Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Green light for cycle superhighway gives Tour de France legacy boost for Leeds

Ambitious plans that will see a new £21million cycling ‘superhighway’ linking a 23km route from Leeds to Bradford moved a step closer today.

Council chiefs hope that one of the legacies of the Tour de France for Leeds will be the increased take up of cycling as a commuter option and that by investing in projects such as a high quality ‘cycle superhighway’ it will help make the choice to cycle easier.

The decision by the council’s Executive Board today (16 July 2014) means that construction of the new dedicated cycle route from Cross Gates to Bradford City Centre could start in Autumn this year. The whole scheme is expected to be completed for December 2015.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for transport and the economy, said:
“Hot on the heels of hosting a hugely successful Grand D├ępart in Leeds, this new segregated cycle route will help ensure a lasting legacy for many years to come. With the creation of this route, we hope to see a greater number of people taking up cycling for shorter and leisure journeys, as well as for commuting.

“This scheme is about inspiring more people to cycle who may not usually do so; it is not for a small, specialist group of people alone. It is cycling as a whole and cycling for everyone that we want to encourage and we believe this scheme is doing just that.”

Councillor James Lewis, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said:
“The cycle superhighway is a big step forward building on work like the go:cycling project to encourage more people to cycle more often. Work can now begin in earnest on the Cycle Superhighway connecting Leeds and Bradford, allowing us to move forward in making our region a cleaner, greener and healthier area to live and work."

The scheme also includes the creation of 20mph zones alongside to the route of the cycle superhighway.

The Leeds Bradford Cycle Superhighway scheme is estimated to cost £21.2m. These costs will be funded from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority City Connect Programme budget of £29.2 which includes a Department for Transport grant of £18m and £10.89m from the West Yorkshire Transport Plan fund.

The City Connect programme will provide a step-change in the quality of cycle tracks and facilities to enable safe access to the cycle network and ensure effective links with the surrounding communities and neighbourhoods.

The 23km scheme has been divided into seven sections for design and programme purposes. Below describes the route in each section:

Section A
Church Bank (from junction with Well Street) – Barkerend Road – Leeds Old Road – Leeds Road – Gain Lane (to junction with Intake Road)
Southern Link: Leeds Road (from junction with Well Street) – Shipley Airedale Road – Harris Street
Dick Lane (from junction from New Lane) to Thornbury Gyratory

Section B
Bradford Road from junction with Gain Lane to Dawson’s Corner

Section C1
Bradford Road from Dawson’s Corner to junction with Stanhall Avenue

Section D
Bradford Road (from junction with Stanhall Avenue) – Town Street (junction with William Street)

Section C2
Town Street from junction with William Street – Stanningley Road – Back Lane – Lower Town Street – Henconner Lane

Section E
Stanningley Road (from junction with Henconner Lane) – Armley Road

Section F
Wellington Road (from junction with Armley Road) – Wellington Street – Boar Lane – Duncan Street – Call Lane – Kirkgate/ New York Street/ Harper Street – York Street – Marsh Lane (to junction with York Road)

Section G
York Road, to junction with Ring Road A6120

Notes to editors:
In August 2013 the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with Leeds City Council and City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, were awarded £18.1m from the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition fund. This was matched with over £10.8m of local funds to deliver the City Connect programme, of which the Leeds Bradford Cycle Superhighway is a key component.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472

Halton Moor soccer project hits the target

Young people in the Halton Moor area of Leeds have been winning praise for the way they have scored a huge success with a football scheme which is reducing anti-social behaviour, increasing community integration and reducing racial tensions.

Over the last twelve months more than 500 young people have attended the sessions which run on Thursday evenings at the leisure centre.

As a result of the success of the scheme, Mark Burns-Williamson, Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, will visit the Halton Moor project on Thursday 17 July at 5pm so that he can meet young people involved in the scheme and find out more about the work being done by the coaches funded by Leeds City Council’s anti-social behaviour team.

Mr Burns-Williamson, said:

“I’m really pleased to have a chance to find out more about how the good results from Halton Moor can be maintained, as well as whether other areas can learn from their success. The people involved in the project – particularly the players, officials and coaches – can be really proud of the good example they’ve set.

“I applaud projects such as these that embrace partnership working to tackle anti-social behaviour so the focus must be on engaging with communities, including young people, dealing with anti-social behaviour effectively and successfully preventing its escalation as in this case where youngsters have been engaged by partners working together.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for Cleaner, Stronger and Safer Communities, said:

“The Halton Moor football coaching project is a great example of partners in the city working together to address potential problems and really turn things around. The project is funded by Leeds anti-social behaviour team and is giving hundreds of young people in this community the chance to have a good time, get to know people and maybe even pick up the skills to become the next Sam Byram, David Batty or Norman Hunter!”

The sessions are supported by two qualified coaches and recently gained funding for a further twelve months. Since the project has been running, anti-social behaviour in the area has fallen to an all-time low, with young people on the estate becoming more integrated and racial tensions in the community decreasing.

Notes for editors:

Mark Burns-Williamson, Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire will be at the Halton Moor project on Thursday 17 July at 5pm. To arrange photographs or interviews with Mr Burns-Williamson, please contact:

Dolores Cowburn
Head of Communications
External: 01924 294017
Blackberry: 07921 684363

Issued by:

Phil Morcom,

Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244 / 07891 276270

Mysterious virtual tour of Kirkstall Abbey set to take place on Twitter

Caption:  A Virtual tour on Twitter of historical Kirkstall Abbey is set to be held from this Friday.

The secrets, mystery and intrigue of a 12th century abbey in Leeds are set to be revealed as part of a special ‘Twitter tour’ taking place later this week.

In what promises to be a unique experience, fans of the abbey will be able to join a virtual tour on Twitter around Kirkstall Abbey’s Cistercian ruins led by Leeds Museums and Galleries’ Curator of Archaeology, Kat Baxter on Friday 18 July from 1pm. Expect to be both surprised and shocked as stories both extraordinary and sometimes gruesome are provided by Kat, who will also detail its links with another popular attraction Abbey House Museum, its former gatehouse, and the lives of monks who once lived within the walls of the abbey.

After the virtual tour is over Kat will be online afterwards to take part in a special question and answer session with the Twitter community.

For more details make sure you follow the #Katintheabbey hashtag from 1pm on Friday 18 July and follow the following accounts on Twitter; @leedsmuseums and curator Kat Baxter @curatorbaxter.

One of the city’s most popular attractions, Kirkstall Abbey continues to be home to a variety of family fun activities and events which includes two popular deli markets held on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month from 12noon-3pm. For more information, please see:

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

"Kirkstall Abbey is one of our city’s most popular visitor attractions, and it is fantastic that the magic and atmosphere of its Cistercian ruins will be brought to users of Twitter through our virtual tours, which will hopefully mean more people want to see Kirstall Abbey personally in all its glory!

"Dating back to the 12th century, Kirkstall Abbey is a place which has experienced lots of mystery, intrigue and occasional gruesome moments over the years, and as part of our Twitter tours led by Kat, this is the perfect chance to find out more about both its history and secrets."

Kat Baxter, Curator of Archaeology at Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

"It is very exciting to be given the opportunity to lead the first virtual tour of Kirkstall Abbey on Twitter.

"I will also be undertaking question and answer sessions with the Twitter community after each tour, which will add another dimension to the experience. It would be brilliant if through the tours, people are then inspired to make a trip to Kirkstall Abbey so they can experience all its magic in person."

Notes to editors:

Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most complete Cistercian monasteries in Britain. Founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks, Kirkstall was a religious centre in Yorkshire until 1539 when it was closed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Visitors can explore the abbey ruins to discover where the monks worked, lived and prayed over 800 years ago, from the majesty of the church to the peace of the cloisters.

The Visitor Centre is home to displays about the abbey, kid’s dressing up and a shop selling unique bespoke products. Entrance to Kirkstall Abbey is Free. There are regular events at the abbey throughout the year, including the Kirkstall Festival every July.

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

Regeneration boost for historic Tower Works

Regeneration plans for Holbeck Urban Village have received a boost with a number of developers coming forward with proposals to regenerate the iconic Tower Works site.

The Leeds City Council and Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have been working together to use assets they both own at the Tower Works site to kick start regeneration in Holbeck Urban Village. Ccompetitions to select partners to re-develop the historic site commenced in the Spring.

Interested developers were able to make first round bids for a HCA controlled lot to re-develop the HCA sites, and a Leeds Council controlled lot for the re-development of the listed Engine House building.

Now, after the first round of evaluation and very high levels of interest, four developers have been shortlisted to take part in the next stage of the procurement process for the HCA sites and four developers have also been shortlisted to bid for the Leeds City Council owned Engine House.

With strong competitions secured, shortlisted bidders are to now prepare their development proposals for delivering regeneration at the site ahead of further evaluation.

The Tower Works is a key and historic site in the city’s 136 hectare South Bank area – one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe anchored around the proposed HS2 station - and includes the grade II listed Engine House and three iconic Italianate towers. Regenerating the important site is considered to be a major way to boost regeneration of neighboring sites that had stalled during the recession.

As part of the next stages of the competitions, a detailed planning statement has been approved by the Local Planning Authority. This sets out the planning policy requirements of the site and the design quality that bidders are expected to achieve to achieve the city’s regeneration objectives.

Leeds City Council executive board member for transport and the economy, Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“I’m pleased with the high levels of interest in this site which clearly shows the growing confidence in Holbeck Urban Village. Securing new development at the Tower Works is very important and will be the catalyst that kick-starts further regeneration in the area, securing new investment and jobs. In particular, development at Tower Works can encourage landowners at neighbouring derelict sites to bring their sites forward for development and can support wider aspirations for growth in the South Bank. ”

Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, Councillor Peter Gruen, said:
“The Tower Works site is of great heritage and the Towers are true icons of the Leeds skyline. As a site within a conservation area, our planning statement focusses on sympathetic development that respects the listed buildings, high quality design and sustainable mixed use development which we hope will help guide the bidders in developing proposals that achieve the city’s aspirations for this area.”

Naz Parkar, Executive Director for North East Yorkshire and the Humber at the HCA, said:
“The redevelopment of the Tower Works site is of vital importance to the local economy in Leeds, offering a high quality mixed use development opportunity that will draw fresh private investment into the area.”

Notes to Editors
The HCA and Council both own assets at the 1.01 hectare Tower Works development site – the HCA being the major landowner – with the Council owning the Grade II listed Engine House and three Italianate Towers. The HCA is disposing of all its land as part of this exercise, with the Council disposing of the Engine House and retaining the Italianate Towers

In February 2014, Leeds City Council’s Executive Board agreed that the Council use a procurement method to dispose of the Engine House in a joint exercise with the HCA. It was agreed that there be a HCA controlled lot for HCA assets and a lot for the LCC assets with two separate but complementary competitions to select a developer for each lot.

Holbeck Urban Village is a major location for the creative and digital sector and has 150 businesses and 2,500 people working there and it is hoped that the competition will help stimulate further regeneration aspirations in the area.

It is expected that the bidder competitions will conclude by the end of the year and a preferred bidder will be selected by the HCA in November 2014 and by the Council in January 2015 for the Engine House.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472