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Green light for £85m development is hailed as major boost for Leeds City Council’s City Square vision

Leeds City Council has hailed confirmation that work is set to start on a major office development in City Square as a vote of confidence for its drive to breathe exciting new life into this key gateway area. City Square House will stand on the Wellington Street side of the square, near Leeds City Station and the recently-revamped Majestic building. Global law firm DLA Piper has signed a deal with developer MRP to take more than 80,000 sq ft of prime office space in the 12-storey development. Leading UK design and build…

Online civic remembrance event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

‘Be the light in the darkness’ is the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day which, due to the current national lockdown, will be shown online on Sunday, January 24 from 2.00pm at www.leedstownhall.co.uk Members of the public are invited to join the event online from the safety of their homes to remember all the victims of genocide. This international day of remembrance focuses on the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust, and millions more people killed under German Nazi persecution,…

Leeds joins national pilot for workforce race equality

Leeds City Council has joined a number of local authorities in pioneering a new social care Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). Led by Chief Social Workers for England at the Department of Health and Social Care, the new model aims to tackle discrimination and inequalities faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) social care practitioners in the workplace. Alongside the 18 councils involved, Leeds will develop an action plan and contribute learning to make national recommendations in a future report.…

Urgent appeal for foster carers in Leeds

Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, Foster4Leeds, Leeds City Council’s fostering service, are urgently seeking to increase the number of foster carers available to care for children and young people throughout the city. The council works extremely hard to continually recruit local foster carers. The number of families fostering with Foster4Leeds has grown substantially during the last decade and is currently at the highest it’s ever been. However, the number of children and young people needing foster placements…

Mill’s milestone exhibition is a breath of fresh Aire

For centuries it helped swell the surging waters of British industry by harnessing the power of the River Aire. From making oil that powered some of the world’s first locomotives to manufacturing putty that repaired London after The Blitz, Thwaite Watermill played an important part in Leeds becoming a powerhouse of production. Today an online exhibition is taking a look back through hundreds of years of the site’s enthralling story as one of the country’s last remaining water mills marks 30 years as a museum. Through a…

Traffic changes in Leeds city centre as two major Connecting Leeds schemes near completion

The layout of two major roads in the city centre will change from Sunday 24 January as Infirmary Street and Vicar Lane open in both directions to motorised traffic and cycles. The roads are currently being transformed as part of a multi-million pound project being carried out by Connecting Leeds to improve transport in the city centre. When the schemes are complete, access over parts of these streets will be restricted to buses and taxis at certain times. Additionally, resurfacing work is set to start on the Headrow…

We wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year — and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. The history of Christmas dates back to thousand years. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD in the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December. This date was probably chosen because…

Mansion’s illuminated windows bring a touch of glass to Christmas

A series of stunning illuminated Christmas scenes have transformed the windows of 500-year-old Temple Newsam House into a giant festive montage. Created by one of the house’s visitor assistants, each of the beautiful images depicts one of the traditional verse of the Twelve Day of Christmas and has been designed for people to enjoy safely from outdoors as they take an evening stroll around the house and estate. The seasonal scenes are a new feature of what will be a very different Christmas at the historic site,…

Over £560k secured to support proactive work being undertaken in city to help rough sleepers

Funding of over £560,000 has been secured by Leeds City Council to support a range of on-going proactive work in the city to help rough sleepers tackle drug and alcohol issues. Following the successful bid to Public Health England (PHE), plans are now being progressed with Forward Leeds, which is the city’s designated alcohol and drug service, regarding the creation of a new designated outreach team to work closely with those in need. Linking in with the city’s wider Leeds Street Support Team, which through a…

Leader of Leeds City Council selected to be a Labour Party Peer in the House of Lords

Councillor Judith Blake CBE, the Leader of Leeds City Council, has been chosen to be a Labour Party Peer in the upper chamber. A politician from Otley will take up a place in the House of Lords next year. Councillor Judith Blake was named among the new peers announced by the Government. Councillor Blake has served as Leader of Leeds City Council since 2015 and before that was Deputy Leader since 2010, as well as being a ward councillor in Leeds for 24 years. Responding to the announcement, Councillor Judith Blake CBE…

Public feedback welcomed on Leeds City Council draft budget for 2020-21

Public consultation is now invited on Leeds City Council’s budget proposals for the next financial year. From now until midnight on Wednesday 13 January 2021, the council would like to hear the views of residents and anyone who works in or travels to the city on how it should continue to fund services next year. The consultation is an online survey, which can be completed at www.leeds.gov.uk in around 15 minutes. Like many councils across the UK, Leeds currently faces significant financial challenges due to the…

Dame Fanny Waterman 22 March 1920 – 20 December 2020

Dame Fanny Waterman, founder and President Emeritus of The Leeds International Piano Competition, died peacefully at her residential care home in Ilkley, Yorkshire at the age of 100. Born in Leeds (22 March, 1920), Dame Fanny Waterman founded the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1961 with her late husband Dr Geoffrey de Keyser and Marion Thorpe CBE, then the Countess of Harewood. The first event followed in 1963 and she remained its Chairman & Artistic Director until her retirement in 2015 at the age of 95. As…

Will you support Candlelighters by naming your own Candlelighters Star? Supporting the families of children with cancer

As Christmas approaches, many of us are preparing for it to look a little different this year. For families facing childhood cancer, Christmas can already be a difficult time and this year in particular, these difficulties are likely to be felt even more acutely. A child’s Christmas should be a time free of care and worry, spending precious time with family and friends, making special memories and having fun. But the harsh reality facing many of our children and their families this year is a Christmas of anxiety,…

Live music lives on at Leeds Town Hall during the 2020 pandemic

Despite two lockdowns and stringent restrictions between and since, Leeds Town Hall has enabled professional musicians, school children and audiences to rehearse, perform and enjoy live music throughout the pandemic, all within the COVID-safe environment of its magnificent and naturally airy surroundings. It is the only major venue in the UK to have been able to do so to such an extent. The Orchestra of Opera North returned to Leeds Town Hall in early July for socially distanced rehearsals. It was an emotional reunion for…

Statement following government announcement that Leeds will stay in Tier 3

Everyone in Leeds can help to control the spread of COVID-19 by observing the latest restrictions and following the key guidelines. Remember, ‘Hands. Face. Space’: Hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing…

Praise for support offered to older people in Leeds by grassroots community groups during pandemic

A new report has praised grassroots community groups in Leeds for the vital support they have provided for older people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, jointly compiled by the Centre for Ageing Better charitable foundation and Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, highlights how Leeds Neighbourhood Networks have acted as a lifeline for older people in the city over the last nine months. Funded by Leeds City Council and Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, the Leeds…

Leeds City Council driving forward with work to support businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions

New figures have underlined the scale of the support being offered by Leeds City Council to businesses struggling to cope with the financial effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The council has awarded around 5,500 grants worth a combined total of more than £8m to businesses affected by restrictions that were introduced on September 25, the national restrictions that ran from November 5 to December 2 and the current Tier 3 rules in force in Leeds. Individual grants distributed during this period have ranged in size from less…

New animation shows how Leeds’ new £38.5million park and ride will look once complete

An animation has been released by Leeds City Council to show how the brand new park and ride in Stourton will look once complete in autumn 2021. The £38.5 million project forms part of Connecting Leeds’ ambition to improve the bus network, provide better connectivity and reduce carbon emissions in the city. The park and ride will have capacity for 1200 vehicles and will complement the Elland Road and Temple Green sites, catering for trips south-east of the city with access via Junction 7 of M621, A61S and A639. The…

Council sets out ambitious targets to almost double tree cover in Leeds by 2050

Senior councillors have approved new targets to increase tree cover in the Leeds district from 17% to 33% over the next 30 years. The White Rose Forest Strategy for Leeds will improve the quality, quantity and access of woodlands across the city – ensuring that no household in Leeds is further than 500m from wooded spaces by 2050. Tree planting will improve the health and wellbeing of residents as well as reduce flood risk, support wildlife and absorb carbon. The council will lead by example planting 5.8million trees…

Five years on from Storm Eva: flood defence schemes bring hope as part of city’s response against climate emergency

It was a storm that devastated homes and businesses, costing Leeds an estimated £36.8million. Five years on, a £112.1million scheme to better protect the A65 Kirkstall Road corridor and areas of Apperley Bridge is offering hope to 1,048 homes and 474 businesses, following a successful first year installing flood defences along the River Aire between Leeds Train Station and Kirkstall. The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Phase 2, being delivered by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, BMMjv and…