Friday, 1 June 2012

Time running out to see wonders of ancient Egypt in Leeds

Time is running out for visitors to see the stunning exhibition devoted to ancient Egypt at Leeds City Museum as there are less than three weeks left before it comes to an end.

The touring exhibition entitled ‘Pharaoh: King of Egypt’ which showcases over 130 objects from the British Museum collection has attracted approximately 100,000 people into the Leeds City Council-managed museum since it opened in February.

As a measure of its success, it enjoyed the highest first-week visitor numbers of any exhibition held at the museum in its history. The free exhibition is the first of its kind to be on display in the central Leeds Arena and has seen overall numbers rise by 71 per cent compared with the same period last year.

It was developed by the British Museum in partnership with the Great North Museum and is now well into its final month, ending its visit to Leeds on Sunday 17 June.

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

“The ancient Egypt exhibition has been an amazing success at Leeds City Museum, attracting thousands of people of all ages which has been fantastic to see. For anyone who has not seen it yet make sure you make the most of the chance to do so as these objects will almost certainly never be on display in Leeds again.

“We’d like to say a really big thank you to everyone involved in bringing the exhibition to Leeds and especially our colleagues at the British Museum.”

The exhibition explores the lives of the pharaohs and their role as head of state, chief priest and army commanders through objects and artefacts spanning over 3,000 years of history including stunning palace decorations, sculpture, jewellery and papyri.

Among the objects on display are a wonderfully-preserved standing wooden tomb guardian, a 3,000-year-old wooden bed and a small ebony label which is the oldest item, dating back five thousand years.

The exhibition is free to enter and features audio-visual displays, interactives and family trails. It also complements the famous ‘Leeds Mummy’ Nesyamun, who is on permanent display in the ‘Ancient Worlds’ section of the museum.

Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor said:

“'We are so pleased at the extraordinary popularity of this exhibition in Leeds - a real credit to the museum. It sounds as though you may have to face queues to see this wonderful exhibition before it closes!'

Pharaoh: King of Egypt runs at Leeds City Museum until Sunday 17 June 2012. For the latest information visit or to find out more about Leeds City Museum, visit the website at

Notes to Editors:
• Pharaoh: King of Egypt is supported through the generosity of the Dorset Foundation.

• The tour is organised through the British Museum’s Partnership UK scheme. Partnership UK is the strategic framework for the British Museum’s programme of engagement with audiences throughout the country.

• The British Museum recently worked with Leeds Museums at Lotherton Hall with the exhibition ‘Warriors of the Plains’ in summer 2011.

• As well as Leeds City Museum, the exhibition is also visiting: Great North Museum: Hancock, Dorset County Museum, Dorchester; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

• The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian objects outside Egypt, which illustrate every aspect of the cultures of the Nile Valley, from the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC) until the twelfth century AD.

For further information on the British Museum please contact: or call 020 7323 8394.


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

Landlord prosecuted for accepting false references

A landlord in Gipton has been fined over £3000 for accepting false references from his tenants.

Mr Colin Harrison, of Harrison Crescent, Gipton, was fined at Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday 31 May for committing six offences against the selective licensing rules which operate in the Cross Green and East End area of the city. He pleaded guilty to all the offences and was fined £1000 with costs of £2447, including a victim surcharge of £15.

The case was brought before the courts following complaints from local residents of anti social behaviour originating from a property owned by Mr Colin Harrison.

Following these complaints officers from Leeds City Council’s selective licensing team working in cooperation with West Yorkshire Police established that the police had attended Mr Harrison’s rented property on 17 occasions since November 2008. Following these revelations council officers requested Mr Harrison provide references for his tenant who had just recently moved into the area.

Mr Harrison did provide references, but on closer inspection of the references officers discovered information which called the references into question. Further suspicions were raised when one of the referees denied writing the reference to Leeds City Council officers after being contacted by the selective licensing team.

This is the second time Mr Harrison has been prosecuted by Leeds City Councils selective licensing team for breaching his selective licence conditions

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:
“This serves as a warning to any landlords who do not obey the rules associated within the selective licensing area of the city.

“It is very important that landlords strive to obtain decent and truthful references from prospective tenants before allowing them to rent the property to stop such issues as anti social behaviour.

“It is the landlords responsibility to make sure these references are correct and to ensure they are checked before the tenant is accepted."

Notes to editors:

The cost of the five year Selective Licence is normally £525 which equates to approximately £2.00 per week over a five year period.

Where a landlord holds a current HMO Licence for a property within the Selective Licence Area they do not need to apply for a further Licence under the selective licensing provisions.


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

Wrap Up Leeds has royal appointment with community group

The Wrap Up Leeds team have joined Crossgates residents for a 1950’s inspired party to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The team have been attending events and chatting to community groups across the city about the benefits free insulation can offer in the council-backed scheme.

They were delighted when the Crossgates and District Good Neighbours Scheme extended them an invitation to join in their jubilee celebrations.

Around 150 people were at the Station Road party enjoying the 1950’s themed entertainment and music.

When the team could be torn away from the dance floor, they could be found enthusing to party-goers about the money and energy savings people stand to make once their home is fully wrapped up with insulation, and the new £20 high street shopping vouchers available under the recommend a friend bonus.

Wrap Up Leeds is offering free loft and cavity wall insulation to anyone who owns their own home or rents it privately.

Claire Lovatt, Crossgates and District Good Neighbours Scheme development worker said:
“When we heard that the team wanted to come and talk to our service users about insulation we jumped at the chance.
“It’s really important to us that our service users stay fit and healthy and we know that insulating your home is one of the best ways to keep warm and healthy in winter and cool now that the warmer weather has arrived. Saving money is great too. The team were great fun to have around and really helped our jubilee celebrations go off with a bang.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:
“It looks like everyone had a great time, but there was a serious side to the team being there. While the scheme is open to anyone, we really want to make sure that Leeds’ older and more vulnerable people don’t miss out on the free offer. It’s only available until September this year, so the team will be getting out there, talking to as many people as possible.
“Please do listen to their advice and contact us on 0800 052 0071 so you can start to save energy and money now.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group said:
“We don’t want people to forget about their heating bills now that the weather has become a bit more summer-like. Insulation can help keep your home cool during warmer weather too.
“It would be real shame if people missed out on the free offer of loft and cavity wall insulation and as we can only insulate 15,000 homes, make sure you are one of them.”

Contact Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or to find out more and book your free, no obligation, technical survey. Or go online at

You don’t need to have benefitted from insulation or even live in Leeds yourself to refer a friend. As long as your friend or relative has cavity wall and/or loft insulation installed into their privately rented or owner occupied Leeds home on your recommendation, you’ll receive £20 worth of high street shopping vouchers.
And there’s no limit to how many friends you can refer. All you have to do is call or email us with your and your friend or relative’s contact details (don’t forget to get their permission to pass those details on to us first). When you call, let the team know you are referring a friend at the start of the call.
The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

About Wrap Up Leeds

• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately rented tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• Savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills is estimated to be saved from Wrap Up Leeds which is based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.
• The ‘refer a friend’ offer applies to anyone. Anyone can refer a friend regardless of whether they have had insulation installed themselves. £20 high street shopping vouchers will be given to the referrer. The vouchers will only be honoured if the friend’s property is insulated with at least one measure under the Wrap up Leeds scheme. The referral must be made before the application is processed. The referrer’s name, address and telephone number, must be provided with the referral. The friends name, address and telephone number, must be provided with the referral. The referral must be made by returning the card or giving details over the phone.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704


Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services Marketing Executive on 01484 352010

Last chance for tickets for Leeds Olympics celebration

Picture caption: "Sharon Watson leading a rehearsal of the mass-participation dance". Photos by Brian Slater

People who missed out on tickets for the spectacular Olympic Torch celebration event being held at Temple Newsam Park in June, have one last chance to take part in the action.

Tickets are still available for those people who complete a workshop to learn the dance which will be performed by the whole crowd during the event.

As a bonus, those who get their tickets by taking part in a workshop will have places at the front of the crowd where they will get a great view of all the acts, including Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity and runners-up Twist and Pulse, who have just been announced.

As part of the free event to be held on Sunday 24 June, to mark the iconic flame being in Leeds, the audience will be asked to take part in the mass-participation dance, the scale of which has never been seen before in the city.

Led by 50 dancers on stage from RJC Dance, Yorkshire Dance Youth, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Youth Academy, local organisers Leeds City Council and Space2 are recruiting 1,962 volunteers to join in to make a combined 2012-dancer performance which the rest of the crowd will then be encouraged to repeat.

People who complete a Big Dance Workshop will be guaranteed a ticket and will get a place at the front of the audience. Anyone interested in taking part can find out more at

Any individuals over the age of 16 can volunteer to take part, while under-16s, dance and youth groups must be accompanied by adults. No previous dance experience is needed as rehearsals will be held to learn the routine in the run-up to the event. The routine will also be accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

At the event the volunteers will be positioned in front of the stage to join with the 50 on-stage performers in leading the mass dance, which is being choreographed by Sharon Watson, artistic director of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre.

The event performance and all the rehearsals are being co-ordinated by Space2, a local charity which engages with local communities from across Leeds by using the arts as a focus for increasing self-esteem and community cohesion.

In addition to the mass dance there will also be performance poetry from Leeds Young Authors and a mass sing led by international singer, jazz pianist and choir master Pete Churchill along with over 200 members of local community choirs.

The show, which will feature headline performances by Friendly Fires and Little Comets, is being staged by Coca-Cola, a Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). One of the highlights of the event will be the arrival of the Olympic Torch itself on stage after travelling across Leeds.

The Temple Newsam Park event is one of only four major overnight Olympic Torch celebration events being held in the UK as the torch travels around the country on its 70-day tour before reaching the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday 27 July 2012.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:
“The Temple Newsam Olympic celebration event is going to an amazing spectacle and it would be fantastic to see the whole crowd taking part in the mass-participation elements.

“We are thrilled to be working with RJC Dance, Yorkshire Dance Youth, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Youth Academy and we know they will produce a sensational display and really showcase their wonderful talents.

“The mass-participation dance should be a lot of fun and everyone who volunteers will have a never-to-be-forgotten story to tell so I would encourage everyone to sign up and get involved.”

To find out how to volunteer and get instructions for the mass dance go to


Notes to editors:

The event is part of the Move to the Beat campaign led by Coca Cola.

The Olympic Torch Relay is being managed by The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) along with partners Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. The relay will begin at Land’s End in Cornwall on the morning of Saturday 19 May 2012 after the flame arrives in the UK from Greece the previous day.

The flame will then embark on a 70-day tour of the UK, travelling 8,000 miles 12 hours a day with 66 overnight stops around the country en route to London on July 27 2012, where it will light the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium to officially declare the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. In total the Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.

Space2 is a not for profit organisation using creativity and community involvement to effect positive change and improve outcomes for deprived communities and vulnerable individuals. This is achieved through a combination of creative approaches to current provision; adding projects that are person-centred, using the arts as a focus for increasing self-esteem and community cohesion; driving new and local partnerships. For further information contact Emma Tregidden or Dawn Fuller on 0113 320 0159 or visit

SHARON WATSON - Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre
Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, Sharon danced with Spiral and Extemporary Dance Theatre before joining Phoenix as a dancer from 1989 to 1997. Whilst there she worked with choreographers such as Michael Clarke, Donald Byrd, Bebe Miller, Darshan Singh Bhuller and Philip Taylor. She was also heavily involved in Phoenix’s education programmes and delivery. Sharon was appointed as the 7th Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre in May 2009 and in 2010 was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch, a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK selected by a distinguished panel made up of figures from the cultural and creative industries. Since returning to the company Sharon has choreographed Fast Lane for Phoenix’s Ignite tour and re-worked Never Still into Never 2 Still. Her latest work Melt features as part of the Reflected mixed programme. In 2011 Sharon was one of the judges for the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award. She is currently undertaking Leadership Advance, funded by Arts Council England. For more information go to:

Notes end
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

‘Moor’ to be done to target people dropping litter

As people have flocked to Woodhouse Moor over the past week to enjoy the sunshine, a high level of rubbish has been left that has blighted the green space.

This week parks and countryside staff have been working to collect the rubbish which left the Moor in an unacceptable state. As well as collecting the rubbish that has been left, the officers have also been handing out bin liners to people using the Moor and offering advice as to where people can leave their rubbish.

The council and the police will be working together to take practical steps to clamp down on people dropping litter in the area, including warnings that fixed penalty notices will be issued if people continue to drop litter.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environment said:

“It was great to see so many people enjoying their local park during the recent good weather, but the state that Woodhouse Moor has been left in is unacceptable and not fair to the local community.

“Our parks officers have been out and about on the Moor this week trying to educate people about what to do with their rubbish to ensure this local park is kept clean and tidy.

“It seems that the work we have started doing is making a difference and there is less rubbish simply discarded. This is encouraging but there is still work to do and I intend to make sure this issue is kept in control.

“If this means having to issue penalty fines to offenders then so be it, because we simply will not tolerate a repeat of what occurred on the Moor recently.”


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

Successful grants scheme is back again for the third sector

Following the success last year of the Leeds Transition Fund, it is back again and open for organisations to apply.

The aim of the fund is to support third sector organisations who have been adversely affected by reductions in public sector funding and to help them to look at how they can be more sustainable in the future.

Leeds Transition Fund, funded by Leeds City Council, will provide grants of up to £10,000 to third sector organisations in Leeds who have been adversely affected by reductions in funding

Over £125,000 was allocated to support 14 projects last year, which included helping organisations to relocate to cheaper premises, diversify their income, expand volunteering and develop their partnership working.

One of the groups helped by the fund was Pavilion, a charity that uses visual arts, in particular photography, as a means of engaging with the general public, young people and people from hard-to-reach communities. They were awarded over £7,000 and used this to move offices, and to hire a communications consultant and volunteer co-ordinator. The new office position at the University of Leeds means new resources are now open, and they are spending a lot less on their rent which has enabled them to spread their resources further and help more people.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, chair of the Third Sector Partnership Group and the council’s champion for the voluntary sector in Leeds said:
“We have many third sector organisations in Leeds that deliver high quality public services, and we want to make sure that they can access support at a time when they are being hit hard by the economic climate.

“The Third Sector are an important part of the Leeds economy and this is why we worked in partnership with them to develop this fund and the criteria that grants should be awarded on.

“This additional funding will offer a lifeline to some of these organisations, and we hope to build on the success of last years fund. "

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“This scheme is aimed at offering third sector organisations a helping hand to become more sustainable at a time when we know it is proving difficult.

“The fund was very successful last year, and we want to be able to assist more organisations this year."

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation said:
“We are delighted to be working with Leeds City Council again on the Leeds Transition Fund. There were some excellent applications last year from groups that were really willing to look at the things they needed to do to change in order to develop better, more effective and more efficient services. We are confident that we will receive some equally high quality applications this year.

"This fund is a really valuable one as it allows the groups to really focus on the operational side of what they do which in the current climate, is really important.”

The Third Sector Partnership Group (TSP), chaired by Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, agreed the terms and conditions for the fund at a meeting earlier this month. Leeds Community Foundation will manage the fund in partnership with the council

For more information on the scheme and how to apply, visit the Leeds Community Foundation website

Notes to editors:

The deadline for the receipt of all applications to the grants scheme is 5.00 pm on Friday 13th July. The grants panel will meet in August 2012 with the aim of informing all groups by end August 2012.

The 14 groups who were awarded funding last year were:

Artlink West Yorkshire
Behind Closed Doors
Chapeltown Young People’s 10-2 Club
Future Arts Ltd
Leeds Involving People
RJC Dance
Stop Hate UK
South Leeds Community Radio
South Leeds Team Ministry Charity
St Lukes Cares
The Burley Lodge Centre
The Market Place


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

Final weeks of market consultation

Leeds City Council wants to make sure that peoples voices are heard as the survey section of the engagement process ends next week.

With well over 2000 responses already received, Leeds City Council is encouraging people across the city to get online and give their views on the future of the market.

People still have the opportunity to go online at or grab a paper questionnaire, which are available across the city in libraries and one stop centres, and also the markets information office.

The closing date for the survey is Friday 8 June, with the end of the engagement process, which includes focus groups and workshops, finishing on Friday 15 June.

The next stage will see Norfolk Property Services (NPS) collating all the information from the consultation, including the many focus groups and workshops that have taken place and feeding this into the feasibility study.

This feasibility study process will last 12 weeks, and a number of updates will be given throughout this time, before the options are presented in September. The options, including the proposed designs, will then be open to feedback.,.

Councillor Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion said:
“It is really important that we collect as many people’s view as possible, so that the future of the market is based on what the people of our city really want.

“The online survey is quick to fill in and gives you the chance to say what you want for the future of the market, and what if anything you would change. I would urge anyone who has not already completed a form to do so before the 8 June.”

For more information about the consultation visit


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