Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Le Tour workshops mean business in Leeds

A series of workshops are to be held in Leeds over the coming weeks offering business owners the chance to find out more about opportunities around the Tour de France Grand Départ.

Leeds City Council will be hosting the sessions, which are free and open to all businesses to attend, at the White Cloth Gallery and Leeds Media Centre during February and March.

The sessions, which will feature speakers from Leeds City Council and Welcome to Yorkshire, will explore how businesses of all sizes can capitalise fully on the world’s largest annual sporting event starting in Leeds on Saturday 5 July.

The first workshop will be held at the Leeds Media Centre on Savile Mount in Chapeltown on Friday 28 February from 12-2pm. This will be followed by sessions at the White Cloth Gallery on Aire Street on Wednesday 12 March (8-10am), Wednesday 19 March (12-2pm) and Wednesday 26 March (3-5pm).

Any business owners wishing to attend a session can register at, with places to be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Those attending will hear details of the expected influx of visitors from the UK and around the world to watch the start of this year’s Tour. Millions are expected to spectate along the routes of the first three stages of the race to be held in the UK, with a global audience of billions watching on television.

The business-focused workshops follow on from guidance letters sent by the council to all businesses and residents directly on the route last week. The latest general Tour de France information for Leeds can be seen at, with all businesses and residents encouraged to sign up to to receive the latest email alerts.

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

“These business workshops are vitally important not only to help spread the word about the arrangements for the Tour but to help businesses maximise what will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Leeds and Yorkshire will be the focal point of the world’s attention that day so we want businesses to get the absolute most they can out of it for themselves and their employees. We look forward to seeing all of these workshops hopefully full with business owners eager to find out more.”

To secure a place at the workshops, go to

Notes to editors:

In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for three stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London.

For the latest news on the Grand Depart visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,

Road maintenance for Otley

A programme of maintenance is set to take place in the market town of Otley over a three week period.

Otley will be the focus of road resurfacing at five sites in preparation for the Tour de France Grand Depart in July.

Everything possible is being done to minimise disruption and diversions will be in place.

Most of the work will be carried out Monday to Thursday avoiding the main market days on Fridays and Saturdays.

Work has also been planned to take place between 9am and 3pm to avoiding peak times.

Sites and times of resurfacing work will be as follows:

• A659 Bradford Road from Piper Lane to A660 Roundabout Monday 24 February – Monday 3 March 9am – 3pm no work will be carried out on Fridays

• A659 Piper Lane from Ilkley Road to Bradford Road Monday 24 February – Tuesday 4 March 9am – 3pm no work will be carried out on Fridays

• A659 Westgate from Kirkgate to Ilkley Road Wednesday 26 February – Wednesday 5 March 9am – 3pm no work will be carried out on Fridays

• A659 Cross Green from East Busk Lane to Boroughgate Monday 3 March – Thursday 6 March 9am – 3pm

• Billams Hill from Weston Lane to the bridge Monday 10 March – Friday 14 March 9am – 3pm

Leeds City Council executive board member for the economy and development councillor Richard Lewis said:

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause. We have done our upmost to make sure this essential work is carried out at times that would cause the least disruption.

“This is a significant scheme of work undertaken in a short time frame to accommodate the Tour de France, which will be passing through Otley in July. It is set to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Leeds and we’re asking residents to bear with us as we carry out these works to ensure the tour runs as smoothly as possible.”


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

Joint statement from Leeds City Council and Radio Aire regarding Party in the Park

Leeds City Council and 96.3 Radio Aire have today confirmed they will not be co-organising the annual Party in the Park event at Temple Newsam Park in Leeds this year.

The budgetary pressures on both the council and the radio station to host and produce the event are significant, organisers have reluctantly concluded that the event is no longer feasible in its current format without introducing significantly increased ticket prices. As Leeds City Council and Radio Aire remain committed to keeping ticket prices as affordable as possible for Leeds residents, the event will take a break in 2014. Leeds City Council and Radio Aire hope to continue their long-standing relationship through other event opportunities in the future.

The council is also considering the implications and potential options around the annual Opera in the Park and Classical Fantasia events. A further announcement regarding both concerts will be made once all options have been investigated by the council.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said:

“It is with great regret that we are no longer able to work with Radio Aire to deliver Party in the Park in 2014 and we thank Radio Aire for all their hard work and support in helping us organise this event in previous years.

“We will be continuing to look at every option available to us both in the short-term and long-term around Opera in the Park and Classical Fantasia, and also as part of this work, be considering other events that could in the future be potentially held in our city.”

A spokesperson from Radio Aire commented:

“All the station team at Radio Aire are hugely disappointed that Party in Park will not go ahead for 2014. It’s not a decision we have taken lightly, and after thorough discussion and debate with Leeds City Council, regretfully we have all concluded that this is the best option for this year. We realise that this will be unfortunate news for the thousands of Leeds residents that have enjoyed the event over the years, however we will be working hard to look at alternative options to bring engaging live events and music artists to the city moving forward.”

Work starts on new playground in east Leeds

Caption: Cllr Andrea McKenna and Cllr Mark Dobson start work on the new playground at Barley Hill Recreation Ground.

Work on a new children’s playground at a popular recreation ground in East Leeds has commenced this month.

As part of the £90,000 scheme set to be completed next month, old play equipment currently at Barley Hill Recreation Ground in Garforth will be replaced by a modern area for children to enjoy, and feature new swings, a bigger multi-unit climbing frame and roundabout.

New street furniture, litter bins and seats will also be installed at the recreation ground, which also has two well used bowling greens, tennis courts and two sports pitches that are used extensively by clubs’ in the local community.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment said:

"It is fantastic news that work has now started to replace the old playground at Barley Hill Recreation Ground with a range of fantastic new equipment.

"This really does promise to be a superb place for youngsters to enjoy, and we can’t wait to see the final results when the project is completed and available for use."

Councillor Andrea McKenna, chair of the outer east area committee said:

"We are always on the lookout at our Area Committee to support initiatives that will provide great facilities for young people to enjoy, and this new playground at Barley Hill Recreation Ground certainly ticks all of the boxes."

Notes to editors:

Funding for the scheme was provided from: £53k (Section 106), £18k (local ward councillors), Area Committee (£13k) and £7k (Aire Valley Homes)

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