Thursday, 5 June 2014

New Springhead Park café set to open soon


Caption: Cllr Mark Dobson (centre) with the operators of a new café at Springhead Park, Tracey and Paul Reynolds.

Work on a new café at a popular Leeds park is now nearing completion

This follows a tendering process by Leeds City Council last year which saw Paul and Tracey Reynolds of Rothwell Catering awarded a licence to operate the café at Springhead Park in Rothwell.

As part of a substantial refurbishment programme, a new roof has been fitted to the property, while toilet facilities will also be provided at the café which is set to offer a wide range of refreshments including tea, coffee, soft drinks, hot and cold sandwiches, cakes, ice creams and much more.

Pencilled in to open by the end of June, the new café, which will be known as ‘The Pavilion’, will offer somewhere for visitors to both relax and enjoy while on a visit to the park.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

"It was fantastic to be able to pop down to Springhead Park and see how work is progressing on the new café.

"Paul and Tracey have some really great plans for the café, and I am sure they will do a brilliant job at offering somewhere where visitors can relax and have something nice to eat and drink as they enjoy the delights of one of our brilliant parks."

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





Pupils journey to success in road safety quiz

Primary schools prepare to test their knowledge and be crowned winner of the annual Otley and district road safety quiz on Thursday 12 June.

Pupils will be quizzed on their understanding of road safety by question master Dave Robson of Otley Road Safety Committee – as well as being encouraged to use road safety websites to increase their knowledge online.

Ten local schools will be participating with teams made up of five pupils, who will all be competing against each other in the specially organised event.

Media are invited to attend the quiz and speak to children about their knowledge as well as the event, which will take place on Thursday 12 June from 6.45pm at Otley Methodist Church, Walkergate, Otley, LS21 1HB. Please contact the press office on (0113) 3950244 for further details.

All contributors will receive prizes for their efforts donated by the Otley and District Road Safety Committee, local businesses and the Road Safety Promotion Unit.

Spike, the road safety hedgehog, will also be attending to award prizes and mementoes of the evening. An award in memory of the late Audrey Cartwright who was a longstanding member of Otley Road Safety Committee, and a passionate champion of the quiz, will be presented to the highest scoring pupil.

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

“As part of our child friendly Leeds ambitions we want Leeds to be a place where children and young people are safe, and this quiz is a fantastic way to get children to really think about their own responsibilities around road safety and the consequences of not being safe on the roads.”

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

“The children always do themselves proud in what is quite a test of their knowledge. It is great to see how much they know about road safety. Although the quiz only involves a few pupils from each school we believe the preparation for the event improves the road safety knowledge of all the children, and allows them to engage meaningfully in a key topic.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Participating schools for 2014 include;

Ashfield Primary School, Otley; Bramhope Primary School; Otley All Saints Primary School; Otley ‘The Whartons’ Primary School; Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School; St Joseph’s Primary School, Otley; St Oswald’s Primary School, Guiseley; SS Peter and Paul Primary School, Yeadon; Westgate Primary School Otley; Yeadon Westfield Junior School


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

Broadband grant scheme connects first 100 businesses

The one hundredth business has benefited from the Superconnected Leeds Bradford broadband grant scheme.

Kiss Graphics of Bradford is upgrading to superfast broadband thanks to a grant of up to £3000.

The programme, launched in February, is funded through the government’s £100m ‘Superconnected Cities’ initiative. It is designed to help small and medium-size enterprises transform the way they do business by improving business efficiency and competitiveness.

Funding of up to £9m is available to SMEs across the Leeds and Bradford metropolitan districts and companies can apply for broadband connection vouchers via a dedicated website: www.superconnectedleedsbradford.co.uk

The rate of applications is increasing each week and the funding is available on a first come, first served basis. Companies wishing to take advantage of the scheme should visit the website as soon as possible so they can begin the process of getting access to the funding.

The online application process is simple and the grants are technology neutral, which means businesses can opt for either fibre optic, cable or wireless broadband.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Development and the Economy, said:

“The grant scheme has been well received by local businesses. To connect our first 100 companies within 12 weeks of launching the programme is great news, and we are among the best performing cities in terms of sign-up.

“Leeds and Bradford are pleased to be working together on the Superconnected Cities initiative with the aim of improving broadband speeds for businesses across the two districts.

“We have some really promising data from the first 100 businesses, who have indicated that they will be able to increase their turnover and employ more staff as a result of being superconnected.”

Owner of Kiss Graphics Jonathan Sunderland said:

“We work with a lot of packaging companies, transferring large design files, and our old broadband just wasn’t quick enough. It meant we were waiting long periods to download and upload files.

“Our new connection will provide us with a superfast upload speed which means uploading one or two Gb files in minutes, rather than hours. Additionally it gives us a stable and reliable facility which will give our clients quick and easy access to the files.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to afford to upgrade without grant support but the application process was very easy and straightforward. I’ve already recommended the scheme to other businesses owners that I know.”

Companies can either apply for the grants in their own right or make a group application, for example where they are located within the same building or business park. Landlords and building owners can also apply on behalf of groups of businesses.

In the case of a group application, grants are aggregated so that a group of twenty businesses, for example, could receive funding of up to £60,000 to upgrade broadband infrastructure.

The Superconnected Cities grant scheme is available to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Leeds and Bradford, until 31 March 2015.

ENDS

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

Kirkgate Market set for a Super Mario shopping cart

A computer game version of Leeds’ historic market will test if the market can occupy a prime retail position in the online marketplace.

The project will use software and technology normally used for gaming platforms to develop a virtual version of Kirkgate Market where shoppers can buy online for collection later.

Leeds City Council is working with Leeds Metropolitan University to develop the unique website and app for the market.

The £100,000 project is being funded by the UK’s innovation agency as part of an SRBI (Small Business Research Initiative) competition to encourage new ways of attracting people back to UK high streets.

Aiming to bring more people to the market, the click and collect project will help the market respond to consumer demands for more flexibility alongside the £12.3 million planned refurbishment.

The first phase of the project will develop and test a 3D digital mock-up of the market with selected food traders; for example, a butcher, fishmonger and grocer.

Test online shoppers will be able to virtually wander and zoom into the units, discover offers and produce and ‘meet’ traders.

The finished product will have the look like the real Kirkgate Market with photos of the actual market stitched onto the 3D map to recreate the market online.

Key to the project will be a logistics solution that allows a mixture of produce from a variety of traders to be picked and stored safely and hygienically for collection later – potentially outside of normal market trading hours.

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

“Bringing the market alive online within a gaming platform for click and collect shopping is a new and exciting concept for the market. We know people want the quality and value only found in the market but with the convenience of online shopping.

“This will be a truly innovative website and app marrying these consumer demands in a virtual and real environment. The market’s traditional values will be supported by e-commerce, bringing more people to the actual market, not just the online version.

“The click and collect concept has massive potential. It could open up a new world of opportunities with traders embracing the digital economy in a way they haven’t been able to up until now.”

Professor Catherine Barnes, Leeds Metropolitan University, said:

“Leeds Metropolitan University is delighted to be supporting the council to bring this innovative shopping technology to life. Our retail and technology experts are at the forefront of the new technologies and will use this expertise to bring Kirkgate Market to life in the digital world to attract new shoppers and delight existing customers.

“We believe that by offering the convenience of online retailing in a market environment could put Leeds and Kirkgate Market in a great place to take advantage of the future retailing landscape.”

Once the initial mock is completed and tested, the project will move into a second phase where all food and food-to-go traders will be brought into the virtual market. At this point, shoppers will be able to make actual purchases, with the expansion of the packing, storing and collection solution. Initially, the existing Shop and Drop store room will be used.

Eventually, with further research and development, its intended that all market traders will be able to trade online with the click and collect service.

While many other retailers offer a similar service, it’s believed that there are no other products on the market that uses a gaming platform in this way to produce a digital, photorealistic market site that supports e-commerce.

As people want more flexibility in market trading hours and to be able to buy products online, the resulting website and app will make shopping at Kirkgate Market easier and allow traders to adopt and take advantage of online business.

Being able to monitor shopping trends and habits will allow the market to be more responsive to what customers want and tailor offers or promotions. It’s hoped that this would work particularly well alongside cooking demonstrations and other themed events that will be hosted in the market’s new event space following refurbishment.

With Leeds City Council and Leeds Metropolitan University leading the development of the product, the market’s independent and sole traders will be able to match the convenience of high street and out of town retailers and continue to offer quality, affordable, local produce.

Ultimately, the unique click and collect solution could be used for markets up and down the country.

Notes:
• Kirkgate Market is the largest covered market in Europe and currently welcomes around 100,000 shoppers a week.
• Leeds City Council has recently approved a £12.3 million investment to refurbish the market and secure its long term future.

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

or

Mark Dorey, Leeds Metropolitan University, external relations manager (0113) 812 3021
m.dorey@leedsmet.ac.uk

ENDS

Olympics star Joanna Rowsell on track for Sky Ride Leeds

Caption: British Cycling star Joanna Rowsell will be attending Sky Ride Leeds next week (if image used credit British Cycling)

One of the superstars of British track cycling is to be guest of honour as Leeds hosts its second Sky Ride next week.

Olympic and double world champion Joanna Rowsell MBE will be on hand to see thousands of people take to traffic-free streets in the city centre from 10am-3pm on Sunday 15 June for a free family-orientated mass participation bike ride.

The 25-year-old who was one of the stars of London 2012 will watch as riders of all ages and abilities start from the exact same point and follow the same stretch of road on The Headrow which the world’s finest cyclists will use when the Tour de France Grand Départ begins in Leeds in a month’s time.

Together with teammates Laura Trott and Dani King, Joanna claimed gold for Team GB on ‘Super Saturday’ at the Olympics in the women’s team pursuit. Such was their dominance of the event, the trio broke the world record three times and continued their amazing record of never having lost a single race together.

Joanna’s winning form continued earlier this year at the Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia, claiming gold in the team pursuit before putting in a stunning performance to also win the individual pursuit event.

Olympic and double world champion Joanna Rowsell MBE said:

“Sky Ride big bike events bring together everything I love about cycling. You can cycle with friends and family in a fun, safe environment whilst taking in the best bits of the city, plus it’s free to take part. I’m thrilled to be taking part in Sky Ride Leeds this year.

“This is a huge year for cycling in Yorkshire. With Leeds hosting the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in a few weeks, there’s never been a better time to get on a bike. I encourage everyone to sign up for Sky Ride Leeds and give cycling a go.”

Sky Ride Leeds 2014 will take riders on a 6.5-kilometre loop around the city centre with a shorter route available for young children and families, riders with adapted bikes and those new to cycling who are building their confidence levels.

Among the new elements this year are a special ‘loud zone tunnel’, additional supporting activities at Woodhouse Moor and a sprint zone, enabling riders to race head-to-head and emulate British sprint star Mark Cavendish.

Places at Sky Ride Leeds are available now and can now be booked by registering at goskyride.com. The first thousand people to sign up receive a limited-edition gift on the day. In addition, anyone who signs up will be entitled to a free expert bike check at Halfords.

Sky Ride Leeds is one of 14 big bike events to be held nationally and is part of a continuing partnership between Leeds City Council, British Cycling, Sky and West Yorkshire Metro which aims to encourage more people to get cycling.

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

“We are thrilled to be welcoming one of Britain’s top cyclists and a star of London 2012 Joanna Rowsell to join us for Sky Ride in Leeds.

“Last year the event was fantastic, with more than eight thousand people taking part on a beautiful sunny day. It promises to be even bigger and better this year, with the excitement of the Tour de France to come in a matter of weeks and as it also falls on Father’s Day it would be great to see families from all over the city coming to join in the fun.”

In addition to the mass-participation Sky Ride event, a series of 50 free, fun, guided Sky Ride Local bike rides will take place around Leeds this summer tailored for beginners to experienced cyclists, while there will also be women-only rides on offer through British Cycling’s national Breeze programme.

For more information on Sky Ride and to register for Sky Ride Leeds go to www.goskyride.com

For more information on the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ for Leeds, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/granddepartleeds or sign up for email alerts at granddepartleeds@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors:
For more information
Images: Please go to the goskyride image library on Flickr to view and download rights-free images. Please don’t forget to credit goskyride.com. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/goskyride and Facebook www.facebook.com/goskyride


Leeds PR Contact Details

Roger Boyde
Senior communications officer
Leeds City Council
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk


British Cycling
Courtney Perks, Marketing and Communications team
0161 274 2000
courtneyperks@britishcycling.org.uk


Sky Ride
Sky Rides are big, celebratory events which take over a town or city centre so thousands of cyclists can ride together on a traffic-free route. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how old your bike is, or how fast you ride.

Sky Ride Local
With Sky Ride Local we’ve done all the planning for you. We’ve found the best routes, trained up Ride Leaders to guide and support you, and picked some cracking places to visit along the way.

Breeze
British Cycling’s Breeze programme is the biggest initiative ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Our amazing Breeze champions are trained to organise friendly, social bike rides up and down the country and inspire local women to get involved.


About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation.

There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists’ interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 89,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling. British Cycling was named Governing Body of the Year at the 2013 Sports Industry Awards. For more information, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk

West Yorkshire Metro
West Yorkshire Metro is now part of the new West Yorkshire Combined Authority. For more information go to www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/transport/

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk