Thursday, 27 March 2014

Car park closing to allow construction of retail development get underway

The council-owned market car park at Union Street and George Street will close on the evening of 5 April 2014 to allow construction to get underway on the £150m Victoria Gate retail development.

Along with the John Lewis flagship store, 30 retail and restaurant units and casino, the development will feature a new high quality 800 space multi-storey car park on the Millgarth Police Station site, which will open in Autumn 2016. The council secured the Millgarth land from the West Yorkshire Police Authority to enable Hammerson, the developer of Victoria Gate to build and operate the new multi-storey car park.

Information has been displayed at the car park forewarning motorists of the closure and suggesting alternative parking. For a full list and map of city centre car parks visit

In advance of the start on site there will be closures to westbound bus stops on Eastgate from Sunday 30 March. Eastbound services towards Leeds Bus Station will also use different stops, while two new stops will be added at the top of Eastgate and on The Headrow, opposite Primark. For more detailed information visit

Cllr Richard Lewis, executive board member for economy and development, said:
“We appreciate that there will be inconvenience caused by closing this car park and have worked to forewarn motorists and neighbouring local businesses. The closure will enable the much welcomed redevelopment of this area of the city, bringing a massive retail boost to the city, creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities and new high quality parking.”


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

Civic Hall plunging into darkness for Earth Hour

The council’s city centre landmark building will be unplugged to mark Earth Hour this weekend.

The lights will be out at Civic Hall from 8.30 on Saturday 29 March in support of the world-wide environmental campaign.

Leeds City Council is joining famous landmarks, celebrities, organisations and individuals up and down the country to show that with simple steps everyone can do something to reduce their environmental impact.

Recognising the need to lead by example, the council hopes others will think about the things they can do every day to make Leeds cleaner and greener.

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

“To make change happen we need to show people that their actions do have a positive contribution to make to our environment.

“Earth Hour is a brilliant reminder and a chance for us all to think about the smalls things we do that will help us cut the city’s emissions by 40% by 2020.

“Turning the lights out at Civic Hall is just a small demonstration of the things the council does day in, day out to reduce our environmental impact. We hope that people across Leeds will join in.”

For more information and to sign up for WWF’s Earth Hour 2014 visit

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Leeds credentials as city of dance showcased in new map

Caption: (L-R-back) -Wieke Eringa, chief executive and artistic director of Yorkshire Dance, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council's executive member for leisure and skills, Dinah Clark, Leeds City Council and Mark Skipper, chief executive of Northern Ballet, joined by dancers from the Northern Ballet and students from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Six dance organisations have joined forces this week to launch an innovative map showcasing Leeds credentials as a premier city of dance.

As part of a colourful display at Leeds Civic Hall, representatives of Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and Yorkshire Dance were on hand to unveil a new ‘City of Dance’ map, which states the case for Leeds as the number one home of dance outside London.

Councillors and guests were treated to a short performance by Balbir Singh Dance Company, Northern Ballet and Northern School of Contemporary Dance at the event, which celebrated Leeds rich heritage in performing arts and showcased through the map, the reach, engagement and economic and social impact of dance in the city.

Facts and figures featuring in the map also highlight that almost 300,000 people saw a performance by the six organisations in 2012/2013, and a key aim through the launch of this new initiative is to encourage more people to take up dance and see a show.

For more information regarding the Leeds City of Dance map, please see

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

"We are extremely fortunate in Leeds to have a thriving mix of highly respected dance organisations based in the city which are greatly admired not just nationally, but right across the world.

"The development of the Leeds City of Dance map is a brilliant opportunity to bring our groups together to not only showcase further what we have to offer, but also to inspire more people to watch and take part in dance."

Group spokesperson Wieke Eringa, chief executive and artistic director of Yorkshire Dance said:

"We believe dance is something Leeds can be proud of. It has the UK’s richest dance ecology with three dedicated dance buildings, two international touring companies, Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre. One of the first national dance agencies, Yorkshire Dance is also based at the city, along with the only government-funded dance conservatoire north of London, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and many dance artists and companies including Balbir Singh Dance Company and RJC Dance."

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