Friday, 14 June 2013

Winning designers relish edible flowerbeds success

Caption: Pupils from Sharp Lane Primary School at their winning edible flowerbed outside Civic Hall with Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Tom Murray and Lady Mayoress Edna Murray

The concept of food grown for the community became a reality in Leeds this week with the winners of a new competition seeing the fruits (and vegetables) of their labours.

The winners of the first design an edible flowerbed competition as part of the new ‘Feed Leeds’ project were on hand outside Civic Hall to be honoured and see the results of their ideas.

The four leading entries from the competition, which was run by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service and the Leeds Floral Initiative and was open to any individual, organisation or school in the city to enter, have now been turned into flowerbeds in the city centre producing edible produce such as tomatoes, lettuces, thyme, fennel, lavender, onions and French beans.

The winners being honoured were: Richard Howson of Right Choices Community Project, pupils from Sharp Lane Primary School, Jennifer Lawrence of Headingley Community Orchard and The ‘Saturday Family Drop In’ at Leeds Central Library.

All four had their designs chosen as they met the criteria of offering edible produce, looking attractive and inspiring people to grown their own food. This reflects the aims of ‘Feed Leeds’, which looks to bring individuals, groups and organisations together to promote and support local food growing in the city.

Each of the winning entries received garden vouchers worth £250, and the food produced is to be distributed to community kitchens around the city.

Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said:

“Congratulations to all the winners of the competition. The edible flowerbeds look great and they send out a fantastic message that food can be grown in almost any land across the city for people and communities to benefit from.

“Feed Leeds is a brilliant project and we look forward to more and more people, businesses, groups and organisations getting involved in it in the months and years to come.”

Edible flowerbeds have also been planted in the following community parks: East End Park, Holbeck Moor, Manston Park, Wharfmeadows Park, Yeadon Tarn, Pudsey Park, Calverley Park, Westroyd Park, Gotts Park, Farnley Hall Park, Meanwood Park, Scatcherd Park, Woodhouse Lane and Burley Park.

For more information on Feed Leeds visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Cash injection boost for Leeds Enterprise Zone health hub

A bid has already been put in for a share of a new pot of cash allocated to help boost the development of the Innovation Health Hub (IHH) within the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone.

The hub is being developed to encourage a cluster of health and medical companies to locate within the zone.

Muse Developments has submitted an expression of interest in a share of the £104 million government cash for infrastructure development in Yorkshire’s enterprise zones announced this week. The funding is being made available through the government’s regeneration agency the Homes and Communities Agency.

Enterprise zones based in Leeds, Sheffield and the Humber have been allocated the funds to help set up the infrastructure to support new development.

The Leeds element of the funding is aimed at providing initial infrastructure for the health hub on the Logic Leeds site within the Aire Valley enterprise zone. This could include work such as drainage, initial engineering works and site servicing, along with supporting the next phase of infrastructure work on the site access road already under construction.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, Leeds City Council, said:
“The Innovation Health Hub is key to the development of the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone in creating a focus for attracting investment from a specialised industry and it’s great news that already there is a bid for cash to kick-start its development.”

Work started in May on construction of 200 metres of highway to link the site with the A63 East Leeds Link Road, which is the initial phase of infrastructure for Logic Leeds.

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.

Watershed Packaging became the first company to take advantage of incentives on offer to businesses locating to the enterprise zone. Work started at the end of last year on building a new manufacturing facility for the company at Thornes Farm.

Note to editors:
More information on the enterprise zone can be found at

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Leeds children’s centres say a big thank you to dads

Children’s centres across Leeds are celebrating the important role fathers play in their children’s lives with a host of special events and projects this week.

In the run up to Father’s Day, children who attend children’s centres in Leeds are taking part in activities and projects to celebrate their dads and to encourage more fathers to get involved in their children’s early education.

Hawksworth Wood children’s centre hosted a Father’s Day garden party today (Friday 14 June) at Abbey House Museum. Dads (and mums) attended with their children and took part in activities including Dad’s story time, a raffle and an auction, and met Sherlock the police dog and Ronnie the Rhino. The families also got free entry into the museum.

Other celebrations across the city include:
Boston Spa and Wetherby children’s centres are holding a family fun session on Saturday 15 June between 10am and 2pm with a Father’s Day theme.
Little London children’s centre is holding a storytelling and craft session on 17 June at 10.30 – 12.30.
Kentmere and Seacroft children’s centres are both holding craft and story time session on Saturday 15 June between 10 am and 2pm.
Farsley and Calverley are holding a dads Stay and Play session on Saturday 15 June between 10 am and 12pm.
Otley children’s centre is holding a dads arts and craft session on Saturday 29 June.
Chapletown and Shepherd’s Lane children’s centres are holding a dad’s football match on Tuesday 2 July.

Leeds City Council’s early years service is keen to encourage more dads and male carers to get involved in their children’s early development, and Early Start – the health visiting service based at children’s centres, is currently working towards the ‘Father Inclusive Charter Mark’ award.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“It is great that children’s centres are celebrating Father’s Day with such fantastic events and not just sending out cards. We are really keen to attract all parents and carers to take part in activities at children’s centres throughout the year and this is a great example of an event where everyone can get together and have fun.”

Some children’s centres already host regular sessions just for dads and male carers, such as ‘SaturDads’ at Cross Gates and Manston children’s centre. SaturDads sessions are held once a month at Crossgates Library and comprise of male carers sharing rhymes, stories, taking part in craft activities and other activities based on a theme. The sessions help dads get more involved with their children’s learning and also help them access other services, such as enrolling with the children’s centre, Early Start, libraries and the Bookstart scheme. Over the coming year the SaturDads scheme will also be touring around children’s centres and libraries across the city.

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

Gear up for Bike Week

This year’s Bike Week will begin on Saturday 15 June. Leeds City Council will be supporting almost 50 schools across the area who have signed up to the national event, meaning more than 16,000 pupils will be taking part in what has become the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event.

Since the amazing success of British cyclists last summer, Leeds City Council travelwise and road safety teams are working together with the schools to encourage children, parents and staff to dig out their bikes, get back on the saddle and fall in love with cycling all over again. They have been providing posters, stickers, lessons and assemblies on cycle safety, and even a competition for cyclists to win shopping vouchers.

A whole week of exciting cycling events within schools has also been organised. These fun activities aiming to promote cycling include designing a super bike, designing cycle helmets, raffles and prize draws for cyclists, school cycle rides, producing a local cycle route leaflet and Bikeability training.

The week will start with 40 pupils from Otley schools taking part in a cycling extravaganza on Monday 17 June. Pupils from Westgate Primary, Ashfield Primary and The Whartons will cycle to Otley St Joseph's Catholic Primary for a fun-packed day of relay races and an opportunity to try out some fantastic roller bikes. Roller Bikes are stationary bicycles used by Olympian cyclists and Tour de France riders to improve fitness and to warm up and down during races.

On Tuesday, the Leeds City Council road safety team will be supporting Calverley Parkside Primary School with their City Centre Cycle Challenge. More than 20 pupils will cycle to the city centre for lunch at Victoria Gardens, followed by a return bike ride back to school.

Roller bikes will also be seen in action again on the Tuesday and Thursday, where pupils at Brigshaw High School and Garforth Academy will take part in roller bike races.

On Wednesday, Corpus Christi Catholic College students are invited to a biker’s breakfast to celebrate the launch of their new bike shed. They will have the chance to get a free bike check and the opportunity to win an iPad mini if they cycle to school. In the afternoon, students at Rodillian High school will also be able to get a free bike check and join in with an after school cycle skills session on the school’s cycle track.

The week will be brought to a close with the first Leeds Bike Week Schools Off Road Race. Teams from Benton Park Technology College, Otley Prince Henry’s Academy, Rodillian School and Corpus Christi Catholic College have been invited to take part in after school races in the grounds of Benton Park.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and economy, said:

“Bike week is the perfect chance for us to remind everyone just how easy and fun cycling can be and how it is a recreation for everyone. Not only is it good for you and a great way to keep fit and healthy, but as a sustainable form of transport, it’s also good for the environment.”

“It’s an important week where we will be doing all we can to promote safe cycling across the city, so make sure not to miss out and get involved in whatever way you can.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Francesca Foulkes
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244


Trinity Leeds Wins Building Excellence Award

The new Trinity Leeds shopping centre can already call itself award-winning after scooping first prize in the commercial category at the West Yorkshire Building Excellence Awards.

The annual ceremony took place at Headingley Stadium, organised by Leeds City Council and the other four West Yorkshire local authority building control services. A total of 11 awards were given to celebrate some of the best examples of building quality across the region, in a variety of projects ranging from domestic extensions to commercial developments, achieved through building standards, technical innovation and sustainable designs at local level.

Trinity Shopping Centre is a major scheme in Leeds City Centre, enhancing the retail and evening economy of Leeds. The centre includes numerous shops from large stores to small kiosks, cafés restaurants, bars and a 3 screen cinema.
Constructed by Laing O Rourke, the scheme design was by Chapman Taylor Manchester and fire engineering by Jeremy Gardiner associates.

Caption: Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre which won the commercial category

A huge glass dome is the centre piece of Trinity East. Designed by SKM Anthony Hunts, its 1902 glass panels rise 100 ft above street level. The dome is built on a steel framework, and during construction was supported on an immense scaffold structure, with pre-cast concrete constructions also used extensively throughout the development.
The shopping centre is open to and designed to link in with surrounding street levels and adjoining existing shopping units and the former Leeds Shopping Plaza, which also had major reconstruction as Trinity West.

Another winner of the night was Block 13, for restoration and conversion of a major project. Block 13 is situated in an 1888 stone gothic style former hospital in Chevin Park, Menston, where it has undergone a sensitive conversion into houses and luxury apartments. Contractors Ben Bailey Homes were judged to have demonstrated exacting and meticulous attention to detail.

Caption: Block 13, Chevin Park in Menston, which won the restoration and conversion of a major project category

The grade two listed building has been adapted to show building regulation compliance can be achieved through an excellent working relationship between constructor and building control. Ben Bailey Homes were praised for having implemented a well-managed work force including skilled traditional craftsmen who have achieved a high level of quality and finishes at a prestigious development.

The 2013 LABC Building Excellence Award Winners were:
Domestic Extension: 17 Ladderbanks Lane, Baildon – Bradford Council - C I Construction Services Ltd
New Single Dwelling: Scarr Top, New Mill, Holmfirth – Kirklees Council – Stephen Dyson Builders
New Dwellings 2 – 15 Units: Willowfield Road, Halifax – Calderdale Council – Seddon Homes
New Dwellings Over 15 Units: Hazelhurst Quarry, Long Lane, Queensbury - Bradford Council – Harron Homes
Restoration and Conversion – Small Project: Hill End Farm, Hill End Lane, Harden – Bradford Council – David Brown
Restoration & Conversion - Major project: Chevin Park, Block 13, Borrowdale Court, Menston, Leeds CC – Ben Bailey Homes
Commercial: Trinity Shopping Centre, Briggate, Leeds – Leeds CC – Laing O’Rourke
Community: Wakefield Swimming Baths, Sun Lane, Wakefield – Wakefield Council - Willmott Dixon Ltd
Sustainability: Sustainable Enterprise Centre, Bradford University, Richmond Road, Bradford - Bradford MDC – GB Building Solutions Ltd
Education: Trinity Academy, Shay Lane, Halifax - Calderdale Council – Carillion Building
Partnership with a Local Authority: Wake Architects Ltd

The complete list of winners, finalists and project descriptions can be found on the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards website at .

This year’s awards were attended by over 200 people who were involved in the nominated building projects in the West Yorkshire Region.

The LABC Awards recognise the importance of building control in creating a high quality, sustainable built environment in England and Wales. Local authority building control helps to ensure better design and builds by cooperative working between local councils, developers, designers and builders to avoid costly corrections during construction and to make sure projects comply with the highest standards of safety, sustainability and accessibility.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy, said:

“This was a thoroughly earned award for Trinity Leeds, which has had a hugely positive impact on our city.”

“The overall annual event is important in celebrating the many wonderful, sustainable and high quality buildings that we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by in Yorkshire.”

“It was good to see the shopping centre and the other winners and nominees receiving the recognition that they deserve.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Francesca Foulkes
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244