Thursday, 15 December 2011

Growing Leeds pancake firm create new jobs with council support

From left to right: Jon White, Neil Tipping and Craig Hindmarsh at the new 10,000 sq ft facility in south Leeds

Businesses in Leeds are being urged to take advantage of grants available under Leeds City Council’s business growth fund to support capital investment and job creation.

SMEs in Leeds across most sectors can apply to the council for grants, which are worth up to £10,000 and are available to cover up to 20 per cent of an investment in new equipment and premises fit outs.

Fast growing pancake business Enjays recently received a £9,000 grant towards the cost of new automated production lines to speed up and boost production of its ‘secret recipe’ pancakes.

The company, set up by former university colleagues Neil Tipping and Jon White, has created four new jobs as a result and is poised for further expansion following a six figure investment in a new manufacturing facility in south Leeds.

The expansion includes a brand new production line that manufactures various sizes of pancakes, including blinis at rates of up to 18,000 an hour. Staff previously employed via an employment agency have now been taken on full time to cope with growing demand.

Neil and Jon set up the business in 2005, originally operating from a small shop unit in Headingley. From a small creperie Enjays has become a national operation supplying pancake concepts to over 40 UK outlets including Butlins and Merlin Entertainments Group which operates Alton Towers and the Tussauds Group.

The pair were recently joined by Craig Hindmarsh, who has a highly successful track record in managing large blue chip food manufacturing businesses and will assist in driving the expansion forward.

Craig commented:
“I saw the potential from the first time I met Jon and Neil. The growth of Enjays since its beginning has been phenomenal, showing that there is a fantastic demand for its products.”

The new facility will allow the business to focus on supplying high quality pre-made pancakes into the food service and retail sectors.

Craig added:
“The new facilities are enabling us to expand our range and offer our existing customers exciting new products as well as allowing us to look at the food service sector and retail sector in more detail. We feel we’re at the start of a much bigger future.”

Phil Cole, head of the council’s business and enterprise service said:
"We’re delighted to be supporting entrepreneurs such as Neil and Jon. They have a great business proposition and new ventures of this kind play a vital role in creating new jobs and in developing a diverse and thriving economy here in Leeds.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
David Baggaley, Leeds City Council (0113) 220 6350

Music roadshow drives home travel message

CGS: pop group NVS performing at the roadshow and (below) with pupils from Roundhay School

Schoolchildren from across Leeds joined in a musical roadshow to promote sustainable travel and road safety.

Four Leeds schools took part in the shows - which used sound, light, games and music to drive home messages about individual responsibility for the environment and the way we use our roads.

The events were hosted by former Disney Channel presenter James Sherwood with performances from up and coming pop group NVS, who are supporting the Saturdays on their UK tour, as well as music from new singer/songwriter Adam's Girlfriend.

Throughout the shows young people were encouraged to think about all aspects of using the road –including the importance of choosing sustainable methods of travel, such as public transport, walking or cycling.

The tour was organised by youth marketing company Amelix. It was commissioned and funded as a pilot scheme by local authorities in West Yorkshire and Sheffield City council, with contributions from the music industry.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for city development said:

“If we are going to reduce congestion on the roads and help the environment we all need to think about how we travel to work, school and leisure activities and consider using public transport, walking or cycling.

“It’s important that young people realise that they can make a difference to the environment and to road safety by how they choose to travel and the way they behave. But we want to get that message home in a positive way. You can see from the photos that the children had a day they will remember and enjoy.”

The tour went to the following schools: Roundhay High School; Allerton Grange High School, Moortown; David Young Academy, Seacroft; Rodillian School, Lofthouse.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2243937

New £27m Holt Park wellbeing centre gets final go-ahead

Caption: Artist's impressions of how the new centre at Holt Park will look (courtesy of Mentor)

Work on a new £27m wellbeing centre for Holt Park in Leeds will begin next month after the scheme was given its final confirmation this week.

Leeds City Council, who are overseeing the project, have been given the good news from the Department of Health that the creation of the new centre has cleared its final hurdle with the final business case being formally approved by the Treasury and contracts being signed.

The project, costing approximately £27m, will see a new centre created which will be one of the first of its kind in the UK combining services provided by the council’s adult social care, youth and sports services and the local community all under one roof.

The creation of the centre is to be funded through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and carried out through the Local Education Partnership and their contractor Interserve Project Services Ltd.

The new centre is to be created on Holtdale Approach as a replacement for the current Holt Park Leisure Centre with work beginning early in January and the centre being scheduled to open in December 2013.

A decision over the project had been put on hold by the government in June 2010 due to the economic downturn before the scheme was given initial backing to proceed by the Department of Health in April this year.

Leeds City Council executive member for adult health and social care Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“This is fantastic news. The delay did cause uncertainty for everyone involved but the news that we can now get on and build this superb new centre is wonderful and is a great pre-Christmas boost. The new centre will provide a much-needed resource for the whole community of north-west Leeds to access a whole range of health facilities and services and so we can’t wait to see it built and open.”

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

“We are delighted that this project has now been given full approval to proceed. The new centre will be a real ‘one-stop shop’ for people of all ages to make use of a wide variety of leisure, health and council services and it is sure to be another great facility for the city to be proud of.”

The new centre will enable people to access social care and community facilities within their local area. It will also help people with greater needs such as a physical or learning disability or a mental health problem access the personalised services they need confidently and easily, as well as providing state-of-the-art new leisure facilities.

The new centre will provide a community hub for the area and will feature:

 hydrotherapy pool
 25-metre swimming pool
 teaching pool
 multi-activity rooms
 meeting areas
 café
 older people’s hub
 learning disabilities hub
 studio
 Bodyline gym
 garden area
 large activity hall
 Changing Places facilities

The facilities mix was decided following a wide-ranging and ongoing consultation programme with local residents, community groups and NHS Leeds, with a working group being established which has played a key role in the development of the centre.

The Department of Health funding, which is only available for the provision of new-build facilities, covers the build of the new centre and lifecycle costs, security, maintenance and cleaning services for a 25-year period.

For further information visit or call sport capital investment manager Helen Evans on 0113 224 3184.

Notes to editors:

The Local Education Partnership works to assist in the delivery of education and leisure projects in Leeds. It is made up of Leeds City Council, the national Building Schools for the Future investment programme and private sector companies Interserve Project Services Limited, Barclays Private Equity and Cambridge Education.

For more details on Changing Places facilities nationwide, visit the website at


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

Panto stars to host special festive singsong

Caption: Denise Nolan from 'The Nolan Sisters' who is currently starring as 'Witch Hazel' in 'Beauty and the Beast' at The Carriageworks

The stars of this year’s Carriageworks Christmas pantomime ‘Beauty and the Beast’ are to perform a special one-off show this Sunday - to spread festive cheer and to raise money for charity.

The cast who are currently performing the show at the venue off Millennium Square, including Denise Nolan of ‘The Nolan Sisters’ and CBBC favourite Jez Edwards, will be singing traditional Christmas carols at an open event at The Carriageworks from 8pm-10pm on Sunday 18 December.

Admission will be free, with all encouraged to attend and join in. A collection will be made at the event to raise funds for Niemann-Pick Disease Group (UK), which is working to combat the group of diseases which affect the body’s chemical make-up caused by genetic faults.

Singer and performer Denise Nolan is a patron of the charity, and arranging the singalong was her brainchild. Denise said:

“I have been a patron of Niemann-Pick for just under three years and they do fantastic work to improve the lives of people suffering from these diseases. I love singing and I love Christmas, so the chance to combine the two and also raise much-needed funds for a great charity is a perfect way to begin the final run-up to Christmas. It would be wonderful to see lots of people come along and have a great festive singsong.”

General manager of The Carriageworks Martin McInulty said:

“This idea came from Denise and the rest of the cast, opening the doors for anyone to come in after Sunday’s show and to have some traditional festive carol singing and raise some money for charity. We think it’s a great idea to get everyone really in the mood for Christmas and it is a measure of how much fun the cast are having in Leeds that they asked to do it so we are really looking forward to it.”

‘Beauty and the Beast’ runs at The Carriageworks until Saturday 7 January 2012. Tickets are available from The Carriageworks’ Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or online at

For further information about The Carriageworks visit the website at


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

Hundreds of beds released in south Leeds

An incentive scheme to free up larger family council properties has released close to 200 family sized properties in south Leeds.

Aire Valley Homes, who manage and maintain council properties on behalf of the council, have released 181 family homes with 284 additional bedrooms through the council run scheme which started in 2008. The majority of the released houses were three-bed properties (120).

Already over three quarters of these properties have been re-let to people in the highest housing needs bands.

The incentive scheme has been running across the city since 2008. Under the scheme, residents in under-occupied homes are paid £1,000 for every bedroom they ‘lose’ when moving to a more suitable property.

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

“This scheme has proved to be very successful in freeing up a number of houses and beds across the city. By making sure tenants are living in houses that are the right size we can ensure that we are able to let more houses to people on the waiting list particularly those in the priority groups. Aire Valley Homes have done a tremendous job in operating this scheme.

“The incentive scheme provides good value for money with 181 homes being made available for £284,000. If the same money was put into new house building it would build less than four family homes.”

Tenants interested in finding out more about the scheme can visit their local housing office or phone their contact centre.

The three arms length management organisations, that manage and look after council housing on behalf of the council, have been working closely with their tenants to find ways of making more properties available to people on their waiting lists.


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