Thursday, 15 September 2011

Work starts to repair and refurbish Woodhouse Lane city centre car park

Work will start on Monday 19 September to repair and improve an ageing city centre car park which will also serve events at the Leeds Arena.

Woodhouse Lane multi-storey car park caters for thousands of city centre shoppers, workers and students daily and now needs essential repair and refurbishment to extend its life and ensure it has the capacity to be one of the main car parks for the Arena when it opens in 2013.

As the work will focus on different sections of the car park at different times, at least 65% of the 1,287 spaces will remain open for parking while the work is taking place. The slip road to the south and east of the car park will be closed between 19 September 2011 and January 2012.

To ensure the car park meets modern standards, essential concrete repair and strengthening work will be undertaken and a new stair and lift tower and pedestrian access bridge will be built. Improved lighting and CCTV surveillance will be installed and better access created for traffic going in and out of the car park due to the existing payment system being changed to a pay and display operating system.

The refurbishment works will create opportunities for employment, apprenticeships and work experience training.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development said:
“This is essential repair and refurbishment work and while we accept that unfortunately there will be some disruption to users of the car park we have tried to keep this to a minimum and manage the work around the daily usage of the building.

“The work will also boost the construction sector as being part of the Leeds Arena project and we have made sure that training and employment opportunities are secured during the refurbishment work.

“We estimate that when the Arena opens there will be more than 3,000 car parking spaces within a few minutes of the site, and the Woodhouse Lane car park will be one of the key city centre ca -parks serving the Arena, with the other main car park at the Merrion Centre. “
Notes to Editors:1. Willmott Dixon have been appointed to carry out the alteration and maintenance works to the car park.
2. Turner and Townsend have been appointed as Project Manager and Cost Consultant for the onsite phase of works.
3. Leeds City Council’s Architectural Design Services, who developed the design up to the contractor tender stage, have been appointed as Technical Adviser for the onsite phase of the project.

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

Woman fined over dog fouling

A woman who allowed her dogs to foul the street and then lied about her identity has has been fined by Leeds magistrates.

Sarah Grant, of Barden Mount, Armley, pleaded guilty yesterday (Wednesday 14th September) to four counts of dog fouling. She was ordered to pay a fine of £100 with £150 costs as well as a victim surcharge of £15.

A witness first complained to the council about dogs fouling in December 2010. The dog warden visited and found two dogs outside in the street unattended. Grant admitted the dogs were hers but gave her name as Gemma Crossanne. She was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

The woman failed to pay within the specified time and in February 2011 the same witness reported to the council that the dogs had been fouling in the street again. Because the first penalty had not been paid the woman was prosecuted under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Cllr Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s Executive member for environmental services, said:

“Allowing your dog to foul the streets is anti-social and creates a health hazard. Dogs should not be left unattended and dog owners should clear up their dogs’ mess and dispose of it safely.

“Anybody who sees this sort of thing going can call the council’s dog warden service and we will take action. We will not tolerate this sort of behaviour"


For media enquiries please contact:
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office Tel:0113 2243937

Leeds International Film Festival looking to hit the heights

Caption: Leeds' James Howson stars as Heathcliff in the new version of Wuthering Heights

The latest adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been announced as the opening gala screening as the Leeds International Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The much-anticipated new version of the classic novel set in Yorkshire and filmed on the North Yorkshire Moors will open the 18-day festival with a gala screening at Leeds Town Hall on Thursday 3 November.

The film which stars Leeds newcomer James Howson as Heathcliff and Kaya Scodelario, star of hit television drama ‘Skins’, as Cathy has already been hailed as ‘stunning’ and ‘groundbreaking’ by film critics and picked up the prize for Best Cinematography at last week’s prestigious Venice Film Festival.

The film directed by BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Andrea Arnold will be looking to follow the success of last year’s premiere ‘The King’s Speech’, which was given an exclusive screening at Leeds Town Hall and went on to win four Oscars and seven BAFTAs.

Tickets for the UK’s biggest film festival held outside London are now on sale, with this year’s event boasting over 300 films from around the world. The full programme for the festival will be announced at Leeds Town Hall as part of ‘Light Night’ on Friday 7 October with a free preview screening taking place.

Organiser Leeds City Council has already revealed Paul Merton will be one of the big-name guests appearing at this year’s festival which runs from Thursday 3 November to Sunday 20 November.

The comedian, writer and television star will be presenting a night devoted to silent film comedy genius at Leeds Town Hall on Wednesday 9 November.

Other highlights already announced include the popular horror-themed Fanomenon Night of the Dead XI which returns on Saturday 5 November at its regular haunt, Hyde Park Picture House as well as Fanomenon Day of the Dead 5 at the newly-reopened City Varieties.

Comicbooks, graphic novels, gaming and storyboarding are also celebrated with the return of the fifth Thought Bubble Festival at Saviles Hall and Royal Armouries Hall on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November.

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

“Leeds International Film Festival is a hugely popular annual highlight in the city and Wuthering Heights is sure to be another fantastic opening gala. The film is the perfect choice to launch this year’s festival as it also represents the exciting growth of film culture in the Yorkshire region with Leeds at its heart.”

Director of Leeds International Film Festival Chris Fell said:

“I’m delighted that the 25th Leeds International Film Festival will open with one of the most talked-about films of the year, and one with strong associations to the Yorkshire region. Andrea Arnold’s raw interpretation of Wuthering Heights is a powerful experience and like none that has come before.”

Tickets for Wuthering Heights and the Leeds International Film Festival including Film Festival Passes are now on sale at the City Centre Box Office at The Carriageworks off Millennium Square, over the telephone (0113 224 3801), and online (

The 25th Leeds International Film Festival is presented by Leeds City Council and funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the British Film Institute and Screen Yorkshire.

Notes to Editors:

Leeds International Film Festival:

Leeds International Film Festival is the largest regional film event in the UK, showcasing the very best new cinema from around the world. The programme is divided into six sections: Official Selection, featuring new cinema discoveries, exclusive previews, archive specials and the Golden Owl competition; Fanomenon, a unique combination of fantasy film experiences including the Méliès d’Argent competition; Cinema Versa, the film festival’s documentary section focusing on human rights, music, and live collaborations; Short Film City, dedicated to the short film form with UK and international competitions; Cherry Kino, experimental films by contemporary filmmakers as well as works from film history; and Thought Bubble, the UK’s largest comic book convention.

Twitter:, #LIFF25.


Full programme, individual tickets and screening times will be announced on October 7th at

LIFF25 Passes: Passes for access to all individual screenings at the 25th Leeds International Film Festival 3rd – 20th November 2011 (excluding major events) are available now at the early bird rate £80 for a single pass, or £140 for a double. Major events including Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns, Fanomenon Night of the Dead XI, Fanomenon Day of the Dead 5 are not included in the LIFF25.

Tickets and film festival passes can be bought in person at City Centre Box Office (The Carriageworks, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD), over the telephone (0113 224 3801) and online (

Festival programmes are available from Friday 7 October and special edition festival catalogues (limited run) will be available during the festival.

For more information on the Leeds International Film Festival please visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel: 0113 247 5472