Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Council leader issues challenge to deliver a ‘bold and lasting’ Tour legacy

Caption: Leeds aims to capitalise fully on being host city for the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield has challenged the city to do everything it can to deliver a ‘bold and lasting legacy’ to next month’s Tour de France Grand Départ.

Councillor Wakefield will join senior councillors at the council’s executive board meeting at Civic Hall next week (25 June) to debate a report looking at how the city can realise long-term benefits from hosting the world’s largest annual sporting event which begins in Leeds next month.

The proposal outlines a commitment to build on existing achievements, events and relationships to put cycling at the heart of city planning to bring about a wide range of benefits. This would be done by drawing together a new council-led partnership board made up of all key stakeholders in the city.

Among the priorities of the new board would be:

- Create a single long-term strategy and vision for Leeds for all forms of cycling
- Focus on making cycling inclusive and accessible for all
- Encourage greater diversity and more women and girls to take up cycling
- Build on existing relationships with bodies such as British Cycling and Sport England and develop new partnerships with other key partners
- Look at ways of securing major long-term investment in Leeds to continue improving cycling infrastructure

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“We know the eyes of the world will be on us on July the fifth for the amazing Grand Départ of the Tour de France, but we also know people will be watching to see what we do next to make sure we capitalise fully on the unique opportunity it offers.

“This is our chance to be bold, ambitious and creative by bringing together all key stakeholders, their views and ideas to make cycling something which is all-inclusive with no barriers to participation and at the heart of Leeds as a modern city of the future. That would be a proper legacy befitting the world’s greatest bike race so let’s bring everyone together and work to make it happen.”

The Leeds vision would use as its starting point the regional ‘Cycle Yorkshire’ strategy, led by Welcome to Yorkshire and City of York Council which all local authorities in the region are supporting in order to encourage more people to cycle more often inspired by the county hosting the Tour de France.

It is focused on offering greater access to cycling, improving facilities, raising awareness through more cycling events and campaigns and supporting the development of cycling-related businesses and the cycling community.

The council report outlines the current cycling levels in Leeds as well as recognising major achievements such as securing the £29m City Connect project between Leeds and Bradford, Bikeability rider training and road safety sessions in Leeds schools, improvements to the Leeds-Shipley towpath and the Core Cycle Network which now offers 82 kilometres of cycle ways and cycle lanes in the city.

To bring about a lasting legacy, elements of the strategy would include:

- Cycling promoted as a sustainable form of environmentally-friendly transport
- Engaging with young people through schools and education bodies to promote cycling and road safety
- Work with health agencies to encourage greater participation and the health benefits offered by cycling
- More dedicated cycle spaces for cyclists to train safely, aiming to create two closed-circuit cycle ways with one being at least three kilometres long
- Greater access to cycling for people with disabilities
- Encouraging more bike loan and recycling schemes especially in areas where access to a bike is currently limited

Aside from the tourism and promotional benefits of hosting the Tour de France, the proposal would also focus on encouraging business growth related to cycling and social enterprises to help more people get on bikes such as through closer links between the council and cycling clubs in the city.

Leeds City Council executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“Cycle Yorkshire and our partnerships with British Cycling and Sport England have given us a strong basis to work from and we want to really push this now as far as we possibly can.

“Hosting the Tour de France gives us a window of opportunity to really make cycling in our region inclusive for all. This is an activity anyone anywhere can do and we must make the most of this opportunity to highlight that to those living and working in the city region. We are firmly committed to listening to all ideas and views in order to bring that about and ensure a fantastic legacy.”

For more information on the Tour de France in Leeds visit www.leeds.gov.uk/leedsgranddepart

Notes to editors:
In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for three stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London.

The Tour de France is expected to generate at least £100m into the UK economy.

For the latest news on the Grand Départ visit www.letouryorkshire.com


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

Building excellence celebrated in West Yorkshire

Photo caption: First Direct Arena, winner of the LABC West Yorkshire Building Excellence Awards commercial category

Contractors and architects from across West Yorkshire celebrated excellence in building at an annual awards ceremony held earlier this week.

The West Yorkshire Building Excellence Awards, organised by Leeds City Council and the other four West Yorkshire local authority building control services, were held at Headingley Stadium on Tuesday 10 June.

A total of 12 awards were handed out to celebrate some of the best examples of building quality in a variety of projects from domestic extensions to commercial developments, each one was achieved through building standards, technical innovation and sustainable designs at local level. There will be an opportunity for the winners to qualify for the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards Grand Finals, which take place in London on Tuesday 11 November 2014.

This year’s prestigious winner in Leeds was First Direct Arena, Merrion Way, Leeds, under the Commercial category. It recognised the successful collaborative approach adopted by all parties as a key factor in the successful delivery of this award winning project.

The 2014 LABC Building Excellence Award Winners were:

Domestic Extension: Orchard House, Shadwell Lane, Leeds
Single Dwelling: Rosefield, Scotgate Road, Honley, Holmfirth
Best Small Builder: Andrew Ellis Builders, Wakefield
New Dwellings 2 – 15 Units: Delamere Gardens, Huddersfield
New Dwellings Over 15 Units: Barrowby Lane, Garforth, Leeds
Restoration and Conversion – Small Projects: 19 Shire Oak Road, Headingley, Leeds
Restoration and Conversion – Major Projects: Crosshall School, Fountain Street, Morley
Commercial: First Direct Arena, Merrion Way, Leeds
Affordable Housing: Bolton Road, Bradford
Education: Student Central, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield
Best Partnership: Watson Batty Architects Ltd
LABC Site Supervisor of the Year Award: Ian Pass, Strategic Team Group

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

“These awards celebrate the innovative work being done across Leeds and West Yorkshire both to convert and restore some of our beautiful old buildings and to design and build new developments.

“They also illustrate how councils can work with developers and designers to produce high quality, creative developments which enhance the city. Our arena project is a superb example of the pivotal role a local authority can play in enabling a city’s transformation. Winning this award is testament to the great relationship we forged with our project partners to achieve such successful results.”

This year’s awards were attended by over 200 people who were involved in the nominated building projects in the West Yorkshire Region.

The LABC Awards recognise the importance of building control in creating a high quality, sustainable built environment in England and Wales. Local authority building control helps to ensure better design and builds by cooperative working between local councils, developers, designers and builders to avoid costly corrections during construction and to make sure projects comply with the highest standards of safety, sustainability and accessibility.

The complete list of winners, finalists and project descriptions can be found on the LABC Awards website at http://www.labc.uk.co m/Awards/Details?id=63

- ENDS –

Notes to editors:
LABC is the member organisation representing all local authority building control departments in England and Wales. Its membership includes 3,000 professional surveyors and support technicians and has a 70% market share of building control in these sectors: domestic conversions and improvements; new homes and apartments; commercial offices, workshops, industrial and warehouses; education; healthcare; care homes; retail; leisure and entertainment; and stadiums.

LABC promotes the design and construction of buildings that are safe, accessible and environmentally efficient to comply with the Building Regulations. LABC builds awareness of local authority building control amongst the public, developers, designers and contractors. It also works with trade organisations, manufacturers, distributors, research establishments, test houses and professional institutions to support innovation in building.

LABC are always looking for future award winners. If you have a project completed within the next 12 months which you feel deserves to be one of next year’s finalists, have a word with your local authority building control surveyor expressing your interests and they may put your project forward for nomination.

For more information contact the press office on 0113 395 0244.

A touch of Rio to light up Millennium Square as fans watch England’s bid for World Cup glory

Caption: Fans will be able to watch England's final two group games on Millennium Square's big screen.

The sights and sounds of host country Brazil will bring a carnival atmosphere to a popular Leeds city square this week as England continue their bid for World Cup glory.

With Roy Hodgson’s men’s next two group games set to be screened live on the big screen in Millennium Square, fans will treated before each match to entertainment provided by DJ Lubi and Brazilian dancers. Keeping with the theme, there will also be a Brazilian BBQ catering option available.

A specially created outdoor viewing arena will once again be available for supporters to watch England’s final two group games on Thursday 19 June (8pm KO) and Tuesday 24 June (5pm KO) against Uruguay and Costa Rica. If England progress from the group stage, the round 16 knock-out game will also be shown on Millennium Square on either Saturday 28 or Sunday 29 June.

Fans are asked to note that due to the arrival of the Tour de France, all World Cup quarter final matches taking place on Friday 4 to Sun 6 July will not be screened on Millennium Square.

Gates for Thursdays now crucial game against Uruguay will be open from 4.45pm showing coverage of the earlier game (Columbia v Ivory Coast) followed by the Brazilian themed entertainment in the lead up to the big kick-off for the England game at 8pm.

For all games fans are advised to arrive early to secure their places as admission will be on a strictly first-come first-served basis until the capacity is reached. No tickets will be issued or required and the outdoor arena will also feature a fully-licensed bar, food concessions and toilet facilities.

General coverage of other world cup matches together with coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships will also be shown on the big screen wherever possible with normal street café trading of the surrounding businesses in operation.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"Excitement for the World Cup is now at fever pitch, and we are looking forward to bringing a taste of host country Brazil to England’s next two group matches that will be screened live on Millennium Square’s big screen.

"Brazilian themed entertainment is also set to be provided in advance of each game, and we hope this will add to the carnival atmosphere as we bite out nails watching Roy’s men attempt to qualify from their group.

"Our big screen events have in the past proved to be extremely popular, and we would ask people to arrive early to avoid disappointment."

For further details, please contact Leeds City Council’s Events team on 0113 395 0891 or visit www.leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

In the interest of public safety, the following conditions will apply on Millennium Square for all England Matches:
• Admission is on a strictly first-come first-served basis. No-one will be admitted once safe capacity is reached.

• Strictly no glass, cans, alcohol, or food may be brought into the venue

• CCTV will be in operation at the event with images recorded for the purpose of crime prevention and public safety.

• Event stewards will be entitled to search all spectators and/or their possessions on entry to venue. Staff will not take any responsibility for prohibited items.

• The organisers reserve the right to cancel transmission for any game and/or or refuse admission for whatever reason.

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