Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Kirkstall Forge on track for major regeneration and new rail station construction

A major regeneration scheme and construction of a railway station at Kirkstall is set to forge ahead.

A new riverside community of affordable housing, office space and shopping and leisure facilities is planned for the former Kirkstall Forge site.

The proposals for the new station form part of a wider scheme to transform the historic site into a thriving family-friendly community with more than 1,000 new homes. It's estimated that the development will create around 2,400 new jobs. It will also bring about £400m of private sector investment and an estimated £5m per year in local retail spend.

Terms have been agreed between Leeds City Council, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the site owners, GMV Twelve Limited, to deliver the scheme with the final agreement due to be completed shortly.

GMV Twelve is investing £5million in the design and construction of the station, which is facilitated through a loan from the LEP. In addition, the council will spend approximately £10m to construct a new access road from the A65 to the station (including a road and pedestrian bridge over the River Aire) together with a temporary car park for 190 vehicles and a new road junction with traffic lights on the A65.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s submission for funding for the delivery of the two rail stations, at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge, was made to the Department of Transport at the start of April. The total scheme cost is £15.97m with over £9 million to be funded by the DfT and the remaining funding coming from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Commercial Estate Group (CEG), the agents for GMV Twelve.

CEG has already invested extensively in demolition and remediation works on the 56-acre former industrial site, and is set to provide a S106 package in excess of £10m for affordable housing, education, transport improvements and local community facilities.

The station and associated infrastructure is scheduled to be ready for use by August 2015. Leeds City Council has agreed to carry out the work necessary to construct the access road as well as a temporary car park. The council’s costs, together with the LEP’s loan, will be repaid by GMV Twelve over a ten year period.

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

“Kirkstall Forge is a unique and very special development that offers a rare opportunity to create a thriving new mixed-use community on a brown field site in a lovely historical setting not far from the city centre.”

“We've worked very hard to reach an agreement with a number of partners to ensure this major redevelopment gets underway, which we all agree will bring fantastic benefits for the city.”

Charles Johnson at CEG, said:
“We are very excited about the prospect of starting the Kirkstall Forge project. The loan provisions we have agreed with the LEP and Leeds City Council will ensure the delivery of the rail station and the wider scheme, which will ultimately deliver a sustainable mixture of new homes, jobs, leisure and community facilities on this major brownfield site.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the LEP, said:
“The LEP recognises the strategic importance of the Kirkstall Forge site to Leeds and the wider City Region boosting both transport links and creating jobs. We are delighted that our support will help to secure the future of the rail halt. This will be on terms which will ensure that there is no additional cost to the tax payer.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2475472
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds Young Film Festival celebrates young filmmaking talent

Picture caption: "The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Tom Murray arrives at the Golden Owl Awards."

Picture caption: "Storm troopers and Boba Fett greet guests at the Golden Owl Awards"

Picture caption: "A Golden Owl Award"

Picture caption:"CBBC's Katie Thistleton and Ben Shires who led the BAFTA Children's Behind the scenes event"

The 15th Leeds Young Film Festival (LYFF) enjoyed its grand finale on Friday with a closing gala screening of the classic French animation The King and The Mockingbird. The festival was a celebration the best cinema from around the world for children and young people, and welcomed families to enjoy an impressive programme of special guest appearances, workshops, activities and events at venues across the city, including Hyde Park Picture House, Everyman Leeds, Leeds Town Hall and Vue in The Light.

Stars of CBBC - Katie Thistleton and Leeds’s own Ben Shires – led the unique and interactive BAFTA Children’s: Behind the Scenes. The event was a showcase of the films, television, games and websites nominated at last year’s BAFTA Children’s Awards and saw the pair present a mixture of live demonstrations and interviews at the Hyde Park Picture House. The charming Edwardian venue celebrates its 100th Birthday this year, but was full of the spirit of youth as the pair took to the stage.

Other fantastic guests to the festival included the lead actors from “Lad: A Yorkshire Story” Bretten Lord and Alan Gibson; soap stars Dominic Brunt (Emmerdale) and Dean Smith (Waterloo Road) who hosted the Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owl Awards; Moshi Monsters’ Executive Producer Jocelyn Stevenson; Lucinda Whiteley, writer and producer of the show Horrid Henry; and Scrap Island Adventure creator Daniel Ingram-Brown.

The LYFF featured a selection of events in anticipation of Tour de France. Electronic duo Animat performed a specially written live score to the animation Belleville Rendez-vous at Hyde Park Picture House and young people used a variety of bike parts to create some highly innovative sounds in the On The Bike Track Music Workshop. There were fantastic bike themed films including UPSIDEdown and Come On, Eddy!

The festival also saw a number of awards presented including the Leeds Young Filmmaking Golden Owl Awards, the ‘festival winners’ for the films that were enjoyed the most by our two young juries, by our audiences, and the INDIs (Independent Directions) Awards.

The award winners for new films screened at LYFF include those chosen by two juries made up of young people from across the city - the younger jury aged 8-14 years and the older jury aged 15 to 19 years:

Younger Jury Award: Vampire Sisters

Older Jury Award: Lad: A Yorkshire Story

Audience Award: Lad: A Yorkshire Story

The Older Jury said of Lad: A Yorkshire Story: ‘Beautifully shot amongst the stunning landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, Lad is a heart-warming story which effortlessly engages its audience through its realism and simplicity.’ The runner up for both the Older Jury Award and the Audience Award was Ghost Graduation, from LYFF’s Best of Leeds International Film Festival selection.

The winners at the third annual Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owls Awards were:

• Westroyd Infant & Nursery School, in the Key Stage 1 category for ‘The Fish Detective’

• Tranmere Park Primary School, in the Key Stage 2 – Animation category for ‘The Cookie Dragon’

• Calverley Parkside Primary School, in the Key Stage 2 – Live Action / Documentary category for ‘Fistful of Stickers’

• Seth Powell, in the Individuals (Under 11) category for ‘Max at the Museum’

• Swallow Hill Community College, in the Key Stage 3 category for ‘Mission Transition’

• Sam Hardy, in the Individuals (12-15) category for ‘News at 10.23pm’

• Interplay, in the Community Groups category for ‘The Clockwork Apprentice’

• David Young Community Academy, in the Key Stage 4 & 5 category for ‘Grannies vs. Demons’

• Oliver Broadbent, in the Individuals (16-19) for ‘The Man with Four Hearts – the Story of Eric Hunter’

• John Jamieson East SILC won the MediaFish / Leeds DEC Award for ‘Our Life, Their Lives’

Winners of the INDIs (Independent Directions) at the 15th Leeds Young Film Festival were:

Under 11
Max at the Museum by Seth Powell

Gone Fishin’ by Joe Blandamer

Fall by Alison Kennedy

All Day and a Night by Matt Browne

IAC Overall Prize
Gone Fishin’ by Joe Blandamer

Each age category winner received £100 from Leeds Young Film Festival towards their next project with Gone Fishin’ also picking up the £250 prize from the IAC for best overall independent short.

Film Festival Director Debbie Maturi said:
“Leeds Young Film Festival keeps on getting bigger and better every year! We’re doing our best to help make Leeds the UK’s leading child friendly city and this year we’ve welcomed families and young people to a greater selection of films, events and activities than ever before. We’re proud to be part of the wonderful year-round activity that makes Leeds somewhere that young people can feel always welcome, and participate in events that help them grow their skills and knowledge. It was tremendous to work with all our partners including Hyde Park Picture House, Everyman Leeds, Breeze and BAFTA to celebrate the talent that goes into creating films, television and games – and, of course, we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the help of MediaFish, our young consultants, who work hard all year to plan the festival!”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council's executive board member responsible for children’s services said:
“This year’s festival was another resounding success with some very impressive films being showcased to children and families. The Golden Owl Awards is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get creative, and demonstrate their filmmaking, story-telling and technological skills. I was delighted to be able to present some of the awards and to meet some extremely talented young people.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for leisure and skills said:
“With Leeds being the birthplace of film, it is great that the young people of the city are able to continue that legacy by attending such an impressive event and showcasing their own filmmaking talents at the same event. Events such as the Leeds Young Film Festival and the Golden Owl Awards encourage young people to develop their skills in this exciting and growing sector”.

Notes to editors:
Leeds Young Film Festival is presented by MediaFish and Leeds City Council. MediaFish is a cooperative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that is facilitated by Leeds Young Film. MediaFish are involved in the organisation, programme and marketing of the Leeds Young Film Festival and provide a variety of film screenings, workshops and masterclasses for all ages year round.

Leeds Young Film Festival and its events are supported by BFI, BAFTA, BBFC, IAC, Logistik, Playful Leeds, Leeds Architecture Awards and Child Friendly Leeds.


For enquiries please contact:
Nick Jones, Communications Manager
Nick.Jones@leeds.gov.uk / 0113 247 8398
www.leedsyoungfilm.com / www.twitter.com/leedsyoungfilm

Spectacular Asia exhibition set to open in Leeds

Caption: A gold and red lacquered wooden chest made in Myanmar (Burma), 1860-1885, which will feature in the 'Voices of Asia' exhibition. Picture credit: Courtesy of Leeds Museums and Galleries.

A stunning new gallery showcasing Asian culture in all its wonder and colour will be unveiled at a popular Leeds museum this week.

In what will be the first major gallery refresh at the museum since its opening in 2008, the fantastic sounds, diversity and culture of Asia will be revealed as part of the ‘Voices of Asia’ Exhibition, which will open its doors to the public on Friday April 18 2014 at Leeds City Museum.

Sitting on the first floor of the museum in the World View Gallery, visitors will have the chance to enjoy and take an unforgettable journey through seven major themes. These include; Faiths & Festivals; Trade & War; Fashion & Style; Music, Dance, Theatre & Film; Eating Out & Eating In and Faith in Focus.

Featuring in all of the themes will be a variety of interesting and diverse objects and pieces taken from the Leeds Museum and Galleries collections and also a wide range of loans from the Asian community, partners and city universities. The displays will include a friendly Chinese New Year tiger puppet, a model of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, a huge Chinese temple gong and two painted marble statues, of the Hindu deities Krishna and Radha, purchased from Leeds Hindu Temple. Hello Kitty makes an appearance and some old fashioned rag dolls from Gujarat. As part of the first Faith in Focus, the many facets of Hinduism will also be showcased and celebrated.

Researched and developed by the Leeds Museum and Galleries team, who have worked closely with a wide range of local community groups and organisations including South Asian Arts UK, Leeds Hindu Mandir, Hamara, Jamyang Buddhist Centre, Leeds Asian Blind Association and Shantona at Leeds Museum and Galleries, ‘Voices of Asia’ replaces the acclaimed ‘Out of Africa’ gallery which displayed the city’s African collections.

The title ‘Voices of Asia’ was deliberately chosen to represent the many Asian communities that live within the city, the different languages spoken in the continent, and the passion for contemporary film that will be incorporated in the new displays. The displays, which have been planned in partnership with local Asian community groups as part of an Advisory Network, will stay in the space for around five years, but will change annually to reflect different projects, themes and world faiths.

Leeds City Museum, which has welcomed approximately 1.5 million visitors through its doors since opening in 2008, is a free attraction located in the heart of the city on Millennium Square, just a short 10 minute walk from Leeds Railway Station. With four floors to explore and six galleries, the museum provides a comprehensive collection of objects relating to the history and modern age of both the local area and the wider world.

Also available to view at the museum are a host of other fantastic attractions. These include a new permanent display of the Harrison Clock, which played an important contribution in efforts to accurately determining longitude at sea, and the skeleton of a large, now extinct, flightless Moa bird originally hailing from New Zealand, which recently completed a journey from the Leeds Discovery Centre to its new home. Over 100 spectacular wildlife images taken by keen photographers from Leeds of all ages are also available to view until 17 August as part of the Natural Beauty exhibition.

Full details of the ‘Voices of Asia’ exhibition can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/VoicesOfAsia Social media updates will be provided using the #VoicesOfAsia hashtag via Leeds Museums and Galleries’ social media accounts on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LeedsMuseums) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/LeedsMuseumsAndGalleries)

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

"We are very excited to be opening the new ‘Voices of Asia’ display at Leeds City Museum this week, which incorporating seven different themes, promises to be a really fantastic place for all the family to visit and enjoy.

"Our Leeds Museum and Galleries team has worked closely with the local Asian community to capture the unique and sights and sounds of their culture and traditions, and we hope the authenticity of the display will really shine through for visitors."

Antonia Lovelace, curator of world cultures at Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

"As Curator of World Cultures the idea for Voices of Asia has been with me for ages, ever since we opened the World View gallery and I suggested we have Africa up for five years and then switch to Asia.

"Leeds has great Asian collections and as I’ve been working as curator since 1997, I have grown to know and love them well. In 2008 we did the big Chinese Treasures project with Leeds Chinese community, and since then we have also worked with many other British Asian communities across the city, especially the joint work I’ve done with the Community History Team.

"I enjoy most the opportunity to work with and learn from the members of these different communities, and also the handling, photography and research work that curators focus on. Last year I also had a grant from the British Council for a study trip to India, and was able to visit museums in five cities, attend the amazing camel fair at Pushkar, walk around the ancient town of Jaisalmer where Leeds’ large merchant door comes from, and learn loads about Indian textiles, crafts and faiths."

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Museum: Free admission

Monday closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm),
Tues, Wed and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun
Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH
Tel: 0113 2243732. Email: city.museum@leeds.gov.uk

Exhibits from ‘Out of Africa’ will be moved to the city’s Museum Discovery Centre once the display is closed, where items can be viewed by appointment.

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