Monday, 3 February 2014

Leeds market voted as one of Britain’s best

Kirkgate Market has been voted runner up in the 2014 Britain’s Favourite Market competition.

The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) run the public voting competition each year – with this year receiving some of the largest number of votes.

Beating off competition from more than 70 competitors, the Leeds market was named as one of the best in the country.

Missing out by just a few votes to winners Ashton-under-Lyne market hall, the market was ranked joint second place with Darlington market.

Kirkgate Market is the largest indoor market in Europe and is home to some of the most characterful traders in the city, with businesses spanning generations and representing a wide range of nationalities.

Councillor Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion said:

“Kirkgate Market is a fantastic market and one that many people in Leeds treasure.

“The market is full of characters that give the market its charm and atmosphere, and I am sure they are all delighted with this well-deserved result.

“Next year we hope to better this result and go for Britains best market - but in the mean time I would encourage people in Leeds and new visitors to Leeds to continue to visit this iconic retail location.”

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

Leeds named on team base shortlist for Rugby World Cup 2015

Leeds has been shortlisted as one of the cities bidding to host the 20 teams coming to Rugby World Cup 2015.

Following the strong response to the Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base tender process, with over 80 applications received from over 30 English counties and within Wales, England Rugby 2015 has moved into the next phase of the Team Base selection programme by confirming an 'approved list' of bases.

Leeds has been included on the shortlist with partners from across the city, including Leeds City Council, the city’s three universities, West Park Leeds RUFC and a number of hotels pulling together to submit four bids.

Each of the four bids offers indoor and outdoor training facilities at one or more of the sites and access to a gym and pool along with the offer of a hotel, providing various options for top class training facilities in various parts of the city.

England Rugby 2015 requires up to 50 bases for use during the tournament. These will be confirmed mid-2014 following completion of team visits which are now underway, providing them with the chance to get to know the facilities and the city before they make their final decision.

The dates and teams playing at Elland Road have already been announced, with Italy playing against Canada on Saturday 26 September at 2:30pm and Scotland playing the Americas 2 (Uruguay are to play the USA in March 2014 to decide who qualifies) on Sunday 27 September at 2:30pm.

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

“Having already secured our role as a host city for Rugby World Cup 2015, it is great to see facilities in Leeds selected as a potential training sites for the teams in this prestigious tournament.

“Leeds has a lot to offer, and we have great transport links allowing any potential team the opportunity to reach their games easily alongside some quality first class training facilities.

“We have already had a number of international teams staying in the city over the past few years such as the Chinese Olympic team in 2012 and the New Zealand Rugby league squad in the last few months, and will be welcoming the world of cycling to the city later this year.”

All fans wanting to keep up to date with the latest information around the tournament should sign up to The Front Row, the Rugby World Cup 2015 newsletter, at

Notes to editors:

Rugby World Cup is the third largest global sporting event and will see the top 20 international teams coming to the UK to compete in the world class tournament, and with an expected 500,000 people travelling to watch the games from overseas it will bring huge benefits to all the host cities.


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

Laura Brown, England Rugby 2015 Communications Manager, 07545602718

Neighbourhood approach to target housing standards in Armley

A Leeds initiative to improve housing standards and target empty properties across the city has moved into Armley this week.

The Leeds Neighbourhood Approach, led by Leeds City Council has already proved successful in the Nowells area in east Leeds and will now be targeting 130 properties in the Edinburghs estates in Armley.

The council, working alongside partners such as the police and fire service have identified 14 empty properties in the immediate area with a further 51 empties in the adjoining area which will also be subject to action.. Out of the 131 properties identified for the project, 41% of the stock is privately rented with a number of properties in multiple occupation.

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

“The Leeds Neighbourhood approach was a real success in the Nowells area, and we are keen to build on this success in Armley.

“By working with small neighbourhoods we are able to work closely with landlords and tenants to ensure we improve housing standards in the area and also offer help and assistance moving forward for the area.

“We want to work with and help landlords and property owners to improve the conditions of their properties, but after the six week period we initially give them to engage with us we will pursue enforcement action where necessary to ensure work across these small neighbourhoods remains consistent and allows for improvements across the area.”

To date 14 out of the 44 empty properties identified from the Nowells project have been brought back into use, with plans now in place for the majority of the other properties to brought back into use in the near future. Residents in the area were, where appropriate, also referred to the Leeds Credit Union for financial advice and put in touch with agencies offering advice and skills and training in the area.
A number of re-inspections of the properties are now taking place to ensure any identified hazards or problems have been dealt with.

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

Council welcomes funding award to Screen Yorkshire

News that Screen Yorkshire has secured an additional £7.5m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support its investment in film, television and digital content across the region has been welcomed by partner organisation Leeds City Council.

Secured through the Yorkshire Content Fund, which is the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK, and is open to content producers working in film, TV, games and digital based in the county, the funding is available with immediate effect and will be invested in projects that start by the end of 2015.

As part of its work with Screen Yorkshire, the council is currently undertaking a joint survey on how best to continue the development of film, TV and digital industry in the region, with a report set to be provided on the findings by the end of March this year.

This follows the council signing the Screen Friendly City Charter, which along with supporting Screen Yorkshire, also assists the national agency Creative England in identifying possible locations and studios for companies and individuals to produce film and TV in the city and wider region, and also supporting the identification of new talent..

Critically acclaimed TV dramas to benefit from Yorkshire Content Fund since its inception nearly two years ago include Peaky Blinders, The Great Train Robbery and Death comes to Pemberley.

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

"The further funding Screen Yorkshire has attracted from the ERDF will, through the Yorkshire Content Fund, continue to see them support local talent and play a key role in the filming of fantastic TV, film and drama.

"We are delighted to continue our work with Screen Yorkshire in the wide range of work they are undertaking to attract more film making, television and digital content to be based and produced in our city and region. Leeds has a proud history in screen arts and the industry is of huge social and economic benefit to the local area. Let’s hope we can look forward to even more success in the near future!"

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive, Screen Yorkshire said:

"Leeds has a long track record as a major production hub and the creative industries remain an important driver for the city’s economy.

"Screen Yorkshire’s fund will provide a further welcome boost to the industry, but more important is the partnership that has been brought together under the City Council’s leadership to look at the long term future of the industry, helping to ensure it develops on a dynamic, but sustainable, footing."

Notes to editors:

The additional £7.5 million from the ERDF will be matched by private sector investors on a project-by-project basis.

The Yorkshire Content Fund supports the growth of the screen industries in the region. It is managed by Screen Yorkshire and invests in content creation by Yorkshire-based companies as well as being used to attract productions looking to establish a base and film within the region. No public funding is used for the fund’s overheads and investments are made on market rate commercial terms. Investment returns will produce a legacy fund to support content production in Yorkshire for many years to come.

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