Monday, 30 January 2012

Do you remember the last time London hosted the Olympic Games ?

With the London 2012 Olympic Games now just six months away, Leeds City Council has launched a special project to remember the last time the world’s greatest sporting event came to Britain.

Supported by £39,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project ‘Olympics: Then and now’ looks to compare the building excitement around this year’s Games with the memories from 64 years ago when London last hosted the Olympics in 1948.

The project contains several elements, such as bringing young people in Leeds together with more elderly residents to discuss the similarities and differences between life in Britain in 1948 and 2012. There will also be learning opportunities and a section devoted to recognising older people currently participating in sport and physical activity as well as encouraging people of all ages to be more active.

The initial focus of the project is on gathering memories from Leeds residents of the 1948 Olympic Games. Project organiser Allyson Bertram, Leeds City Council’s older peoples’ sport development officer, is keen to hear from anyone who attended the Games in London or has any memories of it or any memorabilia related to it.

Working with the West Yorkshire Archive Service, one aim of the project is to record these recollections to form part of an oral history of life in Britain at the time. These recordings along with memorabilia from the 1948 Olympics will be used to form part of a special exhibition which will be on display in Leeds City Museum this summer.

Leeds City Council’s older peoples’ sport development officer Allyson Bertram said:

“This project is a slightly different take on all the other Olympics-related stories we are going to see in the coming months as it looks back to the last time London hosted the Games in 1948 and reflecting on how things have changed or stayed the same in Britain.

“It would be fantastic if lots of people got in touch with us with their memories of the 1948 Games or any memorabilia about it they would be willing to loan to us as part of the exhibition display at Leeds City Museum.

“There are lots of different aspects to the project but the key element is bringing the generations together around a shared celebration of the OIympic Games and it will be really interesting to see people of different ages come together in this way. We’d very much like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their wonderful support.”

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber Fiona Spiers said:

“Memories and reminiscences are an important part of our heritage and a popular way to learn about the past. The ‘Olympics: Then and Now’ project will encourage people to look back to the last time London hosted the Olympic Games and share their memories with younger generations. The project will hopefully provide an opportunity for everyone to play a part in Britain’s Olympic year by comparing the experiences of 1948 and 2012.”

‘Olympics: Then and Now’ is organised by Leeds City Council and supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information contact Leeds City Council’s older peoples’ sport development officer Allyson Bertram on 0113 395 0196 or email

Notes to editors:

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, since 1994 the Heritage Lottery Fund has not only revitalised hundreds of museums, parks, historic buildings, landscapes and wildlife sites, but has also given new meaning to heritage itself. People from every walk of life are now involved with the heritage that inspires them, making choices about what they want to keep and share from the past, for future generations. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects, allocating over £4.7billion across the UK, including £364m to 2,729 projects across the Yorkshire and the Humber region alone. Website:


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

Leeds scores high with record GCSE results

GCSE results in Leeds are at an all time high this year, as four in five young people taking the exams are getting at least five A*-C grades.

The final figures published by the government show a total of 81.6 per cent of young people in the city achieved five or more A*-C GCSEs – up by more than five per cent from 2010.

There was also an increase in the number of young people achieving five or more GCSEs including English and Maths – 53.7 per cent – over a three per cent increase on the previous year’s results.

Attendance in Leeds secondary schools has also increased to 92.37% in 2010/11 and is now at its highest level since recording began.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for children’s services said:

“It is fantastic news that the city’s young people have done so well in their GCSEs, and this is further evidence that we have a broad and balanced curriculum in Leeds.

“Young people across the city have put in a lot of effort to achieve these results, along with excellent support from their schools, teaching and learning staff, and support from their families.

“Although these results are excellent, we want to strive for more as part of our aim to become the ‘best city in the UK.’ We want better results for all our young people, and to build on the success of this year.”

Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services said:
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved and the young people in particular for a great year of results.

“It is great that we have four in five children across Leeds achieving at least five GCSEs at grade A* to C, but there is still more that can be done.

“Moving forward we have the Leeds education challenge which is full of ambition for Leeds schools – we want to work with all our schools across Leeds and bring in expert advisors to work with us to raise the achievement levels across the city.”


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

City celebrates excellence in places and spaces

CGS: The recently renovated St George's Crypt whch has been shortlisted for an award

Architects, developers and regeneration specialists will gather at Leeds Town Hall this Thursday evening to celebrate the high quality of recent developments across the city at the Leeds Architecture Awards.

Among those shortlisted are the already multi-award-winning Granary Wharf, Greenhouse in Hunslet and Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s new headquarters, alongside community projects including St George’s Crypt, a local charity for the homeless population in the city.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for development and economy said:

“It’s wonderful to see the contrast of developments at the Leeds Architecture Awards, from high-end commercial offices and mixed-use projects to local community and small-scale environmental developments. The awards have always celebrated the quality and diversity in our built environment and as we move towards realising the Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds it is set to continue well into the future.”

Now in its 24th year, Leeds Architecture Awards celebrates a range of developments including new buildings, altered and conserved buildings, landscape and public realm schemes and the unusual temporary works taking place across the city on vacant development sites.

Broadcaster Andrew Edwards will present the ceremony with a keynote speech from guest assessor John Lyall, known for his restoration of the historic Leeds Corn Exchange in the early 1990s.

This year’s awards are sponsored by some of the city’s leading companies within the development industry and the city’s education institutions, including Davis Langdon, Hammerson, Isis Waterside Regeneration, Land Securities, Leeds College of Building, Leeds Metropolitan University and University of Leeds.

Details of the full shortlist can also be found on the 2011 Leeds Architecture Awards website:


Image captions

1. The recent renovation of St George’s Crypt is shortlisted in the ‘Altered Buildings’ and ‘Landscape & Public Realm’ categories. Image taken by Cloud 9 Photography, permission for media use in connection with the Leeds Architecture Awards only, all rights reserved.

Notes to editors

1. Leeds Architecture Awards is organised by Leeds City Council with support from Leeds Property Forum and is a not-for-profit event designed to celebrate and promote the highest standards of architectural design and stimulate public interest in the built environment.

2. The awards have five categories: New Building, Altered Building, Conserved Building, Public Realm & Landscape Design, and Temporary Works.

3. Leeds Architecture Awards 2011 is an evening awards ceremony and will be held on 2nd February 2012 at Leeds Town Hall.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937

Review suggests merging Morley conservation areas

CGS: Morley Town Centre

People from Morley are being asked for their views on the town’s existing conservation areas, including what they think is special about the town and how they think it could be enhanced.

Morley currently has two conservation areas. Morley Town Centre, which was first designated in 1975 and modified in 1989, covers the town centre area from Morley Bottoms to Town End. Morley Dartmouth Park, which was designated in 1974, covers the park and nearby residential area.

Leeds City Council is proposing to amalgamate these two conservation areas into one in order to safeguard and celebrate the special architectural and historic character of the town.

The boundaries of the proposed single Morley Conservation Area would reach from St Peter’s church in the north to Tingley Mills in the south. To the east it would include the residential and industrial area as far as the railway station and Lewisham Park, and to the west it would take in Morley Cemetery and the developments along Bruntcliffe Road and Fountain Street.

A draft appraisal, produced alongside the boundary review, outlines the historic development of the town from agricultural village to booming industrial mill town and explores what makes up its local distinctiveness and special sense of place. There is also a management plan which identifies ways that this special character can be looked after in the future.

The council consulted on an earlier version of the appraisal and proposed boundary in 2009. The current public consultation provides the opportunity to report back to the community on the changes that have been made in response to the comments received then and provides a further chance for community debate.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for City Development, said: “Morley has a very rich historical and cultural heritage. As a council we want to work alongside local people to protect that heritage. Conservation areas can be a really important part of that process. That’s why we want people to take a look at our proposals for the new conservation area and tell us what they think.”

Conservation area designation protects historic areas from harmful change and encourages good quality design in new development. Buildings within conservation areas are protected from unauthorised demolition, and new development has to respond to the historic setting. Trees in conservation areas are also protected.

The public consultation runs from 30th January to the 9th March. People are being asked to comments on the appraisal and management plan and the proposed boundary changes.

An exhibition on the review can be seen at Morley Library between 30 January to the 9th March and a public meeting will be held at Morley Town Hall on Thursday 16 February at 7pm.

The draft conservation area appraisal and management plan can be viewed at Morley Library and Morley One Stop and can be downloaded from the Council’s website

The Council’s Outer South Area Committee, with the support of the ward councillors, have made this work a priority and allocated money from their ‘Well Being Fund’ to ensure that Morley has up-to-date conservation area protection.

The public consultation starts on 30 January 2012 and runs till 9 March . For further information contact the conservation team at: Sustainable Development Unit, Leeds City Council, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD. Tel - 0113 2224409. Email –


For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937