Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Le Tour business workshops continue in Leeds

The second set of workshops offering business owners in Leeds the chance to find out more about opportunities around the Tour de France Grand Départ take place this month.

Following on from the first two events which were well attended, the next sessions will be held at the White Cloth Gallery on Aire Street on Wednesday 19 March (12-2pm) and Wednesday 26 March (3-5pm).

Free and open to all businesses to attend, the sessions are hosted by Leeds City Council together with Welcome to Yorkshire to explore how businesses can capitalise fully on the world’s largest annual sporting event starting in Leeds on Saturday 5 July.

Any business owners wishing to attend 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 month. 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 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,

Construction start date welcomed for Leeds’ prestigious retail development

Leeds’ prestigious new £150m Victoria Gate retail development is set to house one of the largest John Lewis stores outside of London.

Leeds City Council has welcomed news that construction of the retail development will begin on April 7, which will see the first John Lewis department store to Leeds with a floor space of 24,000m².

The eagerly awaited shopping quarter, due to open in 2016, will be a 21st century-inspired retail arcade, which plays on the city’s arcade history, featuring up to 30 stores, restaurants, cafes, casino plus a 800 space multi-story car park.
The architecturally striking façade will draw on Leeds’ textile heritage with elegantly designed two street arcades linking Victoria Quarter to the new development.

Alongside regenerating the space, the first phase will also deliver up to 1,500 retail and hospitality jobs and 1,000 construction employment opportunities.

The council is working with Hammerson and construction contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to ensure employment, skills and training opportunities are available to the local workforce in Leeds. Careers fair will be organised in April for individuals wanting to find out more about jobs and training opportunities.

Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development councillor Richard Lewis said:
“Victoria Gate is shaping up to be a yet another impressive shopping quarter in our city, which already offers an outstanding retail experience, and I am delighted to hear that work will be getting underway on site in the near future.
“The quality of this project will be a fine addition to the city centre and I believe it will attract even more big name retailers to the city. It will cement Leeds’ position as a force to be reckoned with in terms of retail and will create thousands of much-welcomed jobs and training opportunities.”

Leeds is currently in 6th place in the national retail rankings. It’s anticipated that the opening of Victoria Gate development will cement its position as a top 5 retail destination in England.

David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson, said:
“A huge amount of hard work and commitment from the team, the council and John Lewis has enabled us to reach this point. As we begin the delivery phase our focus is now to ensure we attract the best retailers and to ensure that on opening in 2016, Victoria Gate becomes a thriving destination within Leeds.”

Jeremy Collins, property director at John Lewis, said:
"This is very exciting news. We have long-held an ambition to open a full-line John Lewis department store in Leeds. Hammerson has put together a very compelling retail destination combining the new Victoria Gate with the existing Victoria Quarter Arcades. The support of the City Council has also been tremendous . We look forward to trading alongside other established retailers in the city enhancing Leeds as a premium retail destination"

To find out more about Victoria Gate visit

For media enquiries, please contact
Laura Ferris/Dan Johnson
Tel: 0113 24 75472

Museum objects on display at St James’ Hospital

Caption: Visitors take a look at one of the exhibitions on display at St James' Hospital. Image credits: © Leeds Museums and Galleries.

A host of fine and rare objects from the Leeds Museums and Galleries extensive collection are being displayed in a new exhibition at St James’ Hospital.

Since 2011, Leeds Museums and Galleries have been working in partnership with St. James’ Hospital curating exhibitions for their Atrium, a grand hall in St. James’ Bexley Wing welcoming patients, relatives and members of staff to Leeds Cancer Centre.

Each spring sees a new display in the hospital’s Atrium, with a variety of objects on show, from anthropology collections to fine and decorative works of art, and from social history objects to natural science specimens. This partnership enables Leeds Museums and Galleries to reach new audiences and allows the museum artefacts to be seen outside of their traditional contexts. It is hoped that by displaying museum objects in the hospital it will help create an environment that improves the wellbeing and health of St James’ Bexley Wing’s users, their families and staff.

This year’s display brings together a mix of objects from all over the world, including games from Africa, Greek wine jugs, and Giant Snails from South Africa. Called ‘Small Pleasures’ this display was put together by the Heritage Lottery Funded Curatorial Trainee Heather Mikhail and explores the small pleasures of life, whether you like video games, bird watching or just a nice cup of tea. This successful partnership has positively contributed to the development of Leeds Museums and Galleries’ community engagement programme and commitment to displaying the city’s collection in public spaces.

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

"It has been really fantastic for Leeds Museums and Galleries to work with St James’ Hospital curating exhibitions for their atrium, and this year’s display is currently showcasing a range of fine and rare objects from around the world.

"The feedback we have received from visitors, patients and staff to the exhibitions has been extremely positive, and we hope this year’s display proves to be just as enjoyable."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Museums and Galleries is Leeds City Council’s family of nine museum sites across the city and is responsible for looking after the collections of fine and decorative art, fashion and textiles, industrial and social history, natural science and much more. Housing and caring for Leeds' fantastic collections, the Leeds Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art storage facility and centre for learning and exploration. All are welcome to visit the Discovery Centre for research or to see its unique resources. Leeds Discovery Centre is located 1.5 miles south from the city centre, near to the Royal Armouries Museum. Come along every Thursday for drop in tours showing the fantastic objects we hold (11am and 2pm) or book an appointment for a group tour (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm). Leeds Discovery Centre, Carlisle Road, Leeds, LS10 1LB.

The internationally recognised Leeds Cancer Centre is one of the largest providers of cancer care in the UK. Delivering a comprehensive range of modern treatments, they are a world renowned specialist cancer centre for Leeds, Yorkshire and the North of England. Their services are supported by the highly regarded treatment, research and academic activities of St James's Institute of Oncology.

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