Thursday, 28 November 2013

Communities reap benefits of planning agreements

Over £22m has been distributed by Leeds City Council over the past five years to communities’ across the city, through planning agreements reached with developers as part of the contributions they make on new developments.

A raft of work has and is currently being undertaken by the council through section 106 money to support a wide-range of projects in key areas that include transport, education, affordable housing, green space initiatives and regeneration.

Green space initiatives which have benefited from this major investment include Queens Park and Rodley Park. Included in the £290,000 scheme at Queen’s Park are plans for two new play areas and a multi-use games area. New wider pathways and park furniture will also be provided.

At Rodley Park, new entrance gates, benches, picnic tables, tables and bins will be installed in a £77,217 scheme, which also includes the removal and relaying of pathways and drainage works.

Funding was also provided to part-fund 25 new affordable homes in West Leeds on three sites, which were completed in full two years ago. £700,000 is also currently under consideration or allocated towards affordable housing schemes.

Contributions have also been allocated by the council to fund specified highways work including bus stop enhancements, traffic regulation orders and a range of schemes, while in transport, section 106 money has provided significant support to major projects such as New Generation Transport (NGT).

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

"We are working extremely hard as a council to ensure that contributions made by housing developers through section 106 agreements are distributed as quickly as possible to support a wide-range of schemes in our communities.

"I am pleased therefore that in the past five years over £22m has being distributed across our city by the council to support significant improvements in key areas including education, transport and highways.

"The allocation of section 106 funding can sometimes be a difficult task, but it is absolutely vital that we ensure every project fulfils the aspirations of both the council and our residents. This can mean that occasionally it may take longer to allocate some of our funds, but we will not cut corners to ensure the work we are supporting is efficient, effective and delivered properly."

Notes to editors:

From 2008/9-2012/13, Leeds City Council has spent £22,002,513.26 of Section 106 money in the city.

Developer contributions can only be spent on certain projects. They are secured by a legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) between the local planning authority and developer. Developer financial contributions are often referred to as S106 monies.

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

Ticket prices announced for Rugby World Cup 2015

Fans will be able to plan their Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament in Leeds now as ticket prices and match times have been confirmed by England Rugby 2015 for all games.

As one of the host cities, Leeds is hosting two pool games as part of the tournament and prices for these games have been confirmed as starting as low as £15 for children’s tickets and £20 for adult tickets.

All tickets will be available through five phases next year. Travelling fan packages will go on sale in January 2014, then hospitality packages on sale in February 2014, May and June will see tickets distributed through rugby clubs and then in September the tickets will go on sale to the general public through ballot form. Any remaining tickets will be sold off on a first come first serve basis in November and December 2014.

In Leeds, kick-off times for both the Italy against Canada game on Saturday 26 September 2015 and Scotland against the USA game on Sunday 27 September at Elland Road have been confirmed as 2:30pm.

On the lead up to the tournament there will be a number of events happening across the city to get people involved in anything and everything to do with rugby, whether it is fan zones or cultural events.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for leisure and skills said:

“Now with less than two years to go until one of the world’s biggest sporting events comes to Leeds, fans can really start to get their plans in place for the tournament.

“As a city we will be putting on a number of events on the lead up to the tournament to get everyone in the city involved, from cultural events to fan zones the city will get a real taste of rugby.

“The tournament will bring so many benefits to the city, from thousands of new visitors, and the obvious economic benefits; we will also see some world class rugby being played.

“It is great to see that there are the options of affordable seats to allow more people to access the games, and really bring the action to as many people as possible.

Leeds United managing director David Haigh said:

“This confirmation takes us another step closer to what promises to be both an exciting tournament and a big sporting weekend for the city. The ticket prices represent great value for money for a world class sporting event, and we’re looking forward to welcoming sports fans to the city of Leeds.”

Over two million tickets will go on sale next year, with around one million priced at £100 or less, and half a million at £50 or less.

For the full match-schedule and ticket prices for all RWC 2015 matches you can visit the official Rugby World Cup Ticket Portal at

Notes to editors:
Full details of the pricing breakdown for Elland Road see the table below

RWC 2015 will be a truly nationwide tournament with 13 venues hosting a total of 48 matches.

PoolDateTimeFixture Cat ACat BCat CCat C ChildCat DCat D Child
B27-Sep14:30ScotlandAmericas 2£85£65£35£15£20£15


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds offers help to empty home owners with local loan fund

Leeds City Council is offering empty home owners the chance to take up a local loan specifically to help bring their properties back into use.

Leeds has launched its own Leeds Empty Homes Loan which allows empty home owners whose properties have been empty for more than 12 months, to borrow up to £30k to bring their properties back into use.

The loan scheme is available to landlords, potential owner/occupiers and third sector organisations. The loan will be repayable after five years, secured as a first charge against the property and is subject to the same interest rate as the equity loan scheme available to vulnerable home owners. The loan will be paid on completion of the works to ensure that the property is brought back into use, and also means the money can be used again for further projects, as previous loans are paid back more loans can be given out. For more information about the loan or to apply visit

Leeds is also one of the pilot cities involved in the National Empty Loans programme which launched earlier this year. This involves signposting applicants to the scheme and confirming that they are eligible for any loan. The scheme itself is administered by the Empty Homes Agency with a partner financial institution. Owners will be entitled to a loan of up to £15k over 5 years at a fixed rate of 5% interest.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“This is a terrific opportunity for quick action and offers another option to reduce the number of empty homes. This is a top priority for the council! We want to work with people across the city to help bring as many long terms empty properties back into use as possible.

“This loan scheme allows people to borrow up to £30,000 which is more than the national loan and allows us to continue to help people across the city bring homes back into use and continue this work through recycling the pot of money and awarding more loans once the first set of loans has been paid back.

“As a council we are very proactive in the work we carry out to bring properties back into use, but until we brought in our own local loan scheme, we were not offering financial assistance to owners, and therefore felt this was an angle that needed exploring.

“We are currently working with social enterprises such as Leeds Empties to continue to spread the word about the benefits of bringing properties back into use and are also working closely with social landlords on specific schemes aimed at empty properties.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Best of Brass Series continues in Morley

2013 British Open Champions the Tredegar Town Band are set to light up Morley Town Hall this Saturday as part of the very popular Best of Brass Series.

Under the baton of Musical Director Ian Porthouse, the Tredegar Town Band, whose Welsh roots date back to 1849, will perform on Saturday 30 November from 7.30pm, a wide-ranging and lively selection of classics. Set to feature will be Styne’s popular 'People' from the musical ‘Funny Girl’, Morricone’s stunning ‘La Califfa’ and Doughty’s instantly recognisable ‘Grandfathers Clock’ featuring a euphonium solo by Daniel Thomas.

Also on the programme will include Metheny’s lively ‘Heat of the Day’ inspired by Iranian folk music, one of the most popular traditional gospel tunes ‘Can't nobody do me like Jesus’, and Henryson’s beautiful ‘Eyes of a Child’ featuring a flugel horn solo by Danny Winder.

Also performing in the Best of Brass Series, which forms part of the Leeds International Concert Season, will be the Hepworth Band performing at Yeadon Town Hall on Saturday 14 December.

With a history dating back to 1882, the Hepworth Band has recently appointed the Danish conductor Stig Mærsk as its new resident Musical Director. The band promotes its own annual concert series and performs further afield in concert series, staged productions and with concert series and performs further afield in concert series, staged productions and with some of the country’s leading choirs.

Tickets for the Tredegar Town Band and Hepworth Band are priced £11.50 (£9.50 concessions). To book, call the Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or book online at

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

"We have a fantastic programme in our Leeds International Concert Season line-up, and the Best of Brass Series continues to be extremely popular.

"Morley Town Hall later this week and Yeadon Town Hall next month are in for a real treat through the Best of Brass Series, and we would ask people to book their tickets as soon as possible."

Notes to editors:

Leeds International Concert Season is the largest local authority music programme in the UK, planning more than 200 concerts a year in the Leeds area. Highlights include the International Orchestral Series, the Leeds Best of Brass and the Leeds International Chamber Season.

With roots going back to 1849, Welsh Tredegar Town Band has proudly represented its community throughout the brass banding world for 135 years. In 2010 the band claimed no less than seven major domestic and national titles, culminating with the unique double feat of winning the Grand Shield and the British Open Championship in the same year. 2013 has seen the band add to this success by reclaiming the British Open Championship title.

Conductor Ian Porthouse began playing the cornet at the age of five and has performed with numerous of the top brass bands including being the Principal Cornet with the world famous Black Dyke Band for five years. As a conductor he led the Pennine Brass from the Second Section to the Championship Section within an amazing two years and was appointed Musical Director of the Tredegar Town Band in 2008.

For further information please contact:

Alison Stockwell
Music Officer
Arts Planning Team
Leeds International Concert Season

Tel. 0113 247 8336
Fax. 0113 247 8334
Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD
Follow us @LeedsConcerts

Listings information:

Saturday 30 November, 7.30pm
Morley Town Hall
Tredegar Town Band
Tickets: £11.50 (£9.50 discounts)
Box Office: 0113 224 3801 / Book online

Saturday 14 December, 7.30pm
Yeadon Town Hall
Hepworth Band
Tickets: £11.50 (£9.50 discounts)
Box Office: 0113 224 3801 / Book online

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

Networking event considers if employers are from Mars and young people from Venus

A networking event which brought together local employers and education professionals in Leeds has discussed the difference in opinion between employer and young people expectations during the recruitment process.

The Leeds Enterprise Exchange, organised by Leeds City Council, brought together local employers lecturers and teachers at an event at Allerton High School to discuss what businesses are looking for from young people when they leave school.

The discussion looked at recent findings of a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) entitled ‘Employers are from Mars and young people are from Venus’ which discusses the mismatch between between employers’ expectations of young people during the recruitment process and young people’s understanding of what is expected of them, which in some cases is preventing young people getting access to the job market.

Key note speakers at the event included Mike Thompson, head of employability programmes for Barclays, and David Kent, cluster general manager for Premier Inn and Whitbread for Leeds and Bradford.

There were debates between the education and businesses sectors, with both sides committing to further actions to ensure the city continues to help young people into work.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for leisure and skills said:

“Events such as these are a great way of bringing together education professionals and local businesses. They can ensure there is an agreed way forward when recruiting young people so that they get the right Information, advice and guidance from schools and college but that employers take into consideration some of the barriers that these young people may face and adapt their recruitment process accordingly.

“It was great to see people from both sectors debating the key issues and committing to actions for their own organisations to ensure we continue to impact on the number of young people who are not engaged in education, employment or training. “

Notes to editors:

The Leeds Enterprise Exchange is run by the Education Business Partnership, which is part of Leeds City Council’s jobs and skills section. It offers a free networking forum which brings together local employers, high schools and others who wish to see enterprise and employability flourish in the city.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450