Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Green grants to help groups cut carbon

Funding is available to support local voluntary and community groups who want to save energy and cut carbon.

Leeds City Council has a total of £12,000 to give to local, grassroots voluntary and community groups for projects that focus on energy efficiency or make use of renewable energy technologies.

Groups can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 for projects that will help reduce Leeds’ carbon emissions. Grants will be awarded to groups who can demonstrate that their project is a viable yet innovative idea to assist their local community.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive member for environmental services said:

“There are groups out there who have great ideas and ambitions to reduce emissions locally and we don’t want a lack of funding to stifle their enthusiasm or innovation.

“The grant will help those groups who do vital work to cut carbon and I’d encourage people to apply before funding runs out.”

Groups should be able to demonstrate the following in their proposals:

• The project will directly benefit individuals and communities in Leeds.
• The needs of local people are met.
• The project has a high potential to reduce carbon emissions.
• The project focuses on energy efficiency or makes use of renewable energy technology.
• The group is run mainly by volunteers from the local community.

For the full criteria all potential applicants should email or call 0113 395 7159 for the information pack.


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

Major award joy for Frankenstein’s Wedding in Leeds

Caption: Frankenstein's Wedding...Live in Leeds proved a monster hit at Kirkstall Abbey

The critically-acclaimed live television performance of Frankenstein’s Wedding at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds has been given a prestigious award.

The groundbreaking production of ‘Frankenstein’s Wedding…Live in Leeds’ performed amongst the ruins of the 12th century abbey in front of an audience of 12,000 people and screened live on BBC Three in March was universally praised.

In total more than one million people watched the event and it was so popular on social media that it trended on Twitter. This success has now been officially recognised by being named as Best Live Event at the Broadcast Digital Awards held in London last week, where the judges praised “the scale of this incredible production” and it being “truly innovative in its ambition."

The production by BBC Three, BBC North and BBC Cymru Wales was supported by Leeds City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire, Marketing Leeds and Arts Council England.

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

“We are absolutely delighted that ‘Frankenstein’s Wedding…Live in Leeds’ has won this award. It was a hugely ambitious and groundbreaking production to put on, but everyone involved worked incredibly hard to make it happen and the live performance was amazing.

“Kirkstall Abbey looked stunning and provided the perfect setting for such a dramatic and fantastic story. Everyone who was there or watched on television was highly impressed so this award is a great reward for the imagination and ingenuity of all involved. A big thank you to the BBC and all the partners and we look forward to showcasing Leeds and the region further with similar large-scale productions in future.”

The performance was based on Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, telling the tale of inventor Victor Frankenstein (played by Andrew Gower) preparing for his wedding to Elizabeth (former EastEnders star Lacey Turner) but preoccupied by the menacing threat of his creation on the loose The Creature (Doctor Who star David Harewood).

The story was played out with the cast moving around the ruins of the abbey, which was specially lit to be Frankenstein’s home and laboratory, with the chapel ruins used for the wedding ceremony.

As well as live musical performances, the production also had a strong interactive element as the 12,000 members of the crowd were asked to attend dressed for a wedding while as part of the wedding celebrations the crowd and those watching at home were encouraged to carry out a special dance routine choreographed by Phoenix Dance Theatre, who also performed at various stages throughout the show.

While the main focus of the performance was the live element at Kirkstall Abbey, pre-recorded segments filmed of The Creature in and around Leeds city centre were also interwoven to help tell the tale.

Reflecting on the success of the production, BBC Director North Peter Salmon said:

"It was an extraordinary collaboration for us to produce a live drama event in front of a huge audience from a ruined abbey in Leeds and it was only possible because of some great partners - Leeds City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire, Marketing Leeds, Arts Council England, and Phoenix Dance were all brilliant in having a ‘let's make it happen’ approach and I believe it is a great sign of how we can build effective new partnerships in the future."

Chief executive of Marketing Leeds Deborah Green said:

“Frankenstein’s Wedding…Live in Leeds provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city, putting us in the national spotlight. Watched by just under a million people on BBC Three plus thousands more on the BBC iplayer and generating £4.6 million of PR value for the city, the dramatic production showed the city off at its absolute best. This award is a brilliant but fitting accolade for the production and I am very proud of all of those within the city who made it possible.”

Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity said:

“This fabulous event, watched by over a million viewers in total, was a great way to put Leeds and Yorkshire on the map for world-class cultural events and it will undoubtedly help attract more visitors to see how much we have to offer.”

The Frankenstein's Wedding audience participation dance can be seen by clicking on the following link:

Notes to editors:

Leeds is the UK's third largest city and one of the greenest cities in Europe.

Marketing Leeds is the city’s strategic marketing organisation, providing a leadership role for the city’s marketing. It aims to raise the profile of Leeds as a vibrant, dynamic, internationally competitive city and as the gateway to Yorkshire and the UK. For more information, visit: or

Welcome to Yorkshire is the official destination management organisation for Yorkshire, working to grow the county’s visitor economy. To find out more visit


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

Wheelie good fun for kids during Bike Week

Children in Leeds are being challenged to get on their bikes as part of the UK’s biggest ever Bike Fix promotion.

Saturday 18 June marks the start of Bike Week and organisers are hoping that thousands of bicycles will be taken out of storage, fixed up and put back to use on roads and tracks right across the country.

Media opportunity:

When: Thursday 23 June at 11.00
Where: The Works skate park, Kitson Street, Hunslet
What: School children will be using the ramps and having bike safety checks. Staff from the school travel and road safety teams will be on hand for interviews.

So far 72 schools across Leeds have arranged events for pupils at their schools during bike week (18 – 26 June). These events range from community rides and cycle training, and route planning and cycle maintenance events, to encourage as many pupils to get on their bikes as possible.

Leeds City Council’s school travel team and NHS Leeds have joined forces to hold a prize draw for pupils who cycle or scoot at each school which have registered their event. Prizes include iPod touch and iPod Nanos, a bicycle, a scooter, Nintendo DS3D to name a few. The winners of the top three prizes from secondary schools and the top three winners from primary schools will be invited to a special ceremony to receive their prizes from the Lord Mayor of Leeds.

Leeds City Council’s school travel and road safety teams have organised an event for five schools in the Middleton and Hunslet areas on Thursday 23 June 2011.

Fifty Year 6 Pupils from Middleton Primary School, Middleton St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, and Westwood Primary School will be cycling from their schools to Cockburn High. Whilst 10 Year 6 Pupils from each of Windmill Primary School and Hunslet Carr will be cycling to South Leeds Academy. Pupils will be shown where they will be able to park their cycles when they start their high schools in the next academic year, before they continue their journey along the ‘Middleton to Leeds City Centre Cycle Route’ to The Works on Kitson Street. The pupils will be shown how to use the ramps and have lunch before making the return journey to school. The children will also be given the chance to have their bikes safety checked by Dr Bike provided by Edinburgh Cycles whilst at The Works.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for development said:
“The theme of this year’s Bike Week is all about encouraging people to rediscover cycling, get their old bikes fixed and explore their local community on two wheels.

“There are lots of events taking place, which will appeal to cyclists of all ages and abilities, so if you are new to cycling or just out of practice – Bike Week can help you get back into the saddle and get the most out of your bike.

“Cycling has proven health and fitness benefits and can help beat traffic congestion and pollution, so making the switch from a car to a bike whenever possible really is a winning solution.”

Meanwood Church of England Primary School will be holding cycle days during the week, where pupils from the school will be cycling around the park.

Bramley Primary School will be holding a fun cycling day for pupils and staff promoting cycle skills with element of competition on cycle control.

Boston Spa School are arranging a family ride for the community on 10am -12pm on Saturday 25 June and will be inviting local primary schools to attend. This will be a leisurely 8 mile circular ride from Boston Spa High School Car park to Wetherby along cycle paths and the disused railway line.

David Young Community Academy and Grange Farm Primary School are planning to Complete rides along the newly opened Wykebeck Way Cycle Route.

16 schools across the city will be taking part in Bikeabillity training. 7 schools will have there training delivered by Leeds City Council’s Road Safety Promotions Unit and a further 9 schools will have their training delivered by The Schools Sports Partnership Bikeabillity Team.

National Bike Week runs from the 18-26 June 2011 and is organised by Team Green Britain Bike Week.

For more information on Bike Week in Leeds visit

Individuals can take part by searching for rides and events across the UK at

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

Otley pupils put their road safety knowledge to the test

Primary school pupils from north-west Leeds proved they know how to stay safe on the roads last week when they took part in an annual road safety quiz.

The event, run by Otley & District Road Safety Committee and supported by Leeds City Council’s road safety team, is now in its ninth year and involves schools from Otley, Pool, Adel, Horsforth, Guiseley and Yeadon.

Twelve schools from the area fielded teams of five pupils to compete in the annual road safety quiz.

Dave Robson of Otley Road Safety Committee was question master, and following three heats and a nail biting final, The Whartons team took first place, with Rawdon Littlemoor in second and Ss Peter and Paul third.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for development said:
“The children always do themselves proud in what is quite a test of their knowledge. It is great to see how much they know about road safety. Although the quiz only involves a few selected pupils from each school we believe the preparation for the event improves the road safety knowledge of all the children, and lets them get interactively involved in a key topic.”

The Mayor of Otley Councilor Nigel Francis gave out the trophies and prizes, donated by the Otley and District Road Safety Committee, local businesses and the road safety promotion unit at Leeds City Council, assisted by Spike, the Road Safety Hedgehog.

An award in memory of the late Audrey Cartwright who was a longstanding member of Otley Road Safety Committee, and a passionate champion of the quiz, was presented by her daughters, Andrea and Susan, to Abby Eccles from the Rawdon Littlemoor team as the highest scoring individual pupil.

The teams who took part in this year’s quiz were from the following schools:
Ashfield Primary School; Bramhope Primary School; Otley All Saints Primary School; ‘The Whartons’ Primary School; Otley Westgate Primary School; Pool C of E Primary School; Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School; SS Peter and Paul Primary School; St Josephs Primary School; St Oswald’s Primary School; Tranmere Primary School and Westfield Junior School,

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

Council’s coffee clean up cost a fortune for Costa coffee

Costa coffee shop has had to pay more than £3,000 in fines and costs after failing to dispose of rubbish correctly at one of its city centre stores.

The Albion Street shop repeatedly allowed bags of rubbish to pile up outside despite being warned by Leeds City Council to clean up their act.

Officers from the council’s environmental action team first warned Costa in 2008 for allowing bags of food waste and packaging to pile up. After two further incidents took place in September 2010 a fine was issued – but this still didn’t stop the build up of rubbish and more bags of waste were found outside the store in November 2010.

Whitbread Group, which owns Costa, pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court on Friday 17 June to failing to store and dispose of their waste correctly. The company was fined £1,000 with £2,354 costs.

Commenting on the prosecution, Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, said:
“We will not hesitate to take action against businesses that repeatedly allow their waste to build up outside their premises. Leeds has a fantastic city centre and we have a responsibility to ensure it is not spoilt by bags of rubbish clogging up the streets. We are committed to keeping the whole of Leeds as clean and tidy as possible and this fine is a warning of the costly consequences that businesses face if they do not share our ambition.”


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

Super six City of Leeds divers chosen to take on the world

Captions: City of Leeds divers Jack Laugher (top) and Alicia Blagg will represent Great Britain at the world championships next month (images courtesy of Tim Lee, City of Leeds Diving Club (Jack)and (Alicia)- if used pleased credit)

The City of Leeds diving squad are celebrating after having six members named to represent Team Great Britain at the world championships in China next month.

The team was announced this week with City of Leeds divers making up over half the Great Britain squad for the FINA World Championships which take place in Shanghai from 16-31 July.

City of Leeds divers Jack Laugher, Sarah Barrow, Alicia Blagg, Jenny Cowen, Rebecca Gallantree and Hannah Starling are all part of the 11-strong Team GB squad to have successfully qualified to take on the best in the world in the biggest international diving event of the year.

The squad was finalised following last week’s British Gas National Diving Championships, where the City of Leeds divers dominated in their home pool at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport claiming 16 medals as well as the overall men’s and women’s trophies.

Olympian Rebecca Gallantree led the way, claiming two gold medals and a silver to secure her spot at Shanghai in style. Rebecca will be joined in China by clubmates Jenny Cowen and Sarah Barrow, back to form after lengthy injury problems, while 14-year-old Alicia Blagg from Woodlesford and 16-year-old Hannah Starling from Alwoodley will be the two youngest members of the squad.

The women’s team claimed the overall trophy for the ninth major national event in a row, while the men’s team also scooped the overall team prize for the first time since 2004.

This was based largely on the success of 16-year-old Jack Laugher, who followed his stunning performance in beating world champion Tom Daley and setting a new British record in the process in the National Cup in February with another victory in the men’s three-metre individual event last week.

Laugher was ably supported by fellow Harrogate diver Oliver Dingley, who won the 1m individual title before the two recent newcomers to the City of Leeds squad then teamed up to take silver in the 3m synchronised event.

Other City of Leeds divers to claim medals in the national championships were Joe Meszaros who claimed his first national title with gold in the 10m men’s synchro, Chloe Hurd (two bronze), Callum Johnstone (two bronze) and Matt Roberts (bronze).

The City of Leeds divers are all part of Leeds City Council’s Diving Training Scheme overseen by senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe and former world champion Edwin Jongejans.

Senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe said:

“This is a fantastic achievement to have so many divers from one club qualify for the world championships so we are delighted and the credit must go to all six of our divers to have made it along with the coaches and everyone who supports them.

“We were particularly pleased to win the men’s overall title for the first time since 2004 as well as the women’s, so we look forward to seeing how the team perform in Shanghai and we are sure they will provide the inspiration for their clubmates in Leeds to keep improving.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council’s Leeds Diving Training Scheme is managed by Adrian Hinchliffe and has been running since 1986. The scheme provides opportunities in the sport of diving for all ages and from recreational to elite level. In total there are over 300 people taking part in the scheme on a daily and weekly basis, making it one of the biggest diving programmes in Britain.

For further information about the scheme contact Adrian Hinchliffe at, Edwin Jongejans at or call 0113 395 7363.


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