Monday, 14 April 2014

Big screen honour for child friendly Leeds film

Children and young people from Leeds have created an inspirational film that will be shown across the city this month, which aims to get people thinking about what it is like to grow up in Leeds today and increase support for the work to become a child friendly city.

The film, a stop-motion animated film, created by children and young people from across the city with help from Studio 12, as part of Leeds City Council’s Child Friendly Leeds campaign, is being shown at high profile locations this month.

People visiting the city centre can see clips from the film, called “Child Friendly Leeds – play your part” on the ‘big screen’ in Millennium Square, as well as on screens around the first direct arena and at Trinity Leeds shopping centre. People attending the Leeds Young People’s Film Festival and last week’s Golden Owl awards were also able to view the youngsters’ work.

The film, which was sponsored by British Gas as part of their Child Friendly Leeds pledge and sponsorship of the child friendly Leeds awards, was created through workshops in which the young people worked with local young poet, Ma Maposa.

A variety of schools and community groups were involved in the workshops, writing the poem and creating the artwork, including pupils from Blenheim Primary school and Chapel Allerton Improvised Family Theatre.

The film is accompanied by a poem written by the young people with the help from Ma Maposa, which includes the young people’s hopes, dreams and ambitions, as well as their thoughts on school, transport, health and sport. The poem also considers equality and children in need, as well as a call out to businesses and other organisations to consider how they can support more children achieve their ambitions. One line from the poem which sums up the council’s Child Friendly Leeds ethos is “This is my home. My future depends on it”.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is a powerful film which showcases the young people’s creativity and ideas about how to make Leeds a better place.

“We want children and young people’s voices to be at the heart of our city, and our ambition to be a child friendly city and I hope this film inspires people to consider how they can support children and young people to have a voice and help us make Leeds the best city to grow up in.”

Sarah Fanthorpe, Head of Customer Services for British Gas in Leeds, said:
“As many of our 2,300 people employed have young families, that’s why we were pleased to support Child Friendly Leeds and this film. I hope the stories of these young people will help with the campaign to make Leeds a safer place to grow up in.”

Some of the children and young people who took part said what they enjoyed most about making the film:
“When everyone got to have a go and it was really cool because I’ve never made a film in my life! I like the animations.”
“Everybody got a part to say.”
“When we did the pictures and they came to life.”

The “Child Friendly Leeds – play your part” film can be seen here.

To find out more about child friendly Leeds people can visit:

Studio12 is an audio visual media project providing free access to a production studio, training, accredited qualifications and an Industry Panel of creative professionals working in design, music, video and media arts. Training takes place at the production space at Leeds Central Library.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Public exhibition for Kirkgate Market refurbishment proposals

Caption: How the new indoor daily market at Kirkgate Market could look.

Plans for the refurbishment of Leeds’ leading market go on display for the public next week.

On Tuesday 22 April the public are being invited to comment on the proposed changes to Kirkgate Market.

Images showing how the market could look, new layout and the work needed to secure the future of the market will be on display at a special exhibition outside the customer services lounge at Trinity Leeds between 10am and 4pm.

Members of the design team and council’s project team will be at the exhibition to take people - some of whom might not usually shop at the market - through the changes, help them answer a short questionnaire and highlight what the market has to offer.

Earlier this month, the council’s executive board gave the green light for the multi-million pound refurbishment project which will secure the markets future. The approval paves the way for a planning application to be submitted along with listed building consent.

Last week, members of the city plans panel were also asked to comment on details of the £12.3 million refurbishment in a pre-application presentation. Further consultation with traders and the public will take place through the planning process.

The planned investment will ensure that the iconic and much loved market will remain a key feature in Leeds’ retail offering for decades.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and economy, said:
“When we’ve consulted on the proposals for the market previously we’ve had a fantastic response. This is another opportunity for people to have their say on the current proposals and I’d encourage people to call in to the exhibit on 22 April or have their say online.”

As well as the public exhibition at Trinity, people can comment on the design proposals online from 22 April on Talking Point. The plans will also be available at

Posters about the exhibition are being displayed in all council libraries to make sure people attend the exhibition or view plans online and fill in the questionnaire.

The plans and images will be put on display in the market after the consultation event.

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


British Art Show 8 set to open at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015

Caption: The British Art Show 8 will be arriving at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015.

The internationally renowned exhibition, British Art Show 8, will open at Leeds Art Gallery in October 2015.

Organised every five years by the Hayward Gallery as part of the Hayward Touring programme, the British Art Show showcases the very best work of both emerging and established artists. It is the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK calendar, attracting over 420,000 visitors in its tour to four cities in 2010 and 2011. After Leeds the show will go on tour to a further three cities Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton.

The show will be curated by two curators appointed by a panel of senior curators from the host venues and Hayward Touring. This year sees Anna Colin and Lydia Yee chosen as the curators for the British Art Show 8. Both Anna and Lydia bring great experience to the role, having each worked on major exhibitions in the UK, Europe and the USA.

It is over a generation since Leeds last hosted the British Art Show, which in 1990 showcased artists such as Rachel Whiteread and Cornelia Parker. British Art Show 8 will open in Leeds, building on the city’s already vibrant art scene with an accompanying programme of events and activities. This will be a great opportunity to see in a single location, the very best of art produced in the UK at the home of one of the region’s most popular and respected art galleries, Leeds Art Gallery. Following the British Art Show in 2016/2017, there will be a major collection re-display that will showcase one of the strongest collections of 20th century British art in the UK.

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

"It is a really fantastic honour for us as a city to be opening the British Art Show 8 at Leeds Art Gallery in 2015 and we are looking forward to Anna and Lydia curating the exhibition.

"The British Art Show exhibition has earned a reputation for showcasing the very best of contemporary art work by both emerging and established artists, and we are extremely excited that Leeds Art Gallery will be hosting and playing its part in this unforgettable event."

Anna Colin and Lydia Yee, curators of British Art Show 8 said:

"We are delighted to have been selected to curate British Art Show 8 and look forward to building upon the show's vital forty year history and expanding its possibilities.

“We plan to develop the exhibition in close dialogue with emerging and established artists who reflect the complexity of artistic practice today and to foster a lively exchange between the artists, venues and audiences."

Roger Malbert, Senior Curator, Hayward Touring, said:

"For almost four decades the British Art Show has been acknowledged as one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art in this country. Each edition has captured a unique moment in British art, and this one will be no different.

"We are delighted that Lydia Yee and Anna Colin have accepted our invitation to curate British Art Show 8. They bring to the role a wealth of experience and understanding of British and international contemporary art. Both have solid reputations as curators and thinkers and we are privileged to be able to share their breadth of knowledge and creative vision with our partner galleries across the UK."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow
West Yorkshire
0113 247 8256

Described as ‘Probably the best collection of twentieth century British art outside London’ (John Russell Taylor, The Times) Leeds Art Gallery is a lively gallery in the heart of Leeds on The Headrow in Leeds' Cultural Quarter. Offering displays of Leeds' stunning collections as well as a dynamic programme of changing exhibitions, the Gallery is an innovative and exciting place to visit. At Leeds Art Gallery you can see a rich variety of art on display from Leeds’ impressive collections, to nationally acclaimed prints, watercolours, paintings, sculptures, photography, and contemporary art.

Free admission
Opening Times
Monday & Tuesday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 12pm – 5pm
Thursday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1pm – 5pm
Closed on Bank Holidays

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

British Art Show is a Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England. Hayward Touring produces exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly-funded venues throughout Britain. Hayward Touring collaborate with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions to develop and tour imaginative exhibitions that are seen by approximately half a million people in over 100 cities and towns each year.

Lydia Yee is Curator at Barbican Art Gallery. Her recent exhibitions include Bauhaus: Art as Life (2013, co-curated with Catherine Ince), Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene (2011) and Ron Arad: Restless (2010). She has overseen commissions by Cory Arcangel, John Bock, Ayşe Erkmen, Geoffrey Farmer, and Robert Kuśmirowski, among many others for the Barbican’s Curve gallery. Prior to joining Barbican Art Gallery, Yee was Senior Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, where she was responsible for the exhibition programme and collection. She was the recipient of the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2006 for Street Art, Street Life. In 2003, she was the Cassullo Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She has also contributed essays to exhibition catalogues and publications on artists including Susan Hiller, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Martin Wong.

Anna Colin is a curator and writer based in London. She is a co-founder and co-director of Open School East, a non-fee paying study programme and communal space which launched in 2013 in East London. She is also associate curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Colin has curated exhibitions and projects in spaces including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool; Le Quartier, contemporary art centre of Quimper; La Synagogue de Delme, Delme; la Maison populaire, Montreuil; Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin; CIC Cairo; and The Women’s Library, London. She was co-director of Bétonsalon, Paris in 2011-12, and curator at Gasworks, London, in 2007-10, where she curated group and solo exhibitions with artists including Matthew Darbyshire, Olivia Plender, The Otolith Group, Gail Pickering and Martin Beck.

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

For specific enquiries about Leeds Art Gallery and British Art Show contact:
Sarah Brown, Leeds Art Gallery office (0113) 24 78277

For enquiries about Hayward Touring contact:
Nicola Jeffs on or 0207 929 0676
Filipa Mendes on or 020 7921 0672
Southbank Centre Press Office 020 7921 088

Bankruptcy order withdrawn as arena legal costs settlement agreed

A judge has formally dismissed a bankruptcy order against property developer Jan Fletcher on request from Leeds City Council after a £2m out of court settlement of the council’s costs was reached.

An agreement that Ms Fletcher pay the council £2m has been signed outside the court and the council therefore formally requested that a district judge dismiss the bankruptcy petition it had filed in order to retrieve its costs.

Deputy District Judge Bruce Buchan agreed the council’s request and dismissed the petition at Harrogate County Court today.

The £2m costs had been awarded by High Court judge Mr Justice Supperstone nearly a year ago. This followed the failed attempt by Montpellier Estates Limited (MEL) to sue the council over the awarding of the contract to build Leeds Arena.

When MEL failed to pay the judge then granted permission to the council to pursue the company’s former chair Ms Fletcher personally for the costs. She gave a written undertaking to the council in July 2012, before the original case began, guaranteeing payment in the event of MEL both losing the case and not being able to pay up.

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan said:
"I’m very pleased that we have been able to recover a significant sum of the money we should never have had to spend in this case. I’m satisfied, based on legal advice, that this is a good deal for council taxpayers.

“This has been a long drawn-out and costly legal process and we are finally drawing a line under it by recovering as much as possible of public money at a time when our budget pressures are particularly severe.”

After the original High Court hearing Mr Justice Supperstone had ruled that the council had been perfectly entitled to cancel the competition to develop the arena and build it itself when other bids were found to be not good value for money. He also said that the deceit element of MEL’s claim should never have been brought.

Notes to editors:
Legal proceedings background:
Mr Justice Supperstone originally handed down a ruling on February 6 2013 dismissing entirely claims for more than £43.5 million in damages for alleged deceit and flawed procurement under European regulations brought by Montpellier Estates Ltd (MEL) against the council over the awarding of the development rights to build an arena in Leeds.
He also rejected allegations of fraud and dishonesty against eight named individuals connected to LCC and the arena project.
The judge said that the council was perfectly entitled to bring the competitive tendering exercise to a close when other bids were found not to be good value for money and then develop the arena itself. The original hearing took place in London’s High Court over nine weeks towards the end of 2012.
On April 25 2013 Mr Justice Supperstone, sitting in the High Court in Leeds, awarded Leeds City Council interim costs of £2m against MEL.
When MEL failed to pay the costs the judge then granted permission on October 17 2013 to the council to pursue its former chair Jan Fletcher for its legal costs, since she had given a written undertaking in advance of the original MEL case to pay should they lose and be unable to meet the costs themselves. He also issued an order that Ms Fletcher pay the interim costs of £2 million before November 14 2013, pending a final decision on the total amount due.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Communications Manager, Press & Media Relations
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335