Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Budding entrepreneurs test the market for £10

The next generation of market traders are being invited to trade for a tenner at Leeds Kirkgate Market.

As part of the Love Your Local Market campaign, budding stallholders can try their hand at market trading for a day for just £10.

For the third year running, Leeds Kirkgate Market is participating in the national campaign that celebrates market culture.

Between 15 and 28 May, would-be entrepreneurs can join the hundreds of established traders on the open market to sell their wares.

In previous years, people have tested the business waters selling everything from gardening equipment to ladies and gents clothes.

Supporting existing traders and encouraging new business is at the heart of the council’s plans for the upcoming £12.3 million refurbishment of the market.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for the economy and development, said:

“Kirkgate Market is the birthplace of Marks and Spencer, so there is no better place for would-be market traders to start their business.

“We’re extremely proud of the place Kirkgate Market holds in Leeds’ retail landscape, and trading for the day in such a vibrant market environment for just £10 is an ideal opportunity.

“Offers like this, when taken alongside our investment in the refurbishment of the market, means that the market and our existing and new traders will be able to prosper for many years to come. And you never know, one of our trading-for-a-tenner entrepreneurs could be sowing the seeds for another business empire.”

Anyone who wants to take advantage of the trade for a tenner offer should contact the market information centre on 0113 378 1950 or markets@leeds.gov.uk.

The planned refurbishment of the market will create a better quality environment to trade in, visit and shop. With millions of visitors expected when the under-development Victoria Gate opens, the market will be able to make the most of increased footfall and customer spending with the existing and new businesses located in the market.

Works to refurbish the market include:

Roof repairs, new lights, upgrading the sprinkler system, drainage works and a new ventilation system.
Replacing the roof covering in the 1976 and 1981 halls by stripping off the existing roof covering and overlying and replacing with a new modern covering. By overlaying the roof, businesses will be able to trade with minimal disruption.
Creating distinct retail zones.
Introducing a covered daily market and a dedicated events space.
Improving the layout of the market with new routes and signage.
Improving the outdoor market and making it more attractive and visible
Developing the ‘Kirkgate Village’ concept, the separate project working with a developer to create an area for food to go, leisure and specialist retailers operating out of normal trading hours.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk


Council serves up free tennis sessions across Leeds

Caption: Preston Kadji, six, plays tennis with friends at a session organised by Leeds City Council.

Tiny tennis stars in Leeds could take their first steps towards Wimbledon this weekend.

Free mini tennis sessions for children aged 3-8, with specially modified equipment, will be part of a range of ace activities taking place on courts across the city.

Council-run sites throughout Leeds will be offering the free taster sessions as part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s initiative to get more people playing the game over the summer.

The Great British Tennis Weekend will see hundreds of open days taking place across the country on May 17-18, June 21-22 and 28-29 and then July 19-20.

Alongside regular coaching, free court sessions and the mini tennis events, those taking part will also have the chance to try out the newly-launched Cardio Tennis fitness classes and Tennis Express sessions, designed to teach the game to adult beginners.

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

“With summer on the way, now is the perfect time to pick up a racquet and have a go at tennis and these free sessions are a really easy route into the game.

“Tennis is a fantastic way to stay fit and active and the top class facilities we have in Leeds mean that people of all ages and abilities have the chance to play.

“I’m sure these sessions will be great fun for everyone who attends and we might even unearth a future Wimbledon champion.”

Leeds’ John Charles Centre for Sport is home to a state-of-the-art tennis facility, which includes six indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts.

There is also a spectator balcony, changing facilities, meeting room, and a cafeteria.

The courts are available to hire on a pay and play basis and can be booked up to seven days in advance or eight days in advance by LEEDSCard holders.

A wide range of tennis sessions are available for adults and young players including coaching, individual lessons and competitive leagues.

As well as the John Charles Centre, free sessions will also be held at Fearnville, Rothwell and John Smeaton leisure centres along with a number of other venues.

There are also events at Leeds City Council parks including Chapel Allerton Park this weekend and Springhead, Roundhay, Holt Park, Middleton Park and East End Park on forthcoming weekends.

To find your local venue for the Great British Tennis Weekend and book your free session, log on to www.greatbritishtennisweekend.com

For more information about playing tennis in Leeds, visit: www.tennis-in-leeds.co.uk or email tennis@leeds.co.uk


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937
Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk

Celebrities offer messages of support at exam time

Picture caption "(Top) Boxer Amir Khan, (middle) pop star Olly Murs and a host of celebrities offered exam advice and good luck messages to Leeds students."

Stars of sport and music are amongst over 30 celebrities who have given their time to offer words of wisdom and support to Leeds pupils taking exams this summer.

Throughout the year, sporting heroes, pop stars and TV presenters have been passing on their support to the thousands of Leeds pupils who are taking exams this year, by taking part in a motivational film for Child Friendly Leeds.

Numerous sporting stars who attended the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards when it was held in Leeds last December, agreed to send exam advice and good luck messages to Leeds pupils.

Amir Kahn offered some knock-out advice by telling pupils to ‘Work hard – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it.”

With good luck messages also coming from Australian Grand Prix driver Mark Webber, Olympic and Paralympic stars, including Ben Ainslie, Hannah Cockroft,Sir Chris Hoy and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, as well as local heroes Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ryan Hall.

Pop group Neon Jungle reminded students to go to bed early the night before the exam and revise hard, with pop star Olly Murs suggesting doing extra reading will also help achieve success. Also offering their words of wisdom from the pop world were Dizzee Rascal, Diana Vickers and Yorkshire’s own John Newman.

CBBC presenter Katie Thisleton offered some unusual advice to help students remember tricky facts – to sing them to the tune of their favourite song.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said:
“It is fantastic that so many nationally and internationally renowned sportspeople, pop stars and TV personalities have taken the time out of their busy schedules to record these messages of support and good wishes to young people taking their exams.

“We all know how important it is to give all our children and young people the encouragement and inspiration to be a success. This film shows them that we are all behind them and believe they can do well.

“Child Friendly Leeds is about putting young people at the heart of everything we do. By recognising that exams are one of the most challenging times in a young person’s life and giving them encouragement to try their best will hopefully give everyone a real boost.”

The motivational film was given its debut at the Miley Cyrus show at Leeds' first direct arena, and is being shown on the big screen in Millennium Square as well as at schools across the city.

Leeds City Council has also arranged for a number of ‘good luck’ banners to be displayed throughout the city – within the city centre and outside schools, to remind the young people of Leeds how much support they have.

The stars included in the motivational film are:
Neon Jungle
Scouting for Girls
Loveable Rogues
John Newman
Charlie Brown
Diana Vickers
Lucy Spraggan
Olly Murs
Dizzee Rascal
Sir Chris Hoy
Jonanthan Edwards
Ryan Hall
Ben Ainslie
Amir Khan
Jamie Jones-Buchanan
Steve Cram
Tony McCoy
Paula Radcliffe
Hannah Cockroft
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
Eorl Crabtree
Ben Cohen
Mark Webber
Ellie Simmonds
Katie Thistleton (CBBC)
Chris Johnson (CBBC)
Joe Tidy (Newsround)
Harry Gration
Gabby Logan
Hazel Irvine

The film was produced by Sally Molineaux at 'Molineaux Productions', with some help from Child Friendly Leeds young reporters at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards. It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5LIMI9Ur94.

Young people who are looking for revision advice and what to do after taking their exams can visit the Leeds Pathways website at http://www.leedspathways.org.uk/exam-revision The Leeds Pathways website, which is provided by Leeds City Council, helps young people plan their future options after Year 11 – be it further education, training, apprenticeships or employment.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Record numbers of pupils take up cycle training

[Picture caption:] pupils from Rufford Park Primary School take part in Bikeability training

A cycling revolution has been taking place in Leeds over the last 12 months with record numbers of children undertaking Bikeability cycle training.

The chain-reaction has seen 5688 pupils take up Bikeability training – a cycling proficiency programme for the 21st century – between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

Of that number 120 completed the advanced level 3 training, which teaches trainees how to ride in diverse and challenging traffic situations, and is usually completed by children of secondary school age.

The rest achieved level 1 and 2, which takes trainees on a journey from the basics of balance and control, all the way through to planning and making a journey by themselves.

The training is designed to give youngsters the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's roads.

Last year 4051 children completed the courses and since Leeds began delivering Bikeability training in April 2010 almost 18,500 young cyclists in Leeds have taken part and been awarded coveted Bikeability badges and certificates.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services, said:

“I’m delighted to hear that in the lead up to our city hosting the Tour De France Grand Depart, record numbers of our young people have felt inspired to jump on their bikes and access this free training.

“There might be a youngster today who could be the next Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome or Lizzie Armitstead of tomorrow. However, cycling isn’t just a sport or leisure activity and we are keen to promote pedal power as a healthy and sustainable way of making every day journeys.

“Travel data shows there are more people using bikes than ever before in Leeds. We will continue to develop safer cycling routes across the district and other initiatives aimed at encouraging safe and sustainable travel for all.”

Bikeability training in Leeds is delivered by Leeds Carnegie Bikeability on behalf of Leeds City council, with funding provided by central government.

Andrew Crossley, Leeds Carnegie Bikeability Manager, says:

“I’m delighted that our programme of cycle training continues to grow. The more young people we can get cycling, the better it is for their health and for the wider environment. We continue to work closely with the council not only to deliver Bikeability, but also to support a wide range of initiatives aimed at encouraging cycling.


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk

Green Deal Communities funding warms up Leeds homes

Caption: Funding is available to help more people living in solid walled or system built properties benefit from external wall insulation like this, recently installed at a Horsforth home with Wrap Up Leeds ECO.

A multi-million pound project to help insulate some of Leeds’ solid walled homes will kick off this summer.

A £2.37 million slice of Green Deal Communities funding will ensure Leeds City Council can help even more residents make their homes energy efficient and cheaper to heat.

The council will be targeting hundreds of residents in specific communities who live in solid walled homes and properties of a non-traditional build. These properties aren’t able to benefit from more widely available energy saving measures like cavity wall insulation.

Homes could benefit from internal and external wall insulation and other secondary measures like glazing, loft or attic room insulation and heating improvements.

Through the council’s existing Wrap Up Leeds ECO project, residents will be offered a mixture of energy company obligation (ECO) funding and Green Deal Communities funding cutting the cost residents would have to pay.

It’s a requirement of the Green Deal Communities funding that residents must contribute to the cost either through their own savings or a Green Deal loan.

But it’s estimated that a typical solid walled home receiving insulation and other energy saving measures would only have to pay approximately a quarter of the overall cost.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“Insulating your home is one of the best ways to stop your home leaking heat and money. Having already helped thousands of residents cut their fuel bills we’re rightly turning our attention to those homes that are more difficult to tackle.

“We’re certainly not put off by the challenge of these solid walled or system built properties and residents shouldn’t be either. Help is at hand and I’d encourage people to get in touch.”

Around 400 solid walled and system built properties in specific communities will be targeted for financial assistance.

Residents who live outside these areas can still apply for assistance through the Wrap Up Leeds ECO project and will also be able to apply for cash back worth up to £7,600 through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

To find out more or contact 0113 3950757 or wrapupleeds@leeds.gov.uk or visit www.wrapupleeds.co.uk.

Green Deal Communities funding will also assist with a second phase of the project which will see residents across the whole of the Leeds City Region offered a £750 voucher to be redeemed against a Green Deal assessment and any works actually carried out.

A number of show homes will also be developed, to show people just how easy it is to get done and how much difference it makes.


Areas specifically being targeted are:

Hyde Park
Central Roundhay
Weston Drive (Otley and Yeadon)
Silk Mills/Ivesons (Weetwood)
Nowells neighbourhood challenge area (Burmantofts and Richmond Hill)
Harehills and Burmantofts
The Drive (Kippax and Methley)
Meynells Estate (Beeston and Holbeck)
Cross Green (Burmantofts and Richmond Hill)#

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk