Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Getaway Girls get creative in new museum exhibition

Caption: The Positive ID exhibition goes on display in Leeds City Museum on Friday

A new exhibition of art by a group of young Leeds women inspired by the experiences of women across the world opens at Leeds City Museum this week.

Opening to the public on Friday 21 October, the free exhibition entitled ‘Positive ID: Stories of Women around the World’ showcases the work by 15 young women from the Leeds Getaway Girls project in response to objects and stories from Leeds Museums and Galleries as well as the experiences of local women in they met and interviewed.

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All media are welcome to attend the official celebration event to launch the exhibition at Leeds City Museum from 5-7pm on Thursday 20 October. The group who took part in the project will be available for interview, while there will also be a performance by Leeds poet Michelle Scally Clarke. Leeds City Museum is located off Millennium Square,LS2 8BH.
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The group split the stories they heard and objects they discovered from visits to Leeds Citry Museum and the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre into three themes: ‘women and beauty’, ‘women who have moved here’ and ‘women who inspire us’.

They then worked with artists Jake Gardiner, Nick Halahan and Marcia Brown to produce large graffiti art and canvas pieces reflecting their responses to what they had learned and heard. These works will now be on display in the public corridor display space at the museum off Millennium Square until January 8 2012.

The project was organised by Leeds City Council and Getaway Girls, a programme which has been running in Leeds since 1987 offering young women the chance to explore and develop skills and friendships through creative projects and experiences.

The project was also supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Young Roots’ programme, and is part of the Precious Cargo and Stories of the World elements of the Cultural Olympiad for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, which focus on giving young people the chance to explore and have a role in developing local cultural attractions.

Leeds City Council’s Precious Cargo project officer Esther Amis-Hughes said:

“Positive ID has been a fantastic project to be part of with and everyone in the group deserves create credit for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to it. The result is a colourful, dynamic and eyecatching display of artworks which will now be on display for all to see, so I would recommend any visitors to Leeds City Museum stopping to take a look.”

To find out more about the project, contact Esther Amis-Hughes on 0113 224 3730 or email

Notes to editors:

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, the HLF invests in every part of the UK’s diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.7billion across the UK. Website:

For more information on the Leeds Getaway Girls project, visit the website at

For further information on the Cultural Olympiad, visit


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

New development opportunities on prime city centre site

Two exciting new development opportunities on a prime site in Leeds city centre are being advertised by Leeds City Council this week.

The two plots are on the prestigious Sovereign Street site, a former council-owned car park, part of which is reserved for KPMG and their preferred developer Sovereign Leeds Ltd, to construct their new Leeds office.

The site is close to the city’s vibrant waterfront area and the railway station and forms a key part of the council’s plans on which to create a new green space area in the city centre.

Each plot has the potential to accommodate a 60 -100,000sq ft building and they both offer an unique opportunity for an occupier to design and procure a bespoke self-contained building for their own occupation around an exciting new public green space.

The council will initially invite expressions of interest from potential occupiers and occupiers and their preferred developers, to be submitted by 2 December 2011.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:

“Sovereign Street is one of the most prestigious sites in the whole of Leeds City Centre. It is close to the proposed new Leeds south station entrance, the million square foot Trinity Retail and Leisure development currently under construction and it has fantastic transport links. It offers the rare opportunity for an occupier to design their own building. I don’t believe there’s any other site in the city centre which has these unique selling points.

“These two opportunities will enhance and complement KPMG’s proposals and the proposed new public green space.

“And with the Trinity scheme, the Leeds Arena development and KPMG’s commitment to this site along with the interest already expressed in these to plots, when it comes to investment and regeneration there is no better evidence to show that Leeds really is bucking the national trend.”

Given its central location, the site should be developed for primarily office use with scope for ancillary retail, food and drink and leisure uses. Hotel and residential uses would also be acceptable and these complementary uses would ensure life and vitality throughout the day, particularly with active shop fronts around the green space. Public multi-storey car parking for shoppers and visitors will also be considered. Sovereign Street has been a temporary council-owned car park since the Queens Hall was demolished in 1989.

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

Russian divers taking the plunge in Leeds on road to Olympic glory

Caption: World championships double silver medallist Ilya Zakharov (blonde hair on far side of shot) and Victor Minibaev are two members of the Russia diving squad training in Leeds this week

Russia’s senior international divers are in Leeds this week after being announced as the latest country to sign an agreement to train in the city ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Eight members of the senior squad and their support staff are in Leeds this week to familiarise themselves with the city and the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport, which will be their UK training base in the run-up to the Games in London next summer.

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All media are invited to attend a training session by the Russia diving squad at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds at 11:15am on Thursday 20 October.
Filming and photography will be available as well as interview opportunities. The John Charles Centre for Sport is located off Middleton Grove, Leeds, LS11 5DJ.
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The Russia squad finished second behind China overall in the diving section of the recent FINA World Aquatics Championships, and both of their double medal winners from that event Ilya Zakharov (two silvers) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (silver and bronze)will be in Leeds this week.

As part of the agreement signed between the Russian Diving Federation and Leeds City Council, the squad will return to Leeds in February before the London 2012 diving test event, and will then hold a final pre-Games training camp in July.

During their visit to Leeds this week, the squad will get to meet local young people as pupils from the Leeds West Academy, Cockburn High School and pupils studying Russian at Lawnswood High School will watch them train.

The familiarisation camp follows on from a similar visit enjoyed by the Netherlands swimming squad last month and is another major Olympic announcement for Leeds following on from the confirmation in August by the Chinese Olympic Committee that 12 Chinese Olympic sports teams will use the city as their European pre-Games training base.

Secretary General of the Russian Diving Federation Anatoly Teplyakov said:

“We are very pleased to have signed this agreement to come to Leeds to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The training facilities are ideal and we have been given a very warm welcome on our previous visits so we are very grateful to the people of Leeds for offering us this wonderful opportunity.”

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

“This is more fantastic news for Leeds to be able attract more world-class athletes to come to our city as they prepare for London 2012. It says great things about the reputation Leeds has not only as a city but also for the quality of its facilities that these major nations are choosing to base themselves here. We hope they have an enjoyable week getting to know the city.”

Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee Seb Coe said:

"We have always promised that these would be Britain’s Games, so it's great news that the Russian diving team has decided to send their squad to train in Yorkshire in the lead up to Olympic competition next summer.

“The aim of London 2012's Pre-Games Training Camp programme is to allow athletes to compete at their very best through acclimatisation and training. I know the Russian team will enjoy excellent facilities at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport, and look forward to their presence inspiring young athletes interested in taking up the sport after the Games.”

In addition to the Russian divers, the Dutch swimmers and the different Chinese sports, Leeds will also be hosting athletes from the USA, Serbia and Canada ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, while discussions are continuing with a number of other countries.

Chair of Yorkshire Gold, the Olympics arm of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity said:

“This announcement cements Leeds’ international reputation as a proud sporting city. Along with the Chinese squad and the Dutch swimming team, this is another fantastic opportunity for us to welcome international athletes to the region and is testament to Yorkshire fast becoming the training destination of choice for the world’s top athletes."

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

Notes to editors:

Leeds Gold is the city’s official brand to support the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It has been developed to be used by individuals and organisations in the city in connection with any projects, events or activities that contribute to, and capitalise on, all the opportunities that the hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games present. It will provide an ‘umbrella’ brand that will link projects and events together and make a clear association with, and help celebrate, the London 2012 Games. For further information please go to

The Yorkshire region’s activities around the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are being co-ordinated by Yorkshire Gold which is supported by key stakeholders from across the region. For further information visit


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

Landlord conference is a first for Leeds

Landlords in Leeds will for the first time come together at a conference organised to address the increasingly important role of private landlords in the city.

A shortage of social housing is being compounded by the stagnant economy which means very few new affordable homes are being built. This, coupled with high house prices, means that the role that private landlords play in providing homesi n the city is likely to become more important.

In recognition of this, Leeds City Council is organising a conference for the city’s landlords to discuss the key issues facing landlords and tenants today. They will also explore ways in which they can work together to ensure people have access to good quality, affordable homes.

Leeds City Council is hosting the event on Friday 18 November from 9am at The Carriageworks.

Tickets are free, but places are limited, and 140 landlords have already signed up to attend the event.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said:

“The role of private landlords in our city has become increasingly important, with smaller supplies of social housing and high house prices. We felt it necessary to bring as many landlords together as possible to discuss how we can work together more effectively in the best interests of both tenants and landlords.

“The conference will be a great opportunity for private landlords to have the chance to talk through the key issues facing the city and also share information that could help their business grow.”

There will be notable key speakers on the day including representatives from West Yorkshire Police.

A number of workshops will take place that will give landlords the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues including welfare reform and energy efficiency.

The day will conclude with a ‘question time’ session where landlords can put questions to a panel of experts.

The event is sponsored by The Resident Landlords Association and Bury and Walkers Solicitors.

For more information about the event or register to attend call 0113 247 75 94 or email


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

New drive to cut child passenger casualty rates in Leeds

Leeds is joining in with a national campaign to raise awareness of the danger to young children of incorrectly fitted child car seats.

Leeds City Council are hosting two ‘car seat check’ events during the October half term where parents can have their child car seats checked for safety by experts and hear more about in-car child safety.

The council are working in partnership with the award winning ‘Good Egg In-Car’ child Safety campaign which will be adopted over the coming weeks to look at tackling this vital road safety issue.

The first event will be on Saturday 22 October at Tesco’s in Seacroft and will run from 10am to 3pm, and the second event will run from 10am – 3pm at the Sainsbury’s store in Colton on Monday 24 October.

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All media are invited to attend the car seat clinics to interview staff from the council’s Road Safety Team and the Good Egg Campaign or speak with parents and carers who have had their seats checked. Please call the press office on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.
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The Good Egg Campaign has a proven track record of success in significantly reducing casualty rates among child passengers in the UK. The campaign is designed to ensure that babies and children are properly restrained whilst travelling in the car, by showing parents and carers the correct way to fit in-car child safety seats.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:
"We are delighted to be working with the ‘Good Egg’ team and be part of the national campaign by hosting two Car Seat Check events during this half term. I would strongly urge anyone with responsibility for carrying children in their car to learn more about this vital issue by popping along to the event where they can get their child seats checked by experts for peace of mind and pick up leaflets and further information.“

James Gibson, spokesperson for Road Safety GB, who fully endorse the campaign, said:
“The Good Egg Campaign is a brilliant initiative. It provides a wealth of vital information about choosing the right seat for your child and the free seat checking clinics ensure that seats are correctly fitted. Even if you believe your seats are correctly fitted it is still worth going to the clinic and having them checked by an expert to make sure. In previous checks across the country it is worrying just how many seats are incorrectly fitted or unsuitable for the vehicle they are installed in.”

Parents can find out more about the ‘Good Egg’ campaign and child in car safety by visiting or or by contacting Leeds City Council’s road safety team on 0113 2475198 or email

Notes to editors:

An unrestrained child can be killed in an impact with speeds as low as 5mph.
• If properly restrained a child is three times less likely to sustain a head injury in a collision than an unrestrained child.
In 2010, 2,363 individual child car seats were checked at special clinics across the UK as part of the Good Egg Campaign. From this, 1,221 (52%) were found to be either incorrectly fitted or were incompatible with the vehicle they were installed in. There were wide variances, with as few as 1 in 10 child seats correctly fitted in some parts of the country.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450