Friday, 5 July 2013

Contract signed for major regeneration project in inner city Leeds

A major contract to deliver a huge regeneration programme for inner city of Leeds has been signed.

Leeds City Council and sustainable communities for Leeds (sc4L) have signed the contract procured under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to deliver the 20 year partnership, which will play a significant role in rejuvenating local communities across the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas of the city.

Local Communities will benefit from the refurbishment of the 1245 council homes, and the construction of 388 new council homes to rent with environmental improvements to the estates. Capital investment of over £120million over the next three and a half years will provide training and employment schemes leading to jobs, work placements, apprenticeships and social enterprise opportunities.

This project, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government under the Private Finance Initiative with a council contribution is the first housing PFI scheme of its kind with the private finance element being secured through the capital funding market markets through a bond issue.

The refurbishment of homes and new build works complement regeneration activity designed to improve the lives of local residents.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We welcome the news that this project has reached financial close. I am very pleased that we can finally start to deliver the project for these communities, who have waited a long time. I want to thank the residents for their continued patience, now is the time to finally deliver results!

“The council has worked extremely hard with its partners over many years to move this project along at the various stages. It is great to sign it off and be able to tell local people they will start to see work happening soon.

“In addition, and as promised, alongside the PFI project, the council will invest £2.53 million to bring 87 properties in the Beeston Hill area back into use. Along with this, the Little London local centre and education facilities in the area will be improved in the next few years to address some of the neighbourhood’s needs. These additional schemes bring real benefits and opportunities to the people of these communities.”

Jon Hinchliff, sc4L general manager said:

“We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with Leeds City Council and the local communities within Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck.

“The team we have assembled to deliver this project is local, committed, professional and vastly experienced. We are all keen to get started and are looking forward to making a positive difference to the neighbourhoods and communities living here.”

Notes to editors:

The new build homes will be built to a level of high sustainability (code level 4 for Sustainable Homes) for security and space standards.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

New five-acre council cemetery to open in city

A new five-acre cemetery in east Leeds is to be officially opened by Leeds City Council next week.

Whinmoor Cemetery, which is located just off the A64 road, has been under construction for 12 months, and is a key element of the council’s strategy to address future burial provision in the city.

A wide range of work has been undertaken at the cemetery in preparation for the opening, which has included the creation of access roads, drainage and landscaping.

The arrival of the facility at Whinmoor, which is the first new purpose built cemetery to be opened in Leeds by the council since 1937, will initially provide enough burial provision for 19 years, and can be extended further if necessary.

If a decision to extend the graveyard is give the go-ahead in the future, it is estimated that another 38 years of burial provision will be available at the Whinmoor facility.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“I am pleased to be able to announce the opening of the Whimoor Cemetery, which is a vital part of the council’s plan to address burial provision in the city for the next 50 years.

“With Harehills Cemetery close to becoming full, it was extremely important that positive action was taken to address this problem. By moving ahead with this new facility, we have ensured there will now be sufficient provision in the east of the city for the foreseeable future.

“As part of our plan, we are also aiming to extend a number of existing cemeteries, and I am looking forward to see this work come to fruition over the next few years.

“I would personally like to thank everyone, from key stakeholders to council staff, who contributed to making our vision at Whinmoor Cemetery a reality.”
Notes to editors:

Whinmoor Cemetery will officially open on Monday July 8.

The cemetery will be open on a daily basis, seven days a week and will be gated and locked when closed.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578