Monday, 15 July 2013

New scheme launched to help you heat your home for less

The latest green project to make resident’s homes cheaper to heat has opened its doors for business.

From today (Monday 15 July), Wrap Up Leeds ECO will be helping residents cut their fuel bills by offering free insulation and free boiler replacements.

With Wrap Up Leeds ECO, residents who own their own home or rent it privately and who are in receipt of certain benefits, can benefit from free cavity wall and loft insulation or have their old and inefficient, broken or condemned boiler replaced.

Funding from energy companies is paying for the scheme.

People can find out if they qualify by calling 0113 395 0757, emailing or visiting

People will also be referred to Wrap Up Leeds ECO by other organisations who help people make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat, for example, Care and Repair, Groundwork and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

All works will be subject to a survey and will be carried out by the council’s partners SSE, Willmott Dixon Energy Services and Keepmoat.

A second phase of the project will target people who haven’t been able to get help from the previous Wrap Up Leeds schemes as their homes are classed as ‘hard to treat’. This could be a back-to-back property, an older property or of a non-traditional build. Details of this will be announced later in the summer, but anyone can pre-register their interest now.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“Now that summer has put in an appearance, making your home warmer might seem a little odd. However, now is the best time to contact the team to see if they can make your home cheaper to heat so you’ll be ready for winter.

“We want to help people tackle rising energy bills and Wrap Up Leeds ECO is just another way we can help residents out of the fuel poverty trap.”

Nigel Banks, Keepmoat group sustainability director, said:
“Wrap Up Leeds ECO is an exciting scheme for the city, enabling qualifying residents to save money on energy bills and make their homes warmer.

“The health, lifestyle and economic benefits of warmer homes, particularly for those most in need, are tremendous, so we would encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to take advantage of the works that are on offer.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council on this scheme.”

Charles Farley, SSE Leeds development director, said:
“SSE is looking forward to working with Leeds City Council to deliver its Wrap Up Leeds ECO campaign to help make homes across the city more energy efficient. SSE will bring its wealth of experience to the project to install insulation measures and more efficient boilers to reduce household energy consumption which will in turn make a positive impact to reducing energy bills.”

Rob Lambe, managing director, Willmott Dixon Energy Services, said:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council to provide healthier, warmer homes for residents which will lead to lower heating costs this winter. Willmott Dixon Energy Services are keen to make a difference through Wrap Up Leeds ECO to help residents cut energy bills and support those living in fuel poverty across the city.”

With Wrap Up Leeds ECO, people could get a new boiler that could save them £300 a year or even insulation for cavity walls and lofts that could save you up to £310 a year.

How much funding offered will depend on how energy efficient a home is, how much we need to do to improve insulation and upgrade heating. We will also have to take into account people’s income. All measures are subject to assesment and technical survey, where the criteria isn’t met the customer may have the option to contribute towards the installation.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


New initiative backs city’s manufacturers to drive growth

Caption: James Laxton, managing director of Laxtons, one of the companies to benefit from Leeds City Region’s business growth programme

A new initiative designed to help the city’s manufacturing sector drive growth in the Leeds economy is to be launched tomorrow (Tuesday 16 July), backed by Leeds City Council, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

The initiative aims to encourage greater take up of business support available to the city’s manufacturers and to develop sector-wide programmes that will benefit the manufacturing sector as a whole.

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

“Manufacturing continues to make a major contribution to the Leeds economy both in terms of output and employment, with over 1,700 firms employing a workforce of around 30,000. Together they generate over 11% of GVA.

“Increasing the take up of support that’s currently available through organisations such as MAS and the Chamber, together with programmes such as the Leeds City Region’s business growth programme, is one of the ways we can support individual manufacturers.

“But there’s much more that we can do by working together – collaborating with training and education providers in the city, leveraging our influence and relationships and drawing on the expertise of the private sector – to develop initiatives that benefit the sector as a whole.”

Skills, access to finance and investment for growth, supply chain development, the need for closer collaboration with the region’s universities and attracting younger people into the industry are some of the major challenges facing the sector, set out in a report published to coincide with the launch of the initiative.

The report outlines what partners in the public and private sectors can and will do to support growth in the manufacturing sector.

It also highlights the latest findings from the Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey (June 2013), which shows encouraging returns for the manufacturing sector across the Leeds City Region:

• over a third of manufacturers reporting increasing sales and forward orders for domestic sales and 40% reported increased sales in overseas markets

• one in four firms has increased their workforce, with a similar number looking to recruit in the next three months

• one in three also report increased capital investment

Mark Goldstone, head of business representation at Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said:

“In the current economic climate, the survey findings are very encouraging but manufacturers clearly face challenges in accessing finance for growth and in recruitment, particularly skilled manual and technical staff.”

Longer term, manufacturing output is forecast to increase and the government has made the sector central to its strategy for ‘rebalancing the UK economy, moving it away from over-reliance on services and the public sector.

However, the sector faces major challenges in driving up productivity, investing for growth and in attracting young people leaving schools to careers in manufacturing and engineering.

Steve Gregory, team leader for MAS in Yorkshire and Humber said:

“There’s an urgent need to replace the higher level technical skills and experience of an ageing manufacturing workforce. But it’s equally clear that by increasing efficiency and productivity that UK manufacturers can compete on a global stage.”

He points to the success of manufacturing companies such as Yeadon-based engineering firm Produmax, which has secured new aerospace and defence contracts as a result of programmes undertaken with support from MAS, demonstrating how the region’s manufacturers can take on and win business against international competition.

Steve adds: “Experience shows that it’s essential to work with manufacturers to identify opportunities for growth and develop business support programmes that meet the specific requirements of manufacturer rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

Case studies:

1. Laxtons
Guiesely-based Laxtons, which recently reversed the ‘off-shoring’ trend by bringing its textile manufacturing operations back to the UK, after ten years overseas, recently received an £18,000 grant towards a total investment by the company of £150,000 in equipment for new finishing department.
Laxtons is one of 46 firms to receive financial support through the Leeds City Region’s business growth programme. So far, grants totalling £4 million have been allocated to companies across the city region through the programme, which is designed to support capital investment and create private sector jobs.
The business growth programme is funded through the government’s Regional Growth Fund and offers grants starting at £10,000 and rising to £1 million for larger projects, to support capital investment and help businesses expand.
Support is available to companies in a range of sectors, including manufacturers, and covers up to 20 per cent of the cost of an individual investment in premises fit outs, capital costs associated with relocation, purchase of new machinery and equipment.

2. Produmax
Precision engineering specialist Produmax has seen turnover grow to a record £4.75 million, after a 12 month period in which it has secured new aerospace and defence contracts. Working with MAS, the company has implemented a range of lean manufacturing and process improvements to reduce cycles times and bring down costs by up to 60%.
Achieving the SC21 World Class Supply Chain standard has also resulted in significant improvements in customer confidence, with the result that Produmax is now a supplier of choice to some of the world’s biggest aerospace primes.
Managing director Jeremy Ridyard said: “Wining these high profile orders has secured the long term future of our business and MAS has played a major role in this by ensuring we operate at world class manufacturing levels.”

To see the report on the new initiative, go to


For media enquiries contact:
David Baggaley,
Leeds City Council economic development,
Tel (0113) 247 7851

Adult safeguarding to be discussed at executive board

A report setting out the work which has been undertaken in the city over the past year to protect its most vulnerable people, will be discussed at Leeds City Council’s Executive Board this week.

As part of the Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2012/2013, senior councillors will have the opportunity to consider both the achievements and challenges of the past year and endorse the board’s proposed work programme for 2013/2014.

Represented on the safeguarding board are a host of key organisations, which working closely in partnership, are committed to improving both the quality of care and current systems and practices in place to protect vulnerable adults.

The report highlights a small decrease of reported incidents where abuse of a vulnerable adult was suspected, with 3,438 cases being reported to the city’s Safeguarding Unit in 2012/13. Of these, 1,183 reported incidents warranted further investigation.

The number of reported incidents had been rising steadily over the past few years, the result of a successful campaign to raise public awareness and give extra training to public service staff in recognising and reporting suspected abuse.

Now that the annual figure appears to be ‘levelling out’, the report says, there is evidence that the need for watchfulness has become better embedded among staff working with people who are at risk of abuse.

Training of staff in safeguarding is also highlighted, with 14,307 staff across Adult Social Care and NHS organisations in the city having received basic and intermediate level training in safeguarding, with 416 staff being trained to higher levels.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for adult social care said:

“Through the work of the Safeguarding Board, people coming into contact with vulnerable people are
better equipped to recognise abuse and take action by reporting it.

“We can never be complacent when talking about protecting people who are at risk of exploitation or mistreatment, but Leeds has made great progress in making sure people such as care workers, housing officers, police and health workers can recognise abuse and know what to do when they see it.

“I am grateful for the work of the Leeds Adult Safeguarding Board to provide the city’s front-line health and social care workforce with the knowledge and confidence to tackle abuse when they see it.”

Notes to editors:

The Leeds Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board is a voluntary arrangement of statutory and non-statutory organisations. The board includes senior representatives from: Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds, Airedale and Bradford, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Leeds Community Health Care NHS Trust, Leeds and York partnership Foundation NHS Trust, West Yorkshire Police, Leeds Community Safety and West Yorkshire Probation Service.

The meeting of the Executive Board will be held on Wednesday July 17th.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 3951578