Friday, 25 July 2014

Thornbury Barracks roundabout improvements planned

Work is due to begin on Thornbury Barracks roundabout Monday 28 July.

Owing to the volume of traffic which uses the junction all efforts have been made to reduce disruption.

Work on the carriageway is restricted to off-peak times between 9.30am – 3.30pm weekdays with occasional weekend working required. All improvements should be completed by April 2015.

Improvements will reduce congestion at this junction as well as improve accessibility and connectivity between Leeds and Bradford.

The works involve creating three lanes through the roundabout's centre, traffic signals, reconfiguration of lanes, introduction of pedestrian and cycling facilities as well as upgrading streetlights and bus stops.

Further information about the scheme can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/thornbury.

This project will be constructed at the same time as other improvement schemes at Rodley and Horsforth roundabouts, which should begin in late August.

The complexity of improvements means all three schemes would take around 10 months each. Constructing them together eliminates the potential for 30 months of continuous roadworks on the outer ring road.

Department for Transport funding conditions also require Thornbury Barracks and Rodley projects to be substantially complete by March 2015.

Leeds City Council recommends motorists think about alternative routes in order to avoid disruption and apologises in advance for any disruption caused.

For further information please contact the press office on 0113 3950244.

Love Parks Week to be celebrated in Leeds


Caption: Middleton Park is just one venue which is celebrating Love Parks Week.

The magical parks of Leeds are set to be celebrated as part of a special week of events beginning today.

In what is always a packed programme of activities, guided walks and volunteering opportunities, residents from the city with a passion for parks will be able to attend a range of events that showcase the important role that green spaces play in both communities and people’s lives. This forms part of a national ‘Love Parks Week’ which is being held from 25 July - 3 August.

Included in the fun is a ‘Dragonfly Day’ at Ledston Luck on Saturday 26 July from 10am-12noon where participants can join the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Leeds City council to explore the special habitat and discover the amazing array of dragonflies that make the ponds their home. Booking is essential and don’t forget to bring your wellies!

At Middleton Park on Sunday 27 from 2pm-4pm, a family friendly show full of tricks and fun hosted by The Great Si Moano will be entertaining the crowds as part of a Friends of Middleton Park event.

If exploring is up your street, then why not visit Chevin Park on Tuesday 29 July from 1pm-3pm and see if you can survive the wild in a special Family Bushcraft activity day that will feature den building, wild food, water and fire!

A walk around Golden Acre Park is always a lovely experience, and on Thursday 31 July from 1pm-2,30pm, you can join the head gardener on a special tour where you can find out more about one of the city’s premier green spaces.

On Saturday 2 August, Temple Newsam Park will be hosting an evening ‘Bat Walk’, where those in attendance will be treated to a beginner’s guide to the natural history and identification of these intriguing mammals, who continue to capture the imagination for both young and old.

While many events are free or at a nominal charge, selected events do need to be booked, and people are asked to reserve their place if interested, as soon as possible.

For a full programme of events and activities in Leeds to celebrate Love Parks Week, please see www.loveparksweek.org

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities said:

"We are quite rightly very proud of our fantastic parks in Leeds, and as part of national Love Parks Week a range of activities and events are being held to celebrate how brilliant they are.

"Perfect for all the family there really is something for everyone during the week, from live entertainment to finding out more about wildlife and tours of selected parks.

"Many of the activities have proved to be very popular in the past, and with selected events needing to be booked, we would ask people to reserve their place as soon as possible."

Notes to editors:

Love Parks Week 2014 will be held nationally and in Leeds from July 25-Aug 3.

Love Parks Week began in 2006 with a simple aim: to encourage people to visit, enjoy and take pride in their local parks and green spaces, driving the message that our parks and green spaces are essential to healthy, happy and strong communities.

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





Rent reduction to support market traders as upgrade plans get underway

Leeds city council’s £12.3m investment in the refurbishment of Kirkgate Market has taken a major step forward as the planning application details and support for traders are announced.

The council is proposing a 20 per cent reduction in rent aimed at helping traders as work to upgrade the historical market getting underway in early 2015.

The rent reduction, which is subject to approval by the council’s executive board, would be for one year. If approved, traders’ rent will be reduced from October 2014.

A major element of the refurbishment plans will see a vibrant, new, fresh food area created by moving the butchers from their current location to join traders on fish and game row.

This will mean substantial upgrades to all utilities such as the market’s Victorian drainage being replaced, ventilation improved and the sprinkler system and electrics upgraded, to create the modern shopping environment to trade in, visit and shop.

The inevitable disruption from these works means the fish and game row area will need to close temporarily, however the council is offering traders affected by this, alternative accommodation for a period of around 3 months in refurbished empty market units on the existing Butchers’ Row to maintain a fresh food offer at the market during the works. This will enable the works to be completed in one go minimising disruption for traders.

Once works are completed, traders will be able to move to the fully revamped area along with their new neighbours from butchers’ row. This will form part of the new integrated fresh produce area in the market.

The project is also reaching a major milestone as the planning application and listed building consent is submitted by the end of the month. The planning application and listed building consent sets out the detailed proposals for the project.

Affected tenants will receive six months’ notice to vacate their unit giving them time to consider the future options. The first traders affected will receive notice from 1 August 2014. All tenants will be eligible to apply for existing and newly built vacant units, or to receive statutory compensation instead. The council will work with traders to identify support and independent advice available to them.

Importantly, traders will be able to move on to the updated, standardised lease agreements offering them more long term certainty, including the right to transfer or sell on the business, as the council agreed in December 2013.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport and the economy, said:
“While this is one of the most exciting developments at Kirkgate Market for many years, we know it’s going to be a challenge.

“As well as being about the refurbishment of a much loved Leeds landmark, it’s also about people and their livelihoods and the long-term commercial success of the market. We’re determined to find the right balance that allows businesses to trade while working on the fabric of the building and keeping the long-term goal in mind.

“We’re listening to traders’ concerns, both in respect of changes already experienced and what is yet to come, and that is why we’re proposing a year-long cut to rents.

“We need to be realistic about what we can achieve in managing the refurbishment of a historic building in a live market environment. The most effective and efficient way to get works done on fish and game row is to do it all in one go. Relocating traders for around 3 months whilst keeping them in the market where customers can find them, is a practical solution.”

Notes to editors:
The rent reduction will be funded separately to the £12.3m investment in the improvements to Leeds Kirkgate Market. This is why a separate decision is required by executive board.

The £12.3m refurbishment will secure the market’s future; improvements to the structure of the building will create a better quality environment to trade in, visit and shop. With millions of visitors expected when 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.

The work includes:
• 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 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 - this separate project will see the council working with a developer to create an area for ‘food to go’, leisure and specialist retailers operating out of normal trading hours.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244
email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk