Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Major new sport plans set to be discussed by senior councillors

Caption: The new Leeds Let's Get Active programme is part of the Olympic legacy in Leeds

Senior councillors will next week discuss ambitious plans to provide a further boost to the drive to make Leeds the most active big city in the country.

At its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 9 October, the council’s executive board will consider two major new proposals to place sport at the heart of the city’s aim to tackle health inequalities and raise levels of activity as part of the Olympic legacy in Leeds.

The first of the proposals is a new overall five-year strategy for sport and active lifestyles which has been backed by all key stakeholders in the city and nationally by Sport England. The second is an unprecedented pilot project which could see up to 22 different national governing bodies significantly develop access to each of their sports in Leeds.

The proposals will be discussed a week after the start of ‘Leeds Let’s Get Active’, the flagship new programme offering free daily sport and fitness sessions for all in every council-managed leisure centre in the city plus activities in parks and community venues.

Together the three elements aim to build on the success of London 2012 and Leeds athletes at the Games by encouraging people in the city to take part in more regular physical activity and following healthier lifestyles.

Leeds currently ranks seventh nationally in the numbers of people taking part in 30 minutes of sports participation at least three times a week, and 39th in those doing so once a week.

The new overall strategy has been devised by Sport Leeds, the partnership network made up of all stakeholders who deliver sport in the city. A key element of the strategy is to tackle health inequalities in the city, and especially activity levels in the most deprived areas of Leeds.

The strategy also aims to widen access to sport in Leeds, strengthen pathways for potential elite level sportsmen and women to develop their talents and also calls for the city to host more mass-participation and high-profile major sports events in the years to come to further inspire people to be active.

One of those elements named in the strategy is a proposed new two-year ‘place pilot’ which would see up to 22 sports in Leeds develop their current offer to increase access and participation. Positive discussions have taken place with each sport’s national governing body, with them agreeing to work in Leeds to develop their offer, especially to encourage people who are keen to try a sport but currently do not with a focus on identified target groups and areas of the city. The pilot is now at the bid stage with Sport England for possible funding support.

If the bid is successful, the pilot would run in two phases, with the sports agreed to be part of phase one being: athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, hockey, football, lacrosse, netball, rounders, rowing, rugby league (via Leeds Rugby Foundation), rugby union, squash and tennis.

Sports currently in discussions to be part of phase two which could begin in September 2014 are: canoeing, gymnastics, table tennis, handball, triathlon and swimming.

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

“There has been a lot of debate one year on from London 2012 as to whether there has been any real Olympic legacy, but in Leeds hopefully these plans show how committed the city is to making sport and healthy living a key priority both now and into the future.

“All major sport partners in the city support the ambition for Leeds to become the most active big city in the country, and we are also very grateful to Sport England for their fantastic backing and guidance. Together with the new Leeds Let’s Get Active programme, these are really exciting proposals which could make a major difference and bring significant benefits for people in Leeds and the city as a whole.”

Chair of Sport Leeds Stewart Ross said:

“We are delighted to be bringing forward a new strategy for the development of sport and active lifestyles in the city and look forward to working with all the key stakeholders in Leeds including the city council to deliver on the fantastic legacy of 2012.”

For more details about Leeds Let’s Get Active visit


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

Lord Mayor’s rooms opened as part of Light Night

Caption: The room of the Lady Mayoress can be viewed at Leeds Civic Hall as part of Light Night.

The doors of the Lord Mayor’s private rooms at Leeds Civic Hall will be opened to visitors as part of Light Night 2013.

Held on Friday 4 October, rooms at the Civic Hall available to view on the evening will include the rooms of the current Lord Mayor Councillor Thomas Murray and the Lady Mayoress Edna Murray, the Ark Royal Room, Council Chamber and Reception Hall. There will also be the opportunity to meet and have a chat with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress on the evening.

Open from 5.30pm-9pm, live music will also be performed at the Civic Hall from a number of City of Leeds Youth Music Groups and ensembles. Entrance to the Civic Hall will be available through the Courtyard entrance opposite the Rose Bowl.

Over 30 venues in the city centre as part of Light Night will open their doors, as they host over 50 unique event this Friday from 5pm until late.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:

“Light Night is a fantastic event in the city, and I hope visitors will take the opportunity to have a look round the Civic Hall and find out a bit more about the building and its rooms as part of their evening.

“Both I and the Lady Mayoress will also be in the Civic Hall on the night, and we are really looking forward to meeting as many people as possible for a chat as they take the chance to have a look at the Lord Mayor’s rooms.

“Some fantastic live music from a number of youth groups from the city will also be playing at the civic, on what promises to be a really lovely night.”

Notes to editors:

A full programme of all the events is available at All events are free, but some require booking, details are on the website along with information on transport.

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

Older people’s lifeline officially opens its new home

A dedicated team of volunteers providing a much-needed lifeline to older people in Garforth has moved to a brand new home.

The Garforth Neighbourhood Elders Team (NET) will officially mark the opening of their new base on Dover Street at a special open day this Friday (October 4).

As part of the celebrations, Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Adult Social Care will visit the centre on Friday to see some of the good work being done by NET.

The visit also marks the week of the International Day of Older People 2013.

The big move has capped a memorable few weeks for Garforth NET, with the organisation also being shortlisted for a National Diversity Award.

The awards recognised grassroots organisations helping their communities.

Garforth NET was nominated for last month’s awards for promoting a positive image of older people in the area.

Garforth NET began in 1993, when four churches in the area established a group to help local people.

The service quickly grew and now covers 11 villages across east Leeds including Kippax, Barwick-in-Elmet and Ledston.

Recognising the positive impact the NET had on the local community, the council’s Asset Management Team worked with the organisation to identify a property opportunity within the local area, at the former Firthfields Day Centre, giving NET a chance to bring all its services under one roof.

As well as the befriending service, NET also runs a program of activities for older people including a Knit and Natter group, stroke support sessions, Nintendo Wii games and coffee mornings.

Cllr Ogilvie said: “Garforth NET is a perfect example of how hard-working members of the community with a clear vision of what they want to accomplish can work with Leeds City Council and help put space in council buildings to good use.

“Elderly people living alone can often become isolated from their communities through no fault of their own- that’s why resources like NET and the other Neighbourhood Networks are so important in giving them a place they can meet up, make friends and get involved while also maintaining their independence.

“As a council, we’re keen to support groups and organisations that are helping our older people to lead healthy, active and happy lives, so we were delighted to be able to support Garforth NET in moving into their new base and giving the building a new lease of life.”

The fully refurbished building on Dover Street includes full disabled access and visitor parking.

Garforth NET say this will allow them to introduce a range of new services and activities over the coming months.

The Garforth service is one of 37 Neighbourhood Networks across Leeds which have long-term contracts with the council.

The networks provide services that support older people to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible.
They are supported by 1,862 local volunteers, and provide on-going support to 21,966 older people across the city.

For more information on Garforth NET, visit


- Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Adult Social Care will be available for pictures and interview at Garforth NET’s new base at the former Firthfields Day Centre on Dover Street, Garforth at 1.30pm on Friday, October 4.

-For more details, please contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937