Thursday, 20 March 2014

Budget boost for Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone

The window of opportunity for companies to take advantage of reduced business rates by locating in the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone has been extended for a further three years, under measures announced by the Chancellor in today’s Budget.

The announcement means that any business moving to the enterprise zone before March 2018 will be able to benefit from business rate discounts worth up to £275,000 over a five year period.

The support is being offered as part of the Government’s long-term plan to rebalance the economy, and will help the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone achieve its potential as a key driver of growth for the Leeds City Region economy.

Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said:

“The Aire Valley Leeds offers an exciting opportunity to bring well-paid, skilled jobs to the area, creating career opportunities for local people.

“Today’s Budget means the Aire Valley Leeds and the city of Leeds will continue to be attractive locations for businesses to locate and invest in, offering state-of-the-art facilities and an attractive environment for advanced manufacturing companies for years to come.”

Leeds is the UK’s third largest centre for manufacturing and the wider Leeds City Region is the largest manufacturing centre outside of London, with 135,800 employed in the sector.

With an extension to the financial incentive for businesses moving to the enterprise zone, Aire Valley should continue to boost Leeds’ manufacturing strength.

Cllr Richard Lewis. Leeds City Council’s executive member for the economy and development said:

"Today's announcement that the 'window' during which businesses can qualify for reduced business rates is great news for the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone. It fits perfectly with our strategy for accelerating development of key sites to deliver industrial premises for modern manufacturing and supply chain companies.

"Building on the progress that has been made to date, it adds significantly to the offer and attractiveness of the enterprise zone as a business location. Funding packages for infrastructure work to deliver these sites have now been confirmed and the first units will be available from March 2015.

“It means that new occupiers will have added incentives to locate within the enterprise zone, which offers unparalleled advantages in terms of scale, transport infrastructure, proximity to Leeds city centre and one of the UK's biggest concentrations of manufacturing."

The Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone currently has 325,000 sq ft of employment space in the development pipeline with 160,000 sq ft of new employment floor space scheduled for completion during 2014.

Funding totalling £8.57 million has also been announced to bring forward remediation and infrastructure work on key development sites. The funding will lever in up to £30m additional private sector investment, helping to deliver more than 630 jobs and create high quality industrial premises for modern manufacturing and supply chain businesses.

Long term programme to drive growth
Enterprise zones are at the centre of the Government’s plan to grow the economy in a balanced way – across all industries, creating jobs and getting people into employment.Since they were launched in April 2012 Enterprise Zones have laid firm foundations for success, attracting international companies, building centres of excellence in key industries such as automotive, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy that will ensure that Britain continues to be competitive and successful on a global stage.

Contact for further information:
David Baggaley, Leeds City Council, Economic Development
Tel: 0113 247 7851
Email: david.baggaley@leeds.gov.uk

New business centre launched at Leeds Central Library


Caption: (L-R) - Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence, The British Library, Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, Bev Rice, head of Leeds City Council’s library & information service, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills and Frances Brindle, director of audiences, The British Library.

A new service based at a popular Leeds library offering a wide range of support and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs has been officially launched this week.

The newly refurbished Business & IP Centre at Leeds Central Library, which is based right in the heart of the city centre, will provide a free and accessible service to anyone wishing to set up, protect and grow a successful business. Visitors to the centre will be able to access business databases and market research reports, trade journals, directories and a wealth of other information about starting up and running a business. There will also be a programme of free workshops and 1:1 advice sessions delivered by staff and business experts on a range of topics including starting up, business planning and marketing, as well as how intellectual property can protect products, brands and designs.

The Business & IP Centre Leeds has been developed in partnership with the British Library, which has helped over 350,000 entrepreneurs to date since opening their own Business & IP Centre in 2006.

Leeds is the second city to open its Business & IP Centre, following a successful pilot in Newcastle. Other centres are set to open in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield over the next year.

Speakers at the launch included Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence at The British Library and Frances Brindles, director of audiences at The British Library.

For more information and details regarding Leeds City Council’s Business & IP Centre on: (0113) 247 8266.

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

"It was fantastic to be at the launch of the new Business & IP Centre based at Leeds Central Library, which will provide a dynamic hub where small business owners and entrepreneurs in our city can access a wide range of important advice and support.

"This new centre will play an important role in both supporting and creating business growth in our city, and I would urge anyone who currently owns a small company or is thinking about starting a new venture to pop down to the Central Library and see what we have to offer."

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:

"It is great news to welcome the new Business & IP Centre to Leeds, which will provide the right environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can access the support they need on issues like intellectual property to prosper and thrive. It's also good to have such a high quality example of the partnership between the city and the British Library, who play such an important economic role in Boston Spa."

Isabel Oswell, head of business and research audiences at The British Library said:

"Our vision is that, by 2020, there will be a network of Business & IP Centres throughout the UK working together to offer the UK’s entrepreneurs a trusted place to access vital business and intellectual property information and advice.

"Today, with the opening of the Business & IP Centre in Leeds, we are one step closer to achieving this goal and are thrilled that budding businesses in West Yorkshire will be able to benefit from this fantastic new service."

Dr Stephen Fear, entrepreneur in residence at The British Library said:

"As a city built on enterprise, Leeds has been the birth place of some of the most innovative business minds and it’s important that people understand the vital role libraries can play in the development of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

"The launch of the Business & IP Centre is a great opportunity for those in and around the city to take full advantage of its free resources and I’m sure it can help to inspire and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurial talent."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Business & IP centre:

The Business & IP (Intellectual Property) Centre, Leeds is part of the Business & IP Centre network, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing access to a comprehensive collection of business information, intellectual property support, workshops, 1 to 1 advice and mentoring opportunities. A collaboration between the British Library and six Core City Libraries in England (Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield), the Business & IP Centre network aims to open up business resources to communities throughout the country.

The British Library:

The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest libraries. Business & IP Centre, based at St Pancras in London, opened in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over 350,000 people through the doors and has an excellent track record in supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs from all walks of life to start and grow businesses. The Centre provides free access to an unparalleled resource of business and intellectual property information (over £5 million worth), supplemented by one-to-one advice clinics, practical workshops and networking events, featuring ‘role model’ entrepreneurs.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Historic Leeds house inspires community group to create own pottery collection


Caption: (L-R)-Helen Pratt, assistant community curator at Temple Newsam House, Carol O'Neile, member of Osmondthorpe Resource Centre pottery group with an example of her work and John Roles, head of Leeds museum and galleries.

Superb handmade pottery produced by a group of adult learners with physical disabilities has been showcased at a historic house in Leeds this week.

This follows a previous visit to Temple Newsam House made by the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre group as part of a workshop focusing on ‘The Leeds Pottery’, which is one of the largest collections of Creamware in the country. So inspired were the participants by what was on offer, they made a request to create their own pottery at the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre, guided by their YMCA tutor.

After viewing the quality of their work, assistant community curator at Temple Newsam House Helen Pratt, was so impressed that she requested the collection be put on display to the public.

Following its launch at Temple Newsam House, the display will subsequently be showcased at Leeds Discovery Centre from 1 April. Visitors will also have the opportunity to find out more about the success of this project delivered by this collaborative partnership, which included Leeds Museums and Galleries, Leeds YMCA and Osmondthorpe Resource Centre.

As part of the aim to enable more groups and organisations to engage and interact with the history and collections located at the city’s museum and gallery sites, the council has a small group of community curators who creatively interpret the collections and engage local communities through new experiences and displays.

Response to these types of projects has been extremely positive and has had a profound impact on improving confidence, skills and general health and wellbeing of the participants. One such recent project was a partnership created between Temple Newsam House and Zest (Health for Life), supporting women with mental health issues. The project, named Beau and Belles, explored issues of health and wellbeing by looking into the historic traditions of life at Temple Newsam House.

This included an initiative which explored herbs and flowers traditionally used to make sweet purses to mask body odours in the 18th century. This was followed by demonstrations of the use of aromatherapy oils and the group working in pairs giving hand and arm massages to each other. These were great activities that allowed the group to not only learn about the history linked to Temple Newsam House through experience, but also to take practical tips away relating to managing stress and a balanced lifestyle.

To find out more about how your community group can work with Leeds Museums and Galleries on a particular project, please contact: museumsandgalleries@leeds.gov.uk.

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

"The quality of pottery produced by the group based at Osmondthorpe Resource Centre was absolutely fantastic, and we are delighted to showcase this collection at Temple Newsam House, before it moves to a new home at the Leeds Discovery Centre in April.

"The enthusiasm of the group was superb, and this project highlights the creativity of people in Leeds, no matter what their personal circumstances. I hope there will be more opportunities in the future to hold exhibitions by people of all skills and abilities."

Helen Pratt, assistant community curator at Temple Newsam House said:

"We work with a range of local community groups and organisations on projects that incorporate the history and collections of Temple Newsam House, and we were delighted to welcome users from Osmondthorpe Resource Centre to our Leeds Pottery workshop.

"Our aim through projects such as this one is to inspire, and it was brilliant to hear that following their visit, the group had decided to create their own pottery. Such was the high standard of their work, it was only right I felt that the public had the opportunity to see their collection, and there was no better place to have the launch than Temple Newsam House."

Notes to editors:

Temple Newsam House:

Described as 'the North's best kept secret' by Mark Fisher in his book Britain's Best Museums and Galleries and Famous as the birth place of Lord Darnley, notorious husband of Mary Queen of Scots, Temple Newsam House is a truly impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion. Described as one of the best historic houses in Britain and beautifully restored to its former glory, it is now home to one of the most important collections of decorative arts in Britain. Find out more www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsam

Leeds YMCA:

Leeds YMCA is an independent local charity that is governed, owned and accountable to the local community. Its Board of Management is made up of users of the facilities and local individuals who have an historical connection with the YMCA. The Boards main focus is to provide programmes and services for young people and children that are accessible and provide opportunities that allow the development of body, mind and spirit. Find out more www.leedsymca.org

Osmondthorpe Resource Centre:

Osmondthorpe Resource Centre helps anyone with a physical impairment and/or a head injury. They offer a variety of activities within the centre, but can also help to build confidence and promote independence so that people can visit other places. People who attend the centres can learn new skills, join support groups, socialise, be creative or simply have fun. Each person using the service is supported through consultation to identify an individual programme that best meets their needs and has realistic outcomes. Find out more www.leeds.gov.uk/physicalimpairment

Leeds Discovery Centre:

Leeds Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art storage facility and centre for learning and exploration. Leeds Discovery Centre houses and cares for the collections of art, fashion and textiles, industrial history, social history and natural science that belong to the people of Leeds. The Discovery Centre offers community groups the chance to work with objects, research local areas and explore the collections in all sorts of projects. It is also open for research purposes by appointment and for regular drop in tours of the store facilities on Thursdays (11am and 2pm). Leeds Discovery Centre is part of Leeds Museums and Galleries, a family of nine museum sites throughout the city and managed by Leeds City Council. Find out more www.leeds.gov.uk/discoverycentre

Zest: (Health for Life)

Zest offer support and opportunities to people living in disadvantaged areas of Leeds, addressing health inequalities and social isolation through activities which improve physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. Find out more www.zesthealthforlife.org

Colin Dickinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
4th Floor West
Leeds Civic Hall
Tel: (0113) 395 1578