Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Festive delights to arrive at Leeds Museum and Galleries

Caption: Lotherton Hall will be hosting a 'Magical Christmas Weekend'.

The magic of Christmas is set to be celebrated in style next month, as Leeds Museums and Galleries host a range of fantastic events.

As part of a packed programme, venues including Temple Newsam House, Lotherton Hall, Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds Industrial Museum, Leeds Discovery Centre and Thwaite Mills will be providing fun filled activities for all the family.

Pulling out all the stops this Christmas with two fantastic events will be Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall.

On offer at Temple Newsam House will be ‘500 years of Christmas’, where on the weekend of the 14 and 15 December, visitors can view the magnificent decorations, listen to carol singers and the Leeds Waits musicians, and enjoy Sir Arthur Ingram’s festive entertainment.

Also held on the 14 and 15 December will be a ‘Magical Christmas Weekend’ at Lotherton Hall, which will provide the opportunity to escape Christmas shopping, listen to live music and take part in festive wreath making, face painting and craft activities. On the day, visitors will also be treated to a performance by a suitcase magician.

A very special guest will also be taking a break from his busy schedule to meet children every weekend in December, as festive favourite ‘Santa’s Grotto’ makes a sparkling return to Abbey House Museum. Set in the historic surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey on 15 December, the not to be missed, very special carol service will also be held at the Abbey church.

For those people who would like to make a unique Christmas gift for a loved one, on 7 December there will be the chance at the ‘Magical Christmas Toolbox’ event at Thwaite Mills Watermill in Stourton to make Christmas crackers and festive cards made with materials found on the island, while back in the city centre at Leeds Art Gallery on 14 December, there is the opportunity to design your own 3D wintery bauble.

Also on 14 December, Leeds City Museum will be throwing a Christmas party where visitors will have the chance to enjoy a number of Christmas activities and performances including visits from Leeds Youth Opera, Leeds Polish Centre and a community choir.

Other highlights in the festive programme include the opportunity to dress up as a Victorian and have your picture taken at what was once the world's largest woollen mill at Leeds Industrial Museum on 7 December or explore beach environments at a special workshop at Leeds Discovery Centre on 14 December.

If finding that extra special gift for a loved one at Christmas is still proving to be difficult, help will be on hand as presents, seasonal cards, festive decorations and children’s toys and games will be available at each of the site’s gift shops. Or for the first time this year, Leeds Museums and Galleries Gift Shops will be taking two stalls as part of Leeds City Council’s ‘Winter WonderLeeds’ programme on Briggate on 14 and 15 Dec. Also available online at:

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

"Christmas is really magical time of the year, and I am delighted to say that once again Leeds Museum and Galleries will be providing a range of fantastic activities and events that all the family can enjoy.

"There really is something for everyone, and if you are struggling for a suitable present or card, then inspiration can be found through a number of activities we will be hosting, or by visiting our various gift shops and new stalls at the Winter WonderLeeds event on Briggate."

Notes to editors:

For more information on events at Leeds Musuuem and Galleries, please visit:

Further details on events and activities detailed above are as follows:

500 Years of Christmas at Temple Newsam House
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December, 10.30am - 4.00pm
A packed programme to get into the festive spirit this Christmas including our magnificent decorations and display of a Tudor banquet, Sir Arthur Ingram’s festive entertainment, Victorian crafts, carol singers and Santa!

Temple Newsam
A stunning Tudor-Jacobean mansion set within 1,500 acres of beautiful parkland including a rare breeds farm.
House admission:
Adult £3.80, child £2.80, family ticket £9.80*
House and farm admission:
Adult £6.20, child £3.80, family ticket £15.50*
House: Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays),
Tues-Sun 10.30am-4pm.
Farm: Mondays closed (except bank holidays and during
school holidays), Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, LS15 OAE.
Tel House: 0113 336 7460. Tel Estate: 0113 336 7542

Magical Christmas Weekend at Lotherton Hall
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December, 11.00am - 4.00pm

Escape the Christmas shopping and enjoy the magical festivities at Lotherton with live music, wreath making, Christmas crafts, face painting, storytelling, a suitcase magician and if needed our own snow! Santa will also be here all weekend (£2 charge, inc present), so make sure you get your Christmas wish list in early!

Lotherton Hall
Explore a fine Edwardian country home with extensive grounds, red deer park, bird garden, nature trails, historic stables and carriage houses, gardens and walks, and two children’s play areas.
Entrance to the whole estate: Adults £5, child £2.50,
conc £4, family ticket £15*, season ticket from £18
Open Oct 10am-5pm, Nov & Dec 10am-4pm.
Last entry 45mins before closing
Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB.
Tel House: 0113 378 2959. Email:

Santa’s Grotto at Abbey House Museum
Every weekend in December leading up to Christmas, Saturdays (2.00pm – 4.00pm) and Sundays (10.00am – 12.00pm & 2.00pm – 4.00pm)
Visit Father Christmas in his magical Abbey House grotto. Don't forget your camera. There will also be crafts, music and fun in our Victorian Streets. Grotto price not included in admission: £4.00 (includes a present).

Abbey House Museum
Step back in time and explore the Victorian streets of Abbey House Museum, a family friendly fun day out.
Adult £3.90, child £1.75, conc £2.90, family ticket £6.70*
Monday closed (except bank holiday Mondays) Tues-Fri and
Sun 10am-5pm, Sat 12pm-5pm (last admission 4pm).
Abbey Walk, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH.
Tel: 0113 230 5492. Email:

Carols in the Abbey Church at Kirkstall Abbey
Sunday 15th December, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
We welcome back the Heritage Singers for their annual carol singing in the abbey church. A real festive treat!
Kirkstall Abbey - FREE
Visit one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in the country and see how the monks used to live.
Admission free
Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays).
Tues-Sun 10am-4pm (last admission 3.30pm).
Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH
Tel: 0113 230 5492. Email:
Download: The Kirkstall Abbey Audioboo tour to your phone
for a free tour of the ruins

Dress up as a Victorian at Leeds Industrial Museum
Saturday 7th December, 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Perfect as a Christmas present or to make into a card, dress up as a Victorian and have your picture taken at what was once the world's largest woollen mill.

Leeds Industrial Museum
Once the world’s largest woollen mill, it now presents
a fascinating insight into the city’s industrial heritage.
Adult £3.40, child £1.25, conc £1.80, family ticket £6.70*
Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays) Tues-Sat,
10am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm.
Canal Road, Leeds, LS12 2QF
Tel: 0113 263 7861. Email:

We’re all going on a Winter Holiday at Leeds Discovery Centre
Saturday 14th December, 10.00am – 12.00pm
We invite you to join us for a winter holiday with a difference as we use sand and shells from our collections to explore beach environments.
Leeds Discovery Centre - FREE
Home to a million wonders, Leeds Museums Discovery Centre cares for the city’s collections.
Admission free

Baubilize in Artspace at Leeds Art Gallery
Saturday 14th December, 11.00am – 4.00pm
Celebrate the festive season by creating your very own 3D wintery bauble with a twist to either take home or add to the collection of baubles that have already been made.
Leeds Art Gallery - FREE

Leeds Art Gallery showcases a wealth of art by well-known
artists and presents a dynamic exhibitions programme.
Admission free
Mon–Tues 10am-5pm, Wed 12pm-5pm, Thurs-Sat 10am-5pm,
Sun 1pm-5pm. Closed on bank holidays.
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA.
Tel: 0113 247 8256. Email:

Christmas Party at Leeds City Museum
Saturday 14th December, 11.00am – 3.00pm
Free Christmassy activities and festive performances for all the family to enjoy.
Leeds City Museum - FREE
Come face-to-face with the Leeds Tiger, see the final resting place of the Leeds Mummy and dig for fossils in the ‘Life on Earth’ gallery.
Admission free
Monday closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm),
Tues, Wed and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun
Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH
Tel: 0113 2243732. Email:

Magical Christmas Toolbox at Thwaite Mills
Saturday 7th December, 1.30pm - 3.00pm
Join us at our Magical Christmas Toolbox workshop as we make Christmas crackers and festive cards made with materials found on our splendid island.

Thwaite Mills Watermill
A fully restored working watermill with a blacksmith’s workshop in a riverside setting and rich in wildlife.
Adult £3.40, child £1.30, conc £1.80, family ticket £6.70*
Sat-Sun, 1pm-5pm. Open bank holidays and school holidays
Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm.
Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, LS10 1RP
Tel: 0113 214 1914. Email:

Get Christmas all wrapped up
Looking for that extra special Christmas gift this year? Why not visit one of our beautiful gift shops offering a range of gifts, seasonal cards, festive decorations and a wide range of children’s toys and games. Plus, with many items under £5 you might even stumble upon that perfect present for Secret Santa too!
Now available online! Visit for all our special offers and gift ideas.

For further information on Winter WonderLeeds, please visit

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

ASBOs granted against four persistent beggars in Leeds city centre

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have been granted this week against four persistent beggars operating in Leeds city centre.

This follows a range of work undertaken by Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds team and West Yorkshire Police to crack down on begging, and specifically those people who do not live on the streets but continue to ask the public for money despite a wide-range of support services being made available to them.

As part of the conditions on the two-year ASBOs secured against the four beggars, they will be unable to enter selected streets or beg in the entirety of Leeds City Centre until 24 November 2015.

Previous attempts by a host of agencies to engage with the beggars and to refer them to appropriate support and intervention services were ignored. Two of the offenders have secure Leeds City Council housing, another resides in rented accommodation and one is of no fixed abode.

A campaign was launched by Leeds City Council and partners in January this year raising awareness of begging being a crime and asking members of the public not to give money to beggars in the city centre, but instead donate to services providing free, meaningful support.

Councillor John Hardy, Leeds City Council’s lead member for homelessness said:

"We are absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to provide meaningful support to those people who desperately need it, but will not accept persistent begging in the city centre and especially from those that have absolutely no reason to be doing it. This action that we have taken through the courts sends a strong message that begging is a crime we will not tolerate.

"I am pleased therefore that we have able to secure these ASBOs against four of the most persistent beggars, who have repeatedly ignored numerous attempts by a host of agencies for help because it seems they found it more worthwhile to beg.

"This is not acceptable, and these ASBOs will ensure these individuals will now not be able to continue to beg as before in the city centre, which can sometimes cause real distress to the public. We would urge the public not to give to beggars, and instead donate to those services in the city that are doing a tremendous job providing free food, shelter, advice and support for our homeless."

Notes to editors:
For more information on the free services provided to rough sleepers in Leeds please visit the following websites:

- CRI Leeds Street Outreach Team
- St Georges Crypt
- St Anne’s Community Services
- The Big Issue in the north Trust
- Emmaus Leeds
- Simon on the Streets

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough can call the CRI Street Outreach Team on
Tel 0113 245 9445 or during out of office hours the Council Emergency Duty Team on Tel: 0113 2409536

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

City conference to tackle major transport issues

A debate into current and future transport issues and opportunities will be the focus of a special conference today (27 November).

The city’s councillors will be joined by transport providers, businesses, and third sector organisations at a special State of the City Transport event at the Civic Hall in Leeds. Delegates will hear the perspectives from a number of residents – young person, older person, disabled person and community view - about their experience of getting around the city.

Also attending and addressing the meeting will be guest speaker Ian Jordan, Director of Phase 2, HS2 and Professor David Begg, Chief Executive of Transport Times, both will provide international, national and city region perspectives.

The event will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the medium to longer term issues such as transport network efficiency, integration between transport modes, developing integrated ticketing and smartcard technology to allow seamless travel across difference modes of transport.

The event will also have short sessions for all the attendees to discuss the role transport plays in achieving Leeds’ best city ambitions.

Looking ahead to the meeting, Councillor Richard Lewis Executive Board Member for Development and the Economy, said:

“This is the first themed event of its kind and I hope that by getting people together to focus on transport, we can really debate and explore current and future issues, and ideally secure commitment to take forward opportunities.

“We’re pleased we’ll have a variety of stakeholder perspectives to hear today so that we get a better understanding the links between transport and Leeds’ ambitions to become the best city in the UK.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office(0113) 247 5472

Chance to explore new cave at Leeds activity centre

Inside the new cave at the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre

Adventurous adults and children can explore the twists and turns of a new cave at a Leeds activity centre.

The artificial caving system, the only one of its kind in the country, is now open to the public after being put in place at the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre at Yeadon Tarn.

Split over two levels, the indoor attraction allows people with and without disabilities to try their hand at caving in a safe environment.

The cave has been designed to replicate a natural cave and includes features like stalactites, stalagmites, and hidden fossils.

Its completely flat bottom level allows wheelchair users and those with limited mobility to experience caving by using trolleys to propel themselves along.

The upper level has more areas to explore and features an artificial sump for the more adventurous.

Members of the public will get the chance to don their helmets and lamps and have a look at the cave at a special open day event on Wednesday, December 11.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills will be attending on the day.

She said: “The new cave is a really exciting addition to the great programme of activities already on offer at the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre.

“Its innovative design means children and adults with and without disabilities have the chance to try something different, fun and unique.

“I’m really excited to see the finished article, I’m sure it’ll be a massive hit with young people and adults keen to have a go at caving and I’m looking forward to seeing what the public makes of it at the open day.”

Funding for the cave has come from the short breaks scheme, a national initiative held locally by children’s services aimed at improving short break opportunities for disabled children, young people and their families.

The open day takes place on Wednesday, December 11 at the centre on Cemetery Road, Yeadon.
Junior sessions, suitable for children aged eight and above, will be 10am-11am and 11.30am-12.30pm.
Adult and group leader sessions take place 1pm-2pm.

All sessions, which are for up to eight people and are led by qualified instructors, are free on the day but must be pre-booked.

Safety equipment will be provided.

The cave is open to the public all year round and normally costs £53.40 for up to eight people. Sessions last approximately one hour.

For more details, visit or telephone 0113 378 1271.


- To arrange picture and filming opportunities, or for more details, please contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Apprenticeship and training event set to be held in east Leeds

Young people interested in finding out more about potential training and apprenticeship opportunities are being asked to attend a special event in east Leeds this week.

Aimed at young people who are currently not in education, employment and training (NEET), a wide range of information will be available to those in attendance at the drop-in session on Thursday 28 November.

This will include the chance to speak to training and apprentice providers on how best to access the opportunities that are available, and also find out more about the options moving forward.

Representatives from Arcadia will also be present to offer an insight into the world of work, with support also available for young people if they wish to fill in application forms for current training and apprentice opportunities.

Organised by the Inner East Cluster and Igen, in partnership with the East North Area Support Team and youth service with support from local councillors, the event will be held between 3pm-5pm at Ebor Gardens Community Centre. There is no need to book an appointment, but with support available on a first come first served basis, people are asked to attend as early as possible to avoid any disappointment.

Events such as this one, form part of the Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Neighbourhood Improvement Plan, which is endorsed by the council’s inner east area committee.

Councillor Asghar Khan, chair of the inner east area committee said:

"Creating training and apprenticeship opportunities for young people remains one of our key priorities, and drop-in sessions such as this one are a great way to find out more about what is available.

"At the event, experts will also be on hand to talk through any questions people might have and offer a useful insight into what they can expect in a work environment.

"Similar events held in east Leeds have proved to be very popular, and we would urge people to turn up as early as possible so they potentially don’t miss out on any of the support services on offer."

Notes to editors:

The event details are as follows:

Date: Thursday 28th November
Time: 3pm – 5pm

Location: Ebor Gardens Community Centre, Haselwood Drive, LS9 7PY
The event is a drop in session and there is no need to book an appointment to speak to anyone. However, support is available on a first come, first served basis, so please try and attend early as possible.

For further information, please contact:
Sarah May, Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Neighbourhood Manager 0113 3367681 / 07891 272359

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