Monday, 1 July 2013

Cycling stars Ben Swift and Matt Crampton to attend Sky Ride Leeds


Caption: Images (from top) Team Sky's Ben Swift (credit Pete Goding/Watson), Team GB track cyclist Matt Crampton and the Team Sky Rapha jersey signed by team riders including Chris Froome (courtesy of British Cycling/Team Sky)

Sky and British Cycling, in partnership with Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Metro’s go:cycling project, are proud to announce that Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift and Team GB track cyclist Matt Crampton will attend Sky Ride Leeds this Sunday (7 July).

The free cycling event will take place in the city for the first time ever from 10am-4pm, offering people of all ages and abilities the chance to ride around the city on traffic-free streets taking in some of the city’s leading attractions such as Leeds Town Hall, Woodhouse Moor and the new £60m first direct arena.

Rotherham-born Ben Swift has been a Team Sky cyclist for two years and featured in the team during the 2011 Tour de France, while sprint specialist Matt Crampton has represented Great Britain at junior, under-23 and senior level.

The event, which will also be attended by Sky Ride Ambassador Kimberley Walsh, is the third city event of Sky Ride 2013 - a national campaign to get more people cycling regularly. The campaign includes free events, activities, information and support to help and inspire everyone to rediscover the fun they can have on two wheels.

The event also forms part of the one year to go celebrations to Leeds and Yorkshire hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, with those taking part able to experience starting on The Headrow and a similar initial route through Leeds city centre to be used by cycling’s superstars in 12 months’ time.

As part of the Tour de France celebrations, the organisers of Sky Ride Leeds are calling on all those attending on Sunday to dress in the race leader’s iconic yellow to help mark the occasion.

Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift said:

“It’s fantastic to be involved in the first-ever Sky Ride Leeds event, especially as it marks one year until the Tour de France kicks off in the city next year! The best part of this event is that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been on a bike for a while, if you're a novice or a more experienced rider, there is something for everyone.”

With the full route at 5.2 kilometres, there will be major ‘activation’ zones featuring a range of attractions at the startline on Victoria Gardens and Woodhouse Moor, as well as activities hosted by the University of Leeds where the route passes through the campus.

Riders will be able to start at any point around the course and also at any time throughout the event, covering as much distance or as many laps as they wish. Aside from the full route, there will also be a shorter 500-metre loop on offer around Victoria Gardens and a 750m route at Woodhouse Moor.

Some of the sights and sounds of the Tour de France will also be prominent, with the approach to Woodhouse Moor being turned into a ‘fan zone’ featuring some of Le Tour’s famous temporary road markings encouraging the riders on. The spirit of the fanatical supporters on the legendary slopes of the Alps and the Pyrenees will also be seen with the colour of national flags and banners as well as heard with cow bells, drums and horns.

Victoria Gardens will also host a special winner’s podium for participants to have their photo taken in front of the iconic Arc de Triomphe backdrop complete with flowers and cuddly lion echoing the winner’s experience of the world’s greatest cycle race.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“Everyone is really excited about Sky Ride Leeds so this Sunday can’t come soon enough. We are delighted Ben Swift and Matt Crampton will be attending the event and we look forward to welcoming them to Leeds together with Kimberley Walsh.

“It promises to be wonderful day out for families and people of all ages, as we close the roads in the city centre for a public bike ride for the first time. As it is also one year to go to the Tour de France coming to Leeds it should be a real day of celebration with everyone looking great in yellow.”

Those taking part in Sky Ride Leeds will also have the chance to win an official Team Sky Rapha jersey signed by many of the team’s leading riders including Richie Porte, Peter Kennaugh and Chris Froome, who finished second in last year’s Tour and is aiming to go one better this year.

For a chance to win the jersey or a quality hybrid bike just register at and then visit go:cycling at Sky Ride Leeds in either Victoria Gardens or Woodhouse Moor to complete your entry.

There will also be a ‘best-dressed bike’ competition at Sky Ride Leeds hosted by local arts group East Street Arts.

Sky Ride Leeds will take place from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 7 July, with the traffic-free loop allowing participants to take part in the ride at their own pace.

There are more cycling events and activities taking place across Yorkshire this summer, including further traffic-free City Rides in Bradford (11th August), Hull (18th August) and York (14th September), and over 200 smaller Sky Ride Local guided rides with British Cycling-trained ride leaders taking place across the county throughout the summer.

Organisers are looking for volunteers to help with the running of Sky Ride on Sunday. Please contact or call 0113 224 3406 for more information or to register.

To view the full route and for more information on all the entertainment on offer visit:

Road diversions on the day will be signposted, or for more specific queries email For bus information visit



For more information, please contact:

Simon Ansell T: 020 3003 6680 E:
Candice Christian T: 020 3003 6643 E:

About Sky Ride
Sky Ride Leeds is one of seventeen Sky Ride city events taking place across the UK this summer on traffic-free streets, enabling cyclists to enjoy a day of bike-based entertainment and to explore their city on two wheels with family and friends. The free events aim to encourage thousands of people, of all ages and abilities, to get on their bikes.

Sky Ride Local rides are free small, weekly community bikes rides that give participants the chance to get out and explore their local area. Led by a British Cycling trained leader, who is on hand to provide support and tips on how to improve for people of any age or ability they will be taking place across the country this summer.

In 2012 Sixteen Sky Ride City events and 1,000 Sky Ride Local rides which saw over 146,000 participants take part in Sky Ride City events and over 17,000 participants take part in Sky Ride Locals. Last year British Cycling and Sky beat their goal of getting one million more Britons on their bikes and cycling regularly (once a month) by 2013.

About British Cycling
British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI - the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport, from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.

Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists' interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 70,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling.

About Sky in Leeds
Sky is a leading employer in Leeds which has grown fourfold since 2006 and now employs over 1,200 people in jobs ranging from IT and marketing to customer service and journalism.

About Sky
Sky is the UK and Ireland’s leading home entertainment and Communications Company. Around 40% of all homes have a direct relationship with Sky through its range of TV, broadband and home telephony services.

Sky is the UK’s biggest investor in television content, investing more than £2.3 billion a year in channels such as Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky Arts, Sky Sports, Sky Movies and Sky News. Around two-thirds of Sky’s content spend is invested in the UK and Sky is the fastest-growing source of investment in original British programmes. More than 30 million people watch Sky content each week.

Alongside its commitment to offering customers a greater choice of high-quality content, Sky is a leading innovator. Customers enjoy total control and flexibility over their favourite TV through Sky+, watch TV on the move through Sky Go, and enjoy the best quality TV experience at home through High Definition and 3D.

Sky distributes its content broadly over several platforms, including satellite, cable, IPTV, mobile and WiFi. NOW TV, Sky’s second consumer brand, builds on the company’s leadership in internet TV. Sky is also the UK's fastest-growing home communications company and favourite ‘triple-play’ provider of TV, broadband and home phone.

Sky believes in making a wider contribution to the communities in which it operates by taking positive action on the environment, supporting grassroots sport, opening up the arts to more people and raising the aspiration of young people in schools. Sky employs 23,500 people, has annual revenues of £6.8 billion and is estimated to support a £5.4 billion contribution to UK GDP. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BSY).

go:cycling promotes cycling across West Yorkshire through free adult cycle training, free bike maintenance sessions and working with employers to encourage cycling to, and for, work. go:cycling is co-ordinated by Metro and is being provided in partnership with West Yorkshire’s five district authorities and CTC (the national cycling charity), and is supported by the Department for Transport through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. For more information go to

Ping pong campaign for elderly takes centre stage this week

People working with older people are being invited to take up their table tennis bats at a sports benefits event in Leeds this week.

Anyone who works with older people is being encouraged to visit Armley Leisure Centre on the 3 July from 1-5pm to find out how they can gain the skills to deliver low impact table tennis activity as part of the Ping Pong Care Campaign 2013.

Hosted by the BRITDOC foundation in conjunction with Leeds City Council, the campaign is also aiming to screen the documentary film Ping Pong in community centres, sheltered housing, care homes and day centres cross the UK to inspire people to take part and be active in later life.

More details on how Ping Pong, which follows eight octogenarians who take part in the over 80s World Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia, can be screened at various venues supporting the elderly across the city will also be provided. A special showing of the film will also be held at the event.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said:

“Increasing the number of older people who are taking part in sport and exercise across the city remains one of our key priorities, which is why we are delighted to support such a great project as the Ping Pong Care Campaign.

Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“This event at Armley Leisure Centre is a fantastic way for people to find out more about how they can play their part in helping our elderly fit and active in our community centres, sheltered housing and care homes, and we hope there will be a great turnout.”

Notes to editors:

The event is free for those working within a 50-mile radius of Leeds. It is designed for anyone who works with older people, from community centre managers to care centre staff, health care professionals, nurses, sports development organisations and educational services.

Registration for the event will begin at 12.30pm, and can be undertaken on-line at:

Finding from the BIG Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Award, will provide BRITDOC with the opportunity to take documentary film Ping Pong to some 2000 older person settings across the UK.


The BRITDOC Foundation is a not-for-profit created in partnership with Channel 4 Television in the UK to ensure a creative future for documentary filmmaking.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Panel to discuss introduction of new development levy

Plans to introduce a new levy on developers for local infrastructure improvements in Leeds will be discussed this week.

The meeting of the development plan panel at Civic Hall from 1:30pm on Tuesday 1 July will discuss the initial round of consultation carried out on introducing a new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support infrastructure projects such as transport improvements, upgrading parks and open spaces or schools.

The new levy would partly replace the existing system of planning obligations known as Section 106 agreements, particularly for infrastructure projects which require funding from a number of different sources.

The panel will be looking at the responses received from a seven-week consultation exercise which included three stakeholder events attended by developers and residents. Over 50 responses were received and the council is now analysing the feedback to possibly amend the proposals before the next stage of consultation is conducted.

Chair of the development plan panel Councillor Neil Taggart said:

“In proposing the draft charges we have tried to strike the right balance between generating enough funds to help pay for infrastructure across Leeds, and also ensuring that we encourage investment and growth.

“We are pleased with the level of responses from different stakeholders including from the development industry, residents and parish councils, and infrastructure providers. They have given us their views and we are currently preparing formal responses.”

Following the meeting the council will prepare its responses to the consultation comments, and discuss them at a future development plan panel meeting. It will then formalise its CIL proposal which will be published for further consultation at the end of this year. Comments on the proposal will then be considered by an independent examiner who must give approval before it can be adopted by the council.

Notes to editors:

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tariff-based system that will apply to new development, introduced by the Planning Act of 2008.
It will partly replace the existing system of planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements), particularly for those infrastructure projects that require funding from a number of different sources.
The CIL will therefore be used to help pay for projects such as schools, greenspace and public transport schemes.
S106 agreements will remain to address necessary site specific requirements.


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