Monday, 13 February 2012

Dancing on Ice star Jennifer looking cool in Leeds

'Dancing on Ice' star Jennifer Ellison made a special appearance at Leeds Ice Cube on Friday night. The actress and her professional skating partner Daniel Whiston were at the Millennium Square attraction to finish rehearsing their routine for the Sunday night show on ITV.

There are now only two weeks left before Ice Cube closes in Leeds on Sunday 26 February. The attraction managed by Leeds City Council and supported by 105 Capital FM and the Yorkshire Evening Post features a main ice rink, nursery rink, the Capital FM Snow Slide and the Glacier Run Experience motion simulator.

In order to book a skating session or for more information visit


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

Council budget plans keen to build on youth employment success

Caption: Pictured at the Apprenticeship Awards at Civic Hall are competition winners(left-to-right) George Moore, Anthony Pearce and 16-year-old Oliver Neal, who has secured an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery with Bermar Building, along with Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Keith Wakefield

Leeds City Council has announced a range of ambitious new plans to encourage greater youth employment in the city.

The council’s annual budget proposals for the financial year 2012/13 include a host of new initiatives to offer young people in Leeds the chance to take advantage of opportunities in employment, education or training following on from a hugely successful previous 12 months which saw the number of apprenticeships being taken up in the city almost double.

From August 2010 to July 2011, the number of new apprenticeships in Leeds was an impressive 7,030 – a 98 per cent increase on the previous year. This success was down to new initiatives such as the YOUth Inspire Programme, delivered by Learning Partnerships and supported by Leeds City Council, Leeds City College and the Skills Funding Agency to offer support and skills training to young people aged 16-24 to help them find a job, apprenticeship or training.

This success was down to new initiatives such as the YOUth Inspire Programme, delivered by Learning Partnerships and Leeds City Council, Leeds City College and the Jobcentre Plus to offer work experience, support and skills training to young people aged 16-24 to help them find a job, apprenticeship or training. Other successful schemes included the Leeds Apprenticeship Challenge which asked 100 employers in the city to create 100 apprenticeship places in 100 days, a challenge which drew the impressive response of 162 employers offering 375 apprenticeship places. The city now has around 1,700 businesses offering apprenticeships.

Despite these successes, there remains an estimated 1,880 16-24-year-olds in Leeds who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). The new proposals for 2012/13 are aimed at continuing to reduce this number, working especially with businesses in the city to create new opportunities for young people following the idea of ‘civic enterprise’ to encourage all sectors of the city to work together to deliver improvements and new ways of working.

Leeds City Council executive member for employment and skills Peter Gruen said:

“The success of the last 12 to 18 months in doubling the number of apprenticeships in Leeds has been a superb achievement but we know this is only the starting point and we need to do much more to help young people start on the path to jobs and careers.

“Leeds City Council itself offered 120 apprenticeships last year. We are committed to working with all sectors and agencies in the city to continue to look at new opportunities to help young people into work, and the range of plans for the next 12 months are really impressive and will help us to greatly build on the success from last year.”

Proposals in the budget which is to be ratified at the full council meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 22 February include £1.75m to be invested in economic initiatives to deliver jobs, training and apprenticeships.

This includes the creation of a new Apprenticeship Training Agency by Leeds City Council and Leeds City College supported by the Leeds Chamber of Commerce to support small and medium-sized businesses to take on apprentice and support them through the process.

An investment of £100,000 is also being made on a new programme to encourage the top 100 companies in Leeds to promote jobs and skills and attract investment through the wider Leeds City Region, building on the success of last year’s Leeds Apprenticeship Challenge.

On a larger scale, £15m is to be invested over three years to support innovation and economic initiatives, while the city council is working with partners to maximise the employment opportunities from £900m of ongoing and planned retail and leisure projects in the city, such as the new Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds shopping centre which are expected to create 7,500 jobs.

Working with partners such as Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds, Leeds City College and Jobcentre Plus along with the support of Skillsmart, the Retail Sector Skills Council and leading retailers in the city, the aim is to support a large number of young people into entry levels jobs. This will enable them to gain transferable skills within a sector with diverse opportunities for progression including logistics, marketing, human resources, finance, business administration, hospitality and customer services.

This week saw the council’s first-ever Apprenticeship Awards at Civic Hall to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, celebrating the success of young people who have taken up apprenticeship places.

Among those being honoured were 15-year-old George Moore from Brigshaw High School and 18-year-old Anthony Pearce, who were the winners of the ‘Build My Future; Build My Leeds’ competition.

The pair have been rewarded with full apprenticeships on the Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds respectively after submitting 100 words and illustrations about the schemes. George is to be an apprentice electrician with Rotary Yorkshire Ltd, one of the contractors working with developer BAM on the arena, starting in June 2012.

George Moore said:

“I am glad I entered the competition which offers a fantastic opportunity in gaining an apprenticeship, which has given me the confidence to go forward in my career. For lots of schoolchildren about to leave school, I would say definitely look at apprenticeships.”

Anthony will also be an apprentice electrician, starting work with Laing O’Rourke on the Trinity Leeds development in the coming weeks, having been at the Leeds College of Building since September 2011 on an electrician training course.

Anthony Pearce said:

“I enjoyed attending the site visits and also the group exercises at Leeds College of Building. To be honest it’s been great and I have enjoyed all of it, even better getting an apprenticeship as an electrician, which is what I always wanted to do.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield, who opened the awards ceremony, said:

“The success of Anthony and George and other young people like them are the perfect examples of what we are committed to doing in Leeds to provide career opportunities especially for our young people.

“The future economic prosperity of our city depends on helping people find work and through the idea of civic enterprise we want to work even harder with our partners and organisations in all sectors and all areas of our city to identify and create new job opportunities.

“The success of the last year or so in terms of apprenticeship creation provides a strong platform but we must now think bigger, go further and look at new relationships and new ideas to make even more of a difference.

“The new proposals in the budget are really exciting in helping us achieve that and we look forward to seeing huge numbers of young people taking up the opportunities they will provide over the next 12 months and beyond.”

Notes to editors:

The ‘Build My Future; Build My Leeds’ competition was open to all year 11 pupils in the city’s schools and people aged 15-18 in Leeds who are not currently in full-time employment.

The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the eleven local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council to work with businesses and partners toward a common prosperous and sustainable city region in areas such as transport, skills, housing, spatial planning and innovation. For more information visit


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

Building work gets started at Holt Park Active

A special event to celebrate the start of building work at the new £27m fitness and wellbeing centre at Holt Park took place earlier today.

Leeds council executive board members Councillor Lucinda Yeadon and Councillor Adam Ogilvie were on hand with spades to help out at the ‘breaking the ground’ ceremony this morning.

The construction of the new centre is finally underway after government approval was confirmed in December 2011. It will be one of the first of its kind in the UK combining services provided by the council’s adult social care and sports services under one roof.

The official name of the centre was also announced today, following the council’s recent naming competition, which encouraged the public to help find a suitable name for it. Eleanor Gallon from Headingley came up with the name Holt Park Active, which reflects the range of activities that will be on offer, as well as being short and easy to pronounce.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“We are absolutely thrilled that building work has finally started after the long delay we experienced whilst waiting to hear whether we would still receive the PFI funding required to progress with this project.

“Holt Park Active will be an amazing facility that will enable people to easily 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 to access the personalised services they need confidently and easily.”

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member with responsibility for sport and leisure said:
“Holt Park Active is a name that really sums up the whole ethos of this project. It will be a real ‘one-stop shop’ for people of all ages to access a wide variety of council services plus state-of-the-art leisure facilities, and is sure to be another great facility for the city to be proud of.”

On coming up with the name for the centre, Eleanor Gallon said:
"I thought of the name Holt Park Active as it is less of a mouthful than having to tag on the usual 'leisure centre', 'wellbeing centre', 'active living centre' etc - it's short and snappy. And the centre is about keeping residents active at the end of the day."

Holt Park Active will provide a community hub for the area and will feature:

• A hydrotherapy pool
• A 25-metre swimming pool
• A teaching pool
• Multi-activity rooms
• Meeting areas
• CafĂ©
• Older people’s hub
• Learning disabilities hub
• Changing Places facilities
• Studio
• Bodyline gym
• Garden area
• Large activity hall

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


Additional info
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 details about locations of Changing Places facilities nationwide, visit the website at

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

New sexual health bus service en route to east Leeds

This Valentine’s Day a new bus service is hitting the roads of Killingbeck and Seacroft providing young people (13-19) with a mobile sexual health information and support service.

Funding for this innovative project has been provided by the Sexual Health Team at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds and through the Inner East Area Committee.

The Bus Stop Project is based on a purpose built mobile health bus that belongs to Leeds City Council’s Youth Service which is already working with young people in the area.

The Bus Stop Project will run for the next 12 months and will cover two separate routes on a Monday and Thursday between 3-5pm, stopping at places where young people are known to gather in the area.

Feedback from local GPs shows that young people are not accessing sexual health services through their family doctor and it can be difficult to encourage young people to access other health services from their GP practices.

The Bus Stop Project will offer C-Card registration and pickup, pregnancy testing and Chlamydia screening as well as information and advice on relationships, staying safe and other health related issues.

Hannah Sowerbutts, Health Improvement Specialist - Young People’s Sexual Health for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, says:
“It’s great that we can finally get the Bus Stop Project on the road. We know that young people find it difficult talking about, and accessing, sexual health support through traditional health settings. Therefore it is important that we can offer a service that is more flexible to fit around their lifestyles and at locations where they are more likely to gather and feel comfortable talking about health issues.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“It is so important that young people have access to good quality support and advice to help them make the right decisions on their sexual health. This new project will bring the services they need right to their doorstep.”

The project is a partnership between igen, Seacroft and Manston Extended Services, Leeds Youth Service  (both Leeds City Council) and NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds.


Issued jointly by the Communications Team at NHS Leeds on 0113 30 57496 and the Communications Team at Leeds City Councill 0113 2474713

Notes to editor

C-Card scheme
The C-Card scheme is Leeds’ free condom distribution scheme for 13-25 year olds. In order to register for a C-Card young people must have a 15 minute consultation with a trained workers who will assess their Fraser competence.

Fraser Competent is a term used to describe a child under 16 who is considered to be of sufficient age and understanding to be competent to receive contraceptive advice without parental knowledge or consent. The test is that the doctor must be satisfied that:
• the child will understand the advice;
• the child cannot be persuaded to tell his or her parents or allow the doctor to tell them that they are seeking contraceptive advice;
• the child is likely to begin or continue having unprotected sex with or without contraceptive treatment; and
• the child's physical or mental health is likely to suffer unless he or she receives contraceptive advice or treatment.
igen delivers public and private contracts to provide careers and personal development advice, information and guidance. igen aims to inspire, guide and enable individuals to achieve their potential through the provision of impartial, high quality career and personal development services.
Seacroft and Manston Extended Services
Extended Services Clusters are responsible for co-ordinating programmes of activities to support young people across a particular geographic area. There are 35 clusters in total across the Leeds local authority area.