Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Young people spark an interest in DIY

Picture caption "Young fire fighter Jordan, learning how to tile as part of skills training with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and East North East Homes Leeds."

Picture caption: "Young fire fighter Michael tries his hand at joinery."

Pupils at Boston Spa School have fired up their interest in DIY as part of their Young Fire Fighters training.

Aged between 15-16 years old, six pupils have spent the last week in Richmond Hill learning skills such as basic tiling, joinery, plastering and how to handle power tools. The training was provided in partnership by local housing provider East North East Homes Leeds and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS).

The course was run as part of the two year course in fire fighting hosted by the WYFRS. Young people are taught a diverse range of subjects including community fire safety, casualty extrication and general life skills, combining both practical and academic lessons. The successful completion results in a BTEC Level Two qualification.

The aim of this course is to equip the young people with life skills such as communication, organisational and health and safety skills which will compliment the practical hand-on knowledge gleaned from working on a building site and within a fire station.

Students have enjoyed the benefits of a practical element outside the traditional school environment. Michael French aged 16, said: I have just finished the 2 year course in fire and rescue skills. I found out about skills week through my fire fighting instructor and decided this was a great opportunity to learn new skills. I have completed carpentry, joinery and decorating which has given me an insight into how skilled craftsmen work. I would definitely recommend this course.

Angelena Fixter, Chair of ENEHL Board said:
“Combining hands-on experience with classroom learning is a great way to stimulate interest in a future career option. We have a long standing relationship with the Fire Service and it’s fantastic to be able to give young people the chance to shape their future.”

Christopher Wash, Headteacher of Boston Spa School said:
"I am delighted that young people from Boston Spa School have participated in Skills Week with East North East Homes Leeds. Opportunities to gain quality first hand experience and insight into the construction industry are rare. I look forward to hearing of the success of the young people, as they learn new skills and gain a valuable chance to showcase their personal qualities, skills and abilities to future employers."

Crew Commander Stuart Wilson MBE, Station Co-ordinator said:
"I am really pleased to see that our close links with East North East Homes have enabled our young fire fighters a unique experience in what career options are available to them. This initiative is a first within West Yorkshire and is the vital final link towards helping our students who have just successfully completed a 2 year BTEC course in ‘Fire and Rescue Services in the Community’ at East Leeds Young Firefighters at Gipton Fire station."

Nick Smith, Leeds District Commander for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
"This skills week is fantastic in many ways. Most importantly it gives our students opportunity to try out some trades and display some of the qualities they have developed during the Young Firefighters programme at Gipton. Preparing young people so they are ready to enter the workplace means more than just passing exams. Self-discipline, confidence, problem-solving, teamwork and good communication skills are all vital qualities to employers. These students have all these – they really have done themselves and the Fire Service proud this week. And of course we can’t forget the dedicated people from both East North East Homes Leeds and WYFRS who support these schemes – they also deserve recognition."

Holbeck makes steps towards creating a local forum

The government has approved a bid for Holbeck to be one of the first inner-city areas in the country to prepare a neighbourhood plan.

To kick-start the process, the council and community representatives have organised a drop in event for Saturday 30 June.

The government have provided £20,000 to help local people in Holbeck to prepare a neighbourhood plan. Before this can happen, a neighbourhood forum will be formed made up of at least 21 members who live, work or do business in the Holbeck area.

The event will take place between 11am -3pm on Saturday 30 June at St Mathew’s Community Centre in Holbeck. This is an opportunity for everyone to discuss how the Holbeck the area could be improved and to recruit members for the Holbeck Neighbourhood Forum. Local residents, community representatives, Planning Aid and council officers will be on hand to answer any questions

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“This is a chance for people in Holbeck to have their say about the place they live and how they would like to see it grow and develop. Neighbourhood plans offer a real opportunity for local people who care about their communities to get involved in planning their neighbourhoods at the grassroots level. I’d urge anyone who either lives or works in Holbeck to go along to this event and find out how they can get involved in shaping their community in the future. “

Ian Pickup from Voice of Holbeck, who is one of the community representatives behind the event said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for the residents and businesses of Holbeck to work together to prepare a plan which will shape the future of the area. The plan can cover anything that the community feel is important, giving us the chance to deal with some of the long running problems in Holbeck.

“It would be good to see as many people as possible at this first event so we can start to talk about what the plan should cover and how we can make Holbeck a better place”

Notes to Editors
A neighbourhood plan is a different type of plan – local people will be taking the lead and will come forward with their ideas. The first task is to establish who will sit on the new Holbeck neighbourhood forum that will oversee the process. This will be made up of people who live, work or do business in the Holbeck area.

As one of the national front runners, the council will also provide additional support to help the Forum prepare a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood plans will allow communities to have a say in what is built where and what it could look like. They can also be about other issues that are important to the local community. However, they must be ‘pro-growth’.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2243937
Email: Annie.Goodyear@leeds.gov.uk

Watershed moment for Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone

Watershed Packaging has announced plans to build a brand new manufacturing facility at Thornes Farm, becoming the first company to take advantage of incentives on offer to businesses locating in the new Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone.

The enterprise zone, which went live at the beginning of April 2012, covers 142 hectares of prime development land strategically positioned along the route of the East Leeds Link Road. It is located just minutes from Leeds city centre and the national motorway network.

Companies relocating to the enterprise zone benefit from reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period, plus simplified planning and an intensive business support package

Watershed Packaging is a leading provider of packaging machinery, packaging consumables, printed adhesive labels and printed flexible packaging. It is also one of the top five providers of manufactured printed adhesive tapes in the UK.

Set up in 1993 the privately-owned company has three main production facilities based in Leeds, Blackwood and Beverley.

The new premises will allow the company to relocate and expand its operations in Leeds, building a new 25,000 sq ft unit on the 2.5 hectare site and creating up to 40 new jobs. The site also allows the option to expand the premises by a further 25,000 sq ft at a future date.

Chief executive John Waters said:
“The location, combined with the support available to companies locating in the enterprise zone, made this an wonderful opportunity to consolidate and expand our operations into a modern facility, with scope for further growth. These are truly exciting times for the business.”

Owned by Leeds City Council, Thornes Farm is one of four sites that make up the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone: Newmarket Lane (9.2 ha), Thornes Farm (21 ha), Logic Leeds (49 ha) and Temple Green (63 ha).

All four sites are ready for development and have planning consents in place for a range of employment uses, including large-scale manufacturing, distribution and high quality offices.

In March Leeds City Council agreed funding of £2.5 million to build a spine road to accelerate development of the Logic Leeds site and link it to surrounding residential communities. Plans to create an advanced medical park within the enterprise zone to build on Leeds’ strength in the healthcare sector are also under discussion.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and economy said: “This is an important first step in realising the potential of the enterprise zone to attract investment, drive growth and create new jobs for the people of Leeds and the wider city region.

“We expect more good news to follow in the next few months as companies already located within the area of the enterprise zone bring forward plans for expanding their operations there and work starts on developing the Logic Leeds site.”

Neil Mclean, chair of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership said: “Located in the Leeds City Region, the enterprise zone is an ideal location for business relocation and expansion. As well as the incentives on offer, it’s a great strategic location, close to Leeds with superb transport connections.

“The enterprise zone significantly strengthens the Leeds City Region’s offer as a location for business and investment. As it develops, the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone will be key to delivering our ambitions to develop a world-leading, dynamic economy delivering high value jobs and growth.”

Editor's note
More information on the enterprise zone can be found at www.airevalleyleeds.com/ez

For technical enquiries relating to the enterprise zone, contact:
Peter Anderson-Beck, Aire Valley Leeds Programme Manager,
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 2474686

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Annie Goodyear
Senior Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
0113 2243937