Monday, 25 July 2011

Award-winning parks keep flying the flag for Leeds

Caption: Officers from Leeds City Council's parks and countryside service celebrate the Green Flag Award at Golden Acre Park

Leeds’ reputation for being one of the greenest cities in the UK has been reinforced today with seven of its parks earning prestigious Green Flag status.

Golden Acre Park, Kirkstall Abbey, Lotherton Hall Estate, Pudsey Park, Roundhay Park, Temple Newsam Estate and Otley Chevin have all maintained their positions on the national list of excellence which has been announced for this year.

The Green Flag Award scheme began in 1996 and is the national standard for parks and green spaces. Winners vary from Victorian parks and town centre gardens to nature reserves, country parks and cemeteries. Sites must be judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with the strong involvement of the local community. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.

Pudsey Park was the first in Leeds to achieve Green Flag status in 2003. Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam Estate were added the following year, before Golden Acre Park, Roundhay Park and Kirkstall Abbey were added from 2005 to 2007. All of these parks are managed by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service.

The 180-hectare Chevin Forest Park in Otley had appeared on the list in 2005, but came off while a three-year plan of improvements to the management of the park was carried out. It was restored to the list in 2009, and has retained its position every year since.

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

“We are very lucky in Leeds to have one of the greenest cities in the country, but that also presents a major challenge in terms of maintenance and upkeep and the fact that seven of our parks are recognised as being amongst the very best is a source of great pride and testament to the excellence and commitment of our parks and countryside officers.

“Together with their two gold medals in the last two years at the Chelsea Flower Show, this is a further reward for all their hard work and dedication so we are very pleased.”

Green Flag Plus Partnership chairman Phil Barton said:

“I would like to congratulate this year’s winners, who have worked hard throughout the year to keep their parks and green spaces at a high standard and ensure they are pleasant and enjoyable spaces for the whole community.

“The Green Flag Award Scheme, and its growth, is essential in driving up the standards of our parks and green spaces. Access to quality green space is something we all desire and the scheme plays a key role in providing it.

“In these challenging financial times it is heartening that the number of Green Flag
Awards continue to grow. As the value of green space and the role it plays in our communities strengthens, we must ensure these high standards remain.”

All award-winning sites are also now in the running for the People’s Choice Award. This award is voted for by the public through the Green Flag Award website at

Notes to editors:

The Green Flag Award scheme, launched in 1996, is managed by the Green Flag Plus Partnership (made up of Keep Britain Tidy, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpace) on behalf of Communities and Local Government. For further information visit the website at


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

Leeds celebrates one year to go until London 2012

Leeds marked one year to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games with a series of events and activites as part of the national Open Weekend.

Above are images of the Planet Leeds event held on Briggate and Dortmund Square, featuring (from top image):

15-year-old Imogen Hey who wowed passing shoppers with her performance

A street dance display from Speak to the Streets

Belly dancers from the Orientale Dance Company

African dancing as part of the Bloom Festival

Performance of Irish dancing by Tierney's School of Irish Dance

For more information on Leeds and its work towards the London 2012 Games, visit


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

New sculptures celebrate Leeds’ rich tailoring heritage

*****Photo/film opportunity today,Monday 25 July*****

Five new sculptures reflecting Leeds’ historic tailoring heritage have taken pride of place in the city centre.

Designed by local artist Linda Schwab the sculptures have been installed on Bond Street where the city’s famous Marshall and Snelgrove department and tailoring store once stood before it closed down in the 1970s.

The sculptures are also located in place that marks the transition from the Leeds’ business district to its retail and shopping area. They are part of a wider Leeds City Council project to renovate the city centre and bring public art to the streets of Leeds for visitors, workers and shoppers to enjoy.

Leeds was once at the forefront of England’s tailoring industry. Following the First World War around two thirds of British men’s suits were made in city by great tailoring firms such as Montague Burton, Henry Price and their competitors who made suits affordable for the masses. Until now, little visible evidence of the city’s tailoring industry has survived.

Photo/film opportunity
What: Councillor Richard Lewis and local artist Linda Schwab view the new sculptures on Bond Street. There are five stainless steel sculptures around 1 metre high, all in a row and representing different tailoring themes: three mannequin silhouettes, two have a tweed print.
Where and when: Bond Street, outside Tesco on Today, Monday 25 July at 11am.

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

“Leeds has a rich tailoring heritage and this project is a great way of celebrating what was an extremely successful industry for the city and an important part of its development and heritage.

“I am sure there are many people alive today who worked in the industry or had family who did and feel it is part of their family history. We hope these sculptures will help them and the city’s residents remember and celebrate this legacy.

“Since this project was funded largely by the private sector it is also a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership with businesses and helping to secure further investment in the city centre.”

Marshall & Snelgrove, ‘garment and textile retailers of distinction’, stood on the junction of Park Row and Bond Street, a site currently occupied by Lloyds Bank and its distinctive Black Horse statue.

Linda Schwab said:

“The project, called “THREADS” is a series of five sculptural bollards which pay homage to the manufacturing and retailing innovations of Montague Burton, Henry Price and their competitors.

“The sculptures reflect the engineering ingenuity and craft skills of Leeds tailors by exploring positive and negative shapes of pattern cutting and quality detailing such as exquisite silk linings.”

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

Lord Mayor greets Chernobyl children

The Lord Mayor of Leeds is to host a meeting for a group of children from Belarus who have come over to England for four weeks.

The meeting is part of a host family event, where a number of children from the disaster struck country are invited over to live with English families for four weeks. The children have lived their lives eating and drinking food contaminated with radiation, and a break to the UK gives them a chance to rebuild their health.

Just four weeks in the UK eating and drinking well will boost their immunity against cancer by up to 3 years.

This year, 10 children have been brought over from Belarus and will be placed with host families who feed them, clothe them and treat them as their own, at their own expense.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to the event to meet the children and the Lord Mayor at Civic Hall on Monday 25 July at 3pm. Representatives from the Chernobyl Children’s Project Leeds will also be in attendance.

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The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor said:

“The stark reality is that many of these children grow up with a chance of getting cancer, or other ailments.

“By enabling the children to come over to the UK they get time away to rest and rebuild their health. It is great to be able to meet the children and hear their stories.

“I understand that they are in need of many more host families for next years holiday, and I would encourage anyone in Leeds who has the time to get involved.”

Nicola Morse from the Chernobyl Children’s Project Leeds said:

“Hosting the children is a fantastic, rewarding experience. Our children participate in all the activities with the Belarussian children, and learn about a new culture and a different way of life."

For more information on how to become a host family visit

New business space for Chapeltown

Residents and businesses in Chapeltown will soon be able to take advantage of new office and community space developed by Investment Properties (Leeds) Ltd and supported by Leeds City Council.

The Louis Hamilton Business Centre, formerly a retail store, has been transformed into four office suites ranging from 107 to 255 sq ft and a conference room. It will be formally opened by the Lord Mayor Cllr Rev Alan Taylor on Thursday 28th July at 2.00pm.

The property has been completely renovated over the last year with £150,000 worth of grant and loan support from the Leeds Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, Sharing the Success, run by Leeds City Council.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to the grand opening of the business centre in Chapeltown on Thursday 28 July at 2pm. Simon Brereton and representatives from Investment Properties will be in attendance.
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The grand opening will include presentations from Simon Brereton, Enterprise Support Manager from Leeds City Council and projects that will occupy the space including ‘What About Us Music’ which will provide young people with the opportunity to develop music skills, and the Leeds Black Film Club. The centre will also include a free legal advice clinic every Tuesday (6-8pm) provided by Bernard Solicitors.

Developer Peter Wenham from Investment Properties said:

“I’m very passionate about this project, a fantastic redevelopment from a corner shop to business premises. It’s been transformed by local labour living in the Chapeltown community. C.A.P.D, IEE Electrics and H&C Gasworks are a testament to the many small businesses which live and work in the area.”

Simon Brereton, Enterprise Support Manager from Leeds City Council added:
“The space would be ideal for any new business start up or a business which is expanding and needs more space. Tenants will have 24 hour access to the office suites so it’s a very flexible space. It’s also an excellent space for community groups, particularly the conference room. We wish Peter well with this new project.”

Notes to editors:

1) Leeds Local Enterprise Growth Initiative(LEGI) ran from April 2007 to April 2011 and provided enterprise support to people in the deprived areas of Leeds
2) It was branded Sharing the Success in Leeds and was administered by Leeds City Council.
3) Some of the LEGI funds have been used to created a legacy programme which involves supporting new and existing businesses in Leeds.
4) This work is being done by Leeds City Council’s enterprise team.
5) The centre is located at 47a Louis Street, Chapeltown, Leeds LS7 4BW.

6) Anyone wishing to view the offices should call Peter Wenham on 0781 6138 733


For media enquiries, please contact;
Kalpna Mistry 0113 220 6350