Thursday, 25 July 2013

Excitement builds for Party in the Park



Caption: Olly Murs is just one of the artists set to appear at Party in the Park.

Excitement is beginning to hit fever pitch in Leeds ahead of this weekend’s Party in the Park.

Organised by Leeds City Council and 96.3 Radio Aire, a star-studded line-up has again been assembled to entertain the crowds on Sunday 28 July at Temple Newsam Park when gig-goers will be treated to live performances from a host of established chart-topping artists including: Olly Murs, Scouting for Girls, Loveable Rogues, Stooshe, Blue, Professor Green and Dizzee Rascal.

There will also be performances from a variety of other exciting up and coming artists such as; A*M*E, John Newman and X Factor’s Lucy Spraggan.

Gates for the event will be open from 12.30pm with the warm-up entertainment starting from around 1pm.

The main show is scheduled to start at 1.30pm and end at 6pm although all timings are subject to change.

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

“For many years the artists booked to perform at Party in the Park have been simply fantastic, and I am delighted to say that this trend has again continued this year.

“There really is something for everyone, from rapper Dizzee Rascal to Olly Murs, and it is brilliant that the people of Leeds and beyond will have the chance to see performers such as these in our great city.

“With Party approaching quickly, we would ask anybody who is interested in attending to purchase and collect their tickets as soon as possible for what promises to be a very special day at Temple Newsam Park.”

Following feedback from those attending, ticket holders will now be permitted to bring picnic style food with them together with non-alcoholic soft drinks in small 500ml bottles with unbroken seals. A free supply of water will also be available around the event arena together with a wide range of quality catering options to appeal to differing tastes.

New for this year, there will also be a large picnic area towards the back of the arena where families will be able to sit back and relax to enjoy the event without getting too close to the hustle and bustle at the front of stage.

Families and people of all ages will also be able to enjoy a variety of inflatable attractions and fun fair rides within the interactive play zone area.

Rich Williams, breakfast show presenter from 96.3 Radio Aire said:

“With some of the UKs biggest acts performing right here in Leeds it’s going to be a great afternoon. I know the artists always look forward to playing Party in the Park and they can’t wait to get on that Temple Newsam stage!”

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Party in the Park is by the special event bus service available from Leeds city centre to the dedicated event bus terminus at Temple Newsam. Leeds City Council have teamed up with Geldards Coaches this year to offer a new faster and more efficient bus route to the venue with the X26 service operating every 10-15 mins starting at 10am from Stand P3 on Park Row (outside Lloyds TSB Bank).

Bus tickets are priced at £2 single or £3.50 return with under 5’s free. A family ticket is also available for £10 for up to 2 adults and 2 children. No concessions or Metro cards will be accepted. Tickets are available at the buses or in advance from Leeds Visitor Centre at the train station.

Event car parking (£5 per vehicle) is also available for the event at the main car park located off Temple Newam Road which is easily accessed and sign-posted from the A63 (Selby Road). A dedicated taxi / pick-up and drop-off point is also located adjacent to the main car park.

Ticketing for this year’s event, which is supported by official media partner the Yorkshire Evening Post, are still available to purchase in person/by telephone from the city centre box office at The Carriageworks (0113 224 3801) on Millennium Square.

The box office will be open for purchases and collections with specially extended hours between 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday in the lead up to the event. Tickets are also available from Leeds Visitor Centre at the train station (0113 242 5242) which will also be open on the day of the event (Sunday) between 10am to 4pm.

Due to the current high demand for tickets, tickets will no longer be available to purchase online from midnight on Wednesday 24 July and any tickets that have been purchased via the website after Thursday 18 July will need to be collected in advance from the city centre box office (recommended) or from the ticket collection point at the venue on the day.

Tickets are priced at £5 for Breezecard holders, £6.50 for LEEDSCard Extra holders, £8 for those with Leeds Active, LibraryCard and standard LEEDSCards and £10 for general admission. Discounted tickets are also available for groups of friends/family members at £7 each for bookings of between five and 10 people. Children aged four and under will be able to attend free of charge, although a separate ticket will be needed.

With the event approaching fast, anybody interested in attending is advised to book their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Notes to editors:

For full event, travel and artist information visit the official event website at www.radioaire.com/partyinthepark

For further information/general access enquires contact Leeds City Council events team (0113 395 0891) or email events@leeds.gov.uk

For media enquiries, please contact;

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

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Olympic legacy shining bright in Leeds


Caption: Brothers Jonathan (left) and Alistair Brownlee (right), pictured at the London 2012 Olympic Games homecoming celebration, are at the forefront of a strong sporting legacy in Leeds


With the golden memories of the London 2012 Olympic Games officially a year old this weekend, the legacy from the unforgettable events of last summer is proving bright and strong in Leeds.

With some national observers questioning whether the Olympic legacy has stalled, there is strong evidence to prove in Leeds that is firmly not the case. Inspired by the stunning performances at the Olympics and in particular the amazing success of Team GB which made household names out of local medallists Nicola Adams, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and Lizzie Armitstead, sport in Leeds is growing at all levels.

The sports participation figures recently released by Sport England which sparked the national debate showed that Leeds has seen an overall increase in the numbers of people taking part in 30 minutes of exercise a week from 36.5 per cent in April 2012 to 39.9% in April 2013.

A similar increase can be seen in the figures for those taking part in 30 minutes of exercise three times a week, with the percentage rising from 27.6% in April 2012 to 29.6% in April 2013, strengthening the claims for Leeds to be seen as the most active big city in England.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to attend a photocall and demonstration of gymnastics at Leeds Gymnastics Club at 2pm on Friday 26 July (tomorrow).  The photocall will take place at the club’s Seacroft base with a demonstration of gymnastics and interview opportunities.

Leeds Gymnastics Club is based at Limewood Road, Seacroft, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS14 1AB.
******************** Media opportunity ********************


These figures not only reflect on a post-Olympic rise in participation, but also the significant amount of partnership work through the city’s sport partnership Sport Leeds. The combined work of the partners and supported by the council has helped significantly to develop and encourage sport, fitness and volunteering opportunities in Leeds from grassroots to elite level and has reinforced Leeds’ growing reputation for providing a wide range of sports opportunities.

Despite the ongoing difficult financial climate, Leeds City Council has made a commitment to ensuring such participation increases continue. It has created a £100,000 annual ‘legacy fund’ with a focus on activities for young people aged 14 and under, especially in areas of limited existing provision and parts of Leeds where there are greater health inequalities. This fits into the council’s broader child friendly Leeds ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

The council has also extended rate relief for voluntary sports clubs, in some cases offering up to 100 per cent discount for those which offer the best sport development opportunities for young people and priority groups.

One such example of a community club which is flourishing since London 2012 is the Leeds Gymnastics Club. Previously operated by the council and hindered by not having a home of their own, in January 2012 the Leeds Gymnastics Training Scheme was transferred to the club to run, with backing from the council and British Gymnastics to create a new permanent base in Seacroft.

Since making the change the club has gone from having approximately 200 members in April 2012 to now boasting over a thousand a year later, including 17-year-old Nile Wilson who represented Great Britain at this year’s European Youth Olympics and marked himself out as a star of the future by returning home with three golds and a silver medal.

Director of Gymnastics at Leeds Gymnastics Club Chris Low said:

"It has been an incredible year. Demand for participation in gymnastics has been huge, as our increase in membership numbers shows. We now offer gymnastics classes for all, from six-week-old babies through to adults, and have increased the range of gymnastics disciplines from traditional competitive disciplines to activities such as Freestyle Gymnastics.

“The success of our competitive gymnasts, and of our participation program, is due to the hard work and dedication of all our coaches. Leeds Gymnastics Club has had incredible growth and development, while maintaining high levels of competitive performance, to become one of the largest gymnastics clubs in the UK.”

Another major flagship project to be launched in Leeds later this year to encourage people into sport and fitness is ‘Leeds Let’s Get Active’. Supported by NHS Leeds and Sport England, the new project will see free sessions taking place every day at council leisure centres across the city supported by a programme of activities in parks. This offer will be targeted at those who currently do not take part in any physical exercise and also those living in areas of greatest health inequality.

Following on from the success of Leeds and Yorkshire athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, talks are also being held with a number of national sporting bodies for the city to host centres for excellence, developing the potential stars of future Olympics.

Leeds itself is also going to be a strong focus for major sports events in the months and years to come, hosting matches in the Rugby League World Cup this November and the Rugby World Cup in 2015 while the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards will be staged at the new £60m first direct arena in the city this December.

Earlier this year Leeds City Council agreed an initial three-year partnership with British Cycling to develop cycling in the city, with the enthusiasm for cycling shown by the 8,500 people who took to the city centre earlier this month for the first-ever Sky Ride Leeds.

This whetted the appetite for next July, when the jewel in the cycling crown and largest annual sporting event in the world the Tour de France begins in the city.

The Leeds stars of London 2012 have continued their success since the Games, with boxer Nicola Adams becoming European champion, Jonny Brownlee becoming World Triathlon Champion and battling it out with brother Alistair in the race for this year’s title while cyclist Lizzie Armitstead won this year’s British National Road Race title.

The city’s young diving stars have this week been in Barcelona competing in the FINA World Aquatics Championships, making up four of the 10-strong Team GB squad and eight coaches and divers participating in total from Leeds.

With the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow now less than a year away, more success is likely for the city’s sporting role models as they build towards the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Away from the sporting arena, the success of the Olympic Games also boosted the city in other areas. More than 20 Leeds companies won contracts associated with the construction of Olympic facilities, representing 30% of contracts awarded in the region with an estimated average value of £14-17m each. In addition a number of Leeds companies were part of supply chains for the Games.

Business was also boosted through pre-Games training camps held in the city, with more than 250 Olympic athletes and officials from China, the Netherlands and Sweden coming to Leeds and new economic links created as a result.

Over 400 individuals from local businesses who were interested in doing business with China attended a range of events as part of the Leeds Gold Business Programme (LGBP), which helped provide engagement with the business community on a wide range of business issues, such as inward investment, intellectual property, outward investment and exports.

Since the Olympics visitor numbers to the city from China have been steadily increasing, while both Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University have capitalised on their role in hosting the China athletes as part of their student recruitment from the country and beyond.

Reflecting on the last 12 months, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“The London 2012 Olympic Games was an amazing experience which will live long in the memory, but just as important is what comes after it and in Leeds the legacy looks in very good hands.

“With rising participation levels across the city, thriving clubs, a brilliant new flagship project to start soon, some fantastic role models at elite level for us all to be proud of and some of the world’s biggest sporting events coming right to our doorstep, the future of sport in Leeds looks incredibly exciting and bright.”

Aside from the stars of the Olympics, Leeds-based athletes also helped produce some of the most memorable moments of the London 2012 Paralympic Games which followed, with ‘Hurricane’ Hannah Cockroft emerging as a new national sporting star, cyclist David Stone adding to his success from Beijing in 2008 and swimmer Claire Cashmore also claiming a host of medals.

The legacy of the Paralympic Games and how disability sport has grown in Leeds in the last 12 months will be the subject of its own focus and event in early September to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Games.

Notes to editors:

Sport Leeds is the strategic partnership for people and organisations with an interest in the provision and development of sport and active recreation in Leeds. Representation in the partnership includes: higher education; school sport; voluntary sector sport, health, performance sport, media and Leeds City Council.

For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk



Opera in the Park set to wow crowds





Caption: Set to appear at this year’s Opera in the Park in Leeds include (from top) Laura Wright and Aled Jones.

A line-up of top classical artists is once again primed and ready to entertain the crowds in Leeds at Opera in the Park this weekend.

Held on Saturday 27 July at Temple Newsam Park, artists set to appear at the annual event include; No1 classical album selling artist Laura Wright and exciting operatic quartet Amore.

The event will be hosted by singer, author, television and Classic FM presenter Aled Jones who will also be performing on the night and making his second appearance at the event. Music on the evening will be once again provided by the fantastic Orchestra of Opera North and Leeds Festival Chorus.

This will be a first time at Opera in the Park for Classic Brit Award-nominee Laura Wright, whose debut album ‘The Last Rose’ topped the charts in 2011, and is now one of the biggest selling classical artists of the decade.

Also featuring will be Amore, the operatic quartet of Royal College of Music graduates who were given the honour this year of performing the traditional pre-match hymn of ‘Abide with me’ to an audience of millions before the 2013 FA Cup final.

A range of much loved pieces from the likes of Mozart, Verdi, Delibes and Bizet will be performed with a repertoire full of some of the greatest and most recognisable music from operas such as; Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, La traviata, Lakmé and Carmen. There will also be a selection of music performed from Gershwin’s popular musical Oh, Kay! At the finale, the crowd will also be treated to the traditional rendition of a Puccini classic, followed by a firework display.

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

“Opera in the Park is always a fantastic event, and once again we have a line-up of performers that are sure to delight the crowd.

“The great thing about Opera in the Park is how it manages to be such a relaxing experience, while at the same time so thrilling. If you have yet to hear opera performed live, then Temple Newsam Park really is a great place in which to start.

“With just days to go before the concert, we would ask anybody who is interested in attending to book their tickets as soon as they can.”

Gates will open from 6pm with performances starting at 8pm and ending at approximately 10.15pm with the firework finale, although all timings are subject to change.

Organised by Leeds City Council along with media partners Classic FM - the UK’s most listened to classical music station, further backing is also provided by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Classic FM presenter Aled Jones said:

"Opera in the Park is Classic FM's biggest event of the year, and I'm delighted to be hosting it.

“I joined the Classic FM family in March this year to host Sunday mornings – and I'm really looking forward to sharing some fantastic music with our listeners in Leeds later this month."

Tickets are available for Opera in the Park at £5 for Breezecard holders, £6.50 for LEEDSCard Extra holders, £8 for those with Leeds Active, Library Card and standard LEEDSCards and £10 for general admission.

Discounted tickets are also available for groups of friends/family members at £7 each for bookings of between five and 10 people. Children aged four and under will be able to attend free of charge, although a separate ticket will be needed.

Tickets are still available to purchase in person/by telephone from the city centre box office at The Carriageworks (0113 224 3801) or from Leeds Visitor Centre at the train station (0113 242 5242). Tickets are also available in person only from the Temple Newsam gift shop in the stable courtyard.

Event car parking is available at £5 per vehicle for the main car park located off Temple Newsam Road which is well sign-posted from Selby Road (A63). Car parking tickets can be purchased in advance from the city centre box office (collection only) or on entry to the car park on the night.

A special event shuttle bus service will also be provided for those wishing to travel by public transport by new official bus partner Geldards. The X26 service will run every 20 minutes from 4pm onwards from stand P3 on Park Row (outside Lloyds bank) on a return basis to and from the event bus terminus at Temple Newsam.

Tickets cost £2 single or £3.50 return with under 5’s free. A family ticket is also available for £10 for up to 2 adults and 2 children. Bus tickets can be purchased at the buses but are also available in advance from Leeds Visitor Centre at the train station.

A dedicated taxi / drop-off point will also be available at the event as sign-posted off Temple Newsam Road.

With the event approaching fast, anybody interested in attending the event is advised to book their tickets as soon as possible.

Notes to editors:

For further information/general access enquires contact Leeds City Council events team (0113 395 0891) or email events@leeds.gov.uk

For media enquiries, please contact;

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

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Statement from the leader of Leeds City Council on the success of the first performance at first direct arena

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“What an amazing night for Leeds. The arena is incredible- it’s the best live venue I’ve ever been lucky enough to attend and Bruce Springsteen was the ideal act to open it. I’m a big fan of his music and it was a fantastic show- a true rock-star performance that will be remembered here for years to come. The crowd was fantastic and it was great to hear the man himself – ‘The Boss’ referring to the arena as a ‘great room’ to perform in. Leeds finally has the arena it deserves and this will firmly put the city on the live music map both nationally and internationally.

“I’d also like to thank all the council staff who worked so hard on making sure this world-class arena was built for the city, along with those who got Leeds ready for the crowds on its big night, with traffic, street cleaning and other key services. And thanks too to our volunteer ambassadors who gave up their time to help visitors find their way around and the buskers who entertained people along the way and helped to make it a real party atmosphere.”

ENDS