships, social activities, volunteering and taking steps to get back to work. Some groups are supported by staff and some are user-led with support from staff on a consultative basis. They frequently help people to join mainstream community groups eg. local walking groups.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

What if Leeds…? What the people said.

By 2030 Leeds will be “the best city in the UK”. That is what the people of Leeds said they want their city to become in the future.

But the best city for what? The results of the recent ‘What if Leeds…? Talk today. Shape tomorrow’ consultation show that the people of Leeds have different ideas on what could make Leeds the best city in the UK.

Over 100 of the city’s leaders and residents came together yesterday (Thursday 27 January) to hear the results of the massive public consultation exercise which began last September.

Initial findings show that the people of Leeds have voted transport, jobs, the environment good community relations, safety and culture as their key issues for the long-term future of this city.

At the event, delegates discussed the results of the consultation, and debated how we can make Leeds the best city in the UK. The results will help form the third ‘Vision for Leeds’, which will shape the future of the city.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, chair of the Leeds Initiative and leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“We have seen some really good ideas and interesting debates through the What if Leeds consultation.

“We are living in challenging times. The global recession is having a big impact on major cities and the changing climate is increasingly affecting our daily lives. Leeds is a great city already and by speaking to the people who live and work here we can make it even better.”

Chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, added:
“This consultation has given us a really good insight into what the people of Leeds really want the city to be like in the future. We are in a time of economic uncertainty, but this means there is an even greater need to plan for the future to make sure the city can stay resilient, stay ahead and offer a great quality of life for all.

“A big thank-you to all those people that have being able to take part in our campaign. I will now work with my colleagues right across the city to make sure that your views are taken on board, and that we can work to make Leeds the best city in the UK. “

The ‘What if Leeds…?’ campaign took an innovative approach to consultation, setting up a dedicated website, which allowed open and unmoderated debate. Ten thousand people visited the website during the campaign. More traditional consultation methods were also used, such as online and offline surveys.

To ensure that a wide range of views were collected, and that every community of the city had their opportunity to have their say, members of the Leeds Initiative team went out to over 100 community groups. This included homeless people, the Gypsy and Traveller communities and older people.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Notes to the editor
At the event guests viewed a short film which highlighted the key issues raised by the people of Leeds and discussed the emerging issues with a panel of representatives from key Leeds organisations:
• Ms Stephanie Burras, Leeds Ahead
• Dr Ian Cameron, NHS Leeds
• Haji Mahboob Nazir, Association of Leeds Mosques
• Ms Ceri Nursaw, University of Leeds
• Mr Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council
• A representative of the Youth Council

Key note speakers were Tom Riordan and Councillor Keith Wakefield.

Notes end.