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Residents launch complaint over ‘lack of engagement’ for council housing plans

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The former school site at Hough Top could become council housing. Photo, taken July 2024, by Google

By John Baron

Angry Swinnow residents have lodged a formal complaint to Leeds City Council over a ‘refusal to engage properly’ over plans for 82 new local authority houses.

Residents have criticised the local authority’s Council Housing Growth Team for what they claim is a lack of meaningful consultation during the planning process, which has seen the principle of the development supported locally but concerns over its design and layout.

The plans are due to come back before councillors for a decision next week, with council planning officers recommending approval, subject to conditions.

An artist’s impression of the houses at Hough Top development has been criticised as being inaccurate.

Resident Ian Feber said: “Our new government has been in the press all this week with announcements about taking a proactive “How, not If” stance on planning objections when reforming the laws to facilitate easier planning permissions.

“Yet here is a pure example of how any new planning laws around “How, not if” must include a requirement to compromise on both sides (with a real commitment to meaningful consultation) if they are to avoid residents feeling that pPlanning is being done to them‘. 

“Here the principle is absolutely not in dispute – Hough Top residents have been totally supportive of new affordable housing – yet the current proposal has garnered over 100 objections (from a street with only 51 houses) because of significant issues with the quality of the planned layout and design, plus the Council’s stubborn refusal to change it.”

Mr Feber said the council lost a Judicial Review in 2022 over the TV Harrison Ground application in Wortley, in which they were strongly criticised for their lack of consultation and refusal to listen to the local community.

He added: “Hough Top is going the same way – a further waste of public money due to the current inflexibility and bias of the planning process.”    

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council’s Housing Growth Team, which is the applicant, said: “Extensive consultation has been undertaken on the proposed affordable housing development at Hough Top, Pudsey, with local people able to consider and comment on the draft proposals.

“This included direct mail to over 220 households in addition to publishing online consultation material. Face-to-face appointments were also offered to 29 households on Hough Top Road given their properties immediately adjoin the site.

“One recent complaint has been received and we will be responding to all of the concerns raised.”

The planning application could be decided by councillors on the South and West Plans Panel at Leeds Civic Hall next Thursday (1.30pm).

Council planning officers are recommending councillors approve the scheme, subject to 34 planning conditions including a landscaping scheme and details of maintenance, a highways condition survey and retention of driveways for parking.

No design alterations have been made since the last panel meeting, with the applicant concluding that the design and layout is appropriate.

A planning officer’s report said there was a growing demand for one, two and three bedroom social housing properties in the Pudsey ward.

The report concludes: “In light of the above, and particularly given that the site is an allocated housing site in the SAP, the principle of residential development is considered to be acceptable.

“The development is not considered to be harmful to the character and appearance of the area, nor would it have a harmful impact on highway safety. The development provides 100% affordable housing and this weighs heavily in the planning balance of considerations.” 

The agenda and council documents can be read in full here.

Pudsey company scoops multi-million pound skyscraper contract

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Sunlight House in Manchester.

A Pudsey based company has secured a multi-million pound contract to deliver a complete mechanical, electrical and public health design and build to Manchester’s original skyscraper, Sunlight House.

G&H Group will support the refurbishment of the iconic Grade II listed building, improving its energy performance and helping it achieve a net-zero carbon footprint.

A 40-strong team, including apprentices, will deliver a full MEP design and build which will transform the 14-storey office.

As part of the contract G&H Group will install a solar PV system, new energy saving lighting, fire, access control and CCTV systems, heating and cooling systems, and upgrade the power services. 

G&H have been appointed by main contractor MYCO and developer Karrev.

G&H Group director David Davis said: “We’re excited to be collaborating with MYCO on the restoration of Sunlight House, a building rich in heritage and of the finest architecture.

“Sustainability is at the heart of the project and G&H Group will, through every aspect of design and installation, ensure Karrev’s environment targets are achieved.”

Work will commence on Sunlight House, which was designed by Manchester-based architect Joseph Sunlight, in July with planned completion for Phase one, April 2025.

Established in 1998, G&H Group is a market leading MEP provider. Its 180-strong experienced team design, manage, deliver and maintain every aspect of MEP schemes.

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Buffaloes Bulletin: Brilliant Bramley bring home the trophy!

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By Paul Abraham

A magnificent squad performance brought the Yorkshire Mens League Shield back to West Leeds as Bramley Buffaloes defeated Illingworth 22-16 in a titanic struggle at the Batley Bulldogs Stadium.

The Buffaloes came back from a 0-6 deficit to lead 12-6 through tries from Omar Al-Rawi and the try of the match by Bryn Perrot – both converted by Lewis Gaunt – before Illingworth reduced the arrears to 12-10 just before half-time.  

As both teams battled for supremacy in the second half it was the Buffaloes who extended their advantage to 18-10 as Jack Boot scored from close range and Gaunt added the conversion.  

Illingworth went up a gear and put pressure on the Bramley defence to reduce the score to a nail-biting 18-16, but as seen throughout this season the Buffs’ fitness and defensive tenacity kept their line intact. Keiran Hudson then crossed for a try in the corner to put the black and ambers into a 22-16 lead.

With the sun beating down and Illingworth throwing everything at the Buffs the composure and defence was there for all to see as they held on for a magnificent victory.  

This group of players have defied all the odds during this cup run as they played and defeated three teams from a higher division to take the trophy and create their own piece of Bramley rugby league history.

A comprehensive match report by Devon and Andy Johnson can be found here. Watch the match highlights here.

This week’s visitors

After last week’s cup winning exploits it’s back to the league campaign as Bramley take on York Acorn at the West Leeds Rugby Union ground this Saturday.  

The Buffaloes secured a 28-10 victory at their opponents ground earlier in the season and will be confident of remaining at the top of the division. The team from North Yorkshire will come to West Leeds buoyant after winning their last outing 16-14 against Elland/Greetland.

Due to the Yorkshire Men’s League cup finals day no league games took place last week.

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Sunny Bank Mills adds string to its bow with new archery company

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Pete Bowers (centre) with Deborah Waterhouse and Sunny Bank's John Gaunt. Photo: Sunny Bank Mills.

Quicks Archery, one of the oldest and most successful archery retailers in the world, has moved into Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley.

Quicks, which is owned and run by archery specialist Pete Bowers, has taken a five-year lease on a state-of-the-art studio and shop in the Mending Rooms, an historic Georgian mill which has undergone an extensive modernisation programme.

During the past 11 years Sunny Bank Mills has been transformed into a modern office and mixed-use complex, creating over 450 sustainable new jobs.

Picture supplied by Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley.

Pete, who lives in Halifax, said he has been looking for a base in Leeds after a rival archery retailer closed in the city.

He added: “We already have shops in the south of England and Lancashire, but I wanted a Leeds location to spread our reach. When I saw the Mending Rooms studio at Sunny Bank Mills, I was blown away. It had exactly the right ambience and character for our shop, with its traditional rustic feel of exposed brickwork, cast iron features and a rich history.

“The community at Sunny Bank Mills is amazing. Everything is on our doorstep, with the ancillary facilities, such as parking, disabled access and cafes, a tremendous plus. The whole atmosphere of the Mills complex is family friendly, attracting exactly the kind of clients synonymous with our trade.”

Quicks, which was founded in 1949, is one of the best-known dedicated archery companies in the UK, run entirely by archers. The company sells archery equipment, parts, kits, books, accessories, gifts and everything else archery customers want to use.

Quicks, together with its sister company Podium, is sponsoring two archers representing Team GB at the Paris Olympics, Briony Pitman and Tom Hall.

John Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse & Co Ltd, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, said: “We are delighted to welcome Pete and his shop manager Deborah Waterhouse to Sunny Bank Mills. Quicks, with its superb global reputation, really adds to the diverse mix of quality retail and leisure occupiers we have at Sunny Bank Mills. We wish Pete and Deborah the best of luck here and know, given their passion, they will thrive.

“In addition to our offices and arts studios, we now have cafes, restaurants, a brewery, a gin-maker, a jeweller, a yoga studio, an art gallery and the Old Woollen events space. It is this diverse offer, which we work so hard to achieve, that makes Sunny Bank Mills not just a wonderful place to work but also a great place to visit and spend time at as well.”

Both retail and office space is still available at Sunny Bank Mills.

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West Leeds: Drop in sessions start over plans for new tram network

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Consultation events are due to start next week where West Leeds residents can have their say over three possible routes for the proposed new tram system linking Leeds and Bradford.

A series of drop-in events will be held across Bradford and Leeds, as part of a major consultation on plans to create a Mass Transit network.

The events, starting next week and running until September, will allow people to learn more about proposed routes for phase one of the network, which would link areas in Leeds and Bradford.

More than 20 drop-in sessions will be held in community centres, libraries and other venues close to areas earmarked for proposed lines, and will be open for up to four hours.

The first event starts at St Thomas’ Church Community Hall in Stanningley next Tuesday and is followed by events and Bramley. Here’s a full list, with dates, times and venues in West Leeds:

It follows the start of the consultation by Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin last week, in which a series of possible route options across the Leeds Line and Bradford Line were revealed.

Feedback will then be considered as part of ongoing development work, and help determine proposals for a preferred route for each line.

The statutory preferred route consultation will be held in 2025, and the Mayor has previously promised to have spades in the ground on the project by 2028.

Simon Warburton, Executive Director of Transport at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “Mass transit will act as a catalyst for growth and help us to create a better-connected West Yorkshire.

“This is a scheme that will change the way people get around the region for generations to come – for such an important decision, we need to hear as many people’s opinions as possible.

“We’ve had a brilliant response so far, with more than 1,000 people giving feedback on the scheme in the first week, and we now want people to pop in, ask our project team, and find out more about our plans.”

The 11-week consultation will close on September 30, 2024.

For more information, click here.

Armley residents urged to have say on Town Street scheme – as some traders express concern

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By John Baron

Armley residents are being urged to have their say on a £2.9 million to revamp the Armley Town Street area – as traders express concern over its potential impact on their businesses.

Residents and traders attending last night’s Armley Forum meeting heard council highways officials encourage people to take part in a public consultation into the proposals, which aim to reduce bus delays and tackle rat running.

The plans also look to improve the street environment for visitors and shoppers with wider pavements, planting and landscaping and more crossing points.

There will be a reduction of on-street parking spaces on Armley Town Street to facilitate the plans, however nearby short-stay parking will be available at Armley Leisure Centre and Home Bargains (previously Wilko) car park are a short walk to Town Street.

But two traders – Kamal Jeet Singh, who runs Classic English Fisheries, and David Skelton, who owns Skeltons Butchers – both voiced concerns about the loss of parking in front of their shops and the need for access for deliveries.

Skeltons Butchers hers has been running for 175 years. Photo: Google

Mr Skelton said the proposals threatened the future of his 175-year-old business, saying 80% of his trade was from passing traffic and that the current proposals would mean he could lose that.

“I can guarantee that if you put these proposals in front of my shop I will be shut within a year. And I have 16 vans a day come to me to deliver. Access is vital to my business.”

He said problems with anti-social behaviour on Armley Town Street should be tackled instead.

‘Nio regrets’: Kamal Jeet Singh runs a chippy in Armley Town Street. Photo: Jess Wong

Mr Singh added; “Nobody wants to walk to my shop, we need parking outside to cater for passing trade.”

David O’Donoghue, from the council’s highways department, said that the majority of people using Armley Town Street currently walk there, with buses being the second most popular form of transport.

“We are trying to prioritise the modes of transport which currently prove popular,” he told the forum. “Armley Town Street will be fully accessible by car and you will still be able to drive to Skeltons Butchers.”

Mr O’Donoghue said short stay parking would still be available within a short distance of the shops.

“There are 10,500 vehicles driving along Armley Town Street each day – is that the Armley Town Street people want?” Mr O’Donoghue said. “We have put together a version of what Town Street can be. I appreciate that there will be challenges with what we are proposing but I would urge people to take part in the consultation to help shape what they want the area to look like.”

Another resident feared the move would add to traffic congestion on Stanningley Road, another pointed to past consultations over the cycle superhighway and where ‘local people weren’t listened to.”

The meeting heard it was hoped the new layouts would improve the experience for pedestrians and encourage more investment and businesses moving into the area.

Mr O’Donoghue stressed the importance of taking part in the public consultation and coming up with suggestions on how they would like Armley Town Street to look.

What Armley Town Street could look like at its junction with Theaker Lane.

The proposals

The plans include:

  • Four new pedestrian crossing points, two located on Armley Town Street, one on Carr Crofts and one on Wesley Road, to improve safety
  • Wider pavements to facilitate pedestrians and shoppers, better bus waiting areas and greenery
  • New cycling and walking links from surrounding streets to Armley Town Street
  • Making Armley Town Street from Theaker Lane to Wesley Road a bus-only section that can also be used by black and white taxis, emergency vehicles and cyclists
  • New trees and landscaping, including rain gardens that help to remove surface water run-off
  • Better bus waiting areas, with upgraded bus stops
  • New pick-up/drop-off short stay parking on Theaker Lane, Stocks Hill and Crab Lane suitable for private hire taxis
  • Two road closures on Wesley Road and Theaker Lane to prevent motor vehicles rat running through residential streets 
  • A reduction of speed from 30 to 20mph along Armley Town Street, to improve safety
  • Seven disabled parking spaces retained but relocated and additional loading bays.

The additional pedestrian crossings and wider pavements aim to make it easier and safer for people to walk and wheel around, while the relocation and upgrading of bus shelters will provide a better waiting environment for bus passengers.

The bus-only section of Armley Town Street aims to reduce delays by moving motor vehicle traffic from Armley Town Street to the main roads of A647 Stanningley Road and Tong Road, providing a much larger area of Town Street for shoppers, local markets and events.

A visualisation of the junction with Gelder Road.

Have your say

People are now being asked to share their views on the proposals in a consultation here.

The consultation runs until Thursday, 22 August 2024. 

People can also attend a drop-in event to see the plans in more detail. This will run on Thursday, 8 August 2024, 3-7pm, at Interplay Theatre,  Armley Ridge Road,  LS12 3LE.

To request paper copies of the proposals and the survey, or a reasonable adjustment, please contact 0113 336 8868 or e-mail connectingleeds@leeds.gov.uk.

Breeze provides summer fun for West Leeds families

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Young people in West Leeds can look forward to a summer of outdoor fun as the annual Breeze In The Park entertainment extravaganza celebrates a special milestone.

Organised by Leeds City Council, the roadshow-style programme will see more than 25 interactive play days for children and teenagers taking place in various parks and green spaces over the next five weeks.

Each day’s attendees will be able to enjoy an array of activities, featuring everything from sports and games to art and music – and Breeze’s giant inflatables.

West Leeds dates include:

Fri, 26 July 2024Queens Park, Pudsey, LS28 7FB
Mon, 29 July 2024Armley Park, Stanningley Rd, Leeds LS12 3LW
Sat, 3 August 2024Western Flatts Cliff Park, Green Hill Lane, Wortley, LS12 4HG
Tues, 6 August 2024Kirkstall Abbey, Kirkstall, LS5 3EH
Fri, 9 August 2024Hainsworth Park, Farsley, LS28 5ES
Sat, 17 August 2024Bramley Park, LS13 3PG

Organisations including Zero Waste Leeds, Leeds Young Film and Leeds Libraries will also be running a range of taster workshops and hands-on experiences.

Events in Wortley and Kirkstall will include relaxed and quieter sessions for children with additional needs.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, active lifestyles and culture, said: “So many young people have enjoyed Breeze get-togethers in our wonderful parks and green spaces since 2004, with the programme’s continued focus on fun, inclusivity and value-for-money reflecting our determination to ensure Leeds is the best city in the country to grow up in.

“It’s lovely to think that some parents bringing their own families to this summer’s events will once have attended as children themselves and are now set to make a whole host of magical new memories.”

Each day will have two main sessions, one running from noon to 2.30pm and the second from 3pm to 5.30pm. The sessions for children with additional needs will run from 11am to noon.

Sessions cost 50p per child and tickets must be bought in advance. Purchases can be made here or, for additional needs sessions, here. A full list of event dates and locations can be found on the same web pages.

Breeze In The Park is funded with the generous support of the council’s network of local community committees.

Breeze Pass holders get fast-track access to some of the most popular inflatable attractions. Please note, pass holders must still purchase tickets in advance.

Bid to tackle period poverty following Pudsey Crawshaw partnership

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Yorkshire Water Education team & Crawshaw Academy teaching staff with Hey Girls products (L-R: Vicki Dowling YW, Shauna Dudson Yr 9 Lead, Natalie Briggs PE Cultural Leader Yr 9, Crawshaw Academy, Ruth Blackwood YW)

Yorkshire Water has announced a new partnership with Hey Girls, a social enterprise set up to eradicate period poverty.

It aims to provide 20,000 reusable, sustainable period packs to selected secondary schools across the region and follows a successful pilot partnership at Crawshaw Academy in Pudsey.

It’s part of a wider education programme to improve period dignity, educate young people about sustainable, reusable period products, and find an alternative method of disposal to flushing pads and tampons down the loo, which can cause blockages in the sewer network.

Yorkshire Water’s education team have devised a programme that includes sessions on period health and wellbeing.  

The team will be delivering the education programme to a selected number of secondary schools from September.  

As well as distributing period health starter kits,  the period health education sessions will feature where to access products and explain the benefits of sustainable products that can be better for the environment, the pocket and the sewer network.

Rachel Lee, curriculum for life, safeguarding and PHSE governor at Crawshaw Academy, said: “We’re really grateful for Yorkshire Water for providing this opportunity for pupils at the academy as it is important to supply students with sustainable choices.  

“It ensures that our Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE) curriculum is relevant and reflective of current local and global issues. We highly recommend that other schools take up this opportunity.”

Nicola Shaw, chief executive office of Yorkshire Water said: “Our education team developed and delivered a pilot scheme last year and the feedback from teachers and pupils was really positive.  

“We wanted to extend this pilot as part of our wider education programme as we were quite shocked by the number of important school days lost due to period dignity and anxiety. 

“Our association with Hey Girls will help us to introduce pupils to alternative, plastic-free period products and encourage reusable, sustainable alternatives.  This also reduces the number of period products being flushed away and potentially blocking the network.”

Hey Girls operates on a buy one, give one principle so that for each eco-friendly product purchased, a second is gifted by the social enterprise.  Hey Girls have donated over 30 million period products to schools, youth groups, women’s centres, homeless shelters and food banks since its launch in 2018.

Yorkshire Water has purchased 10,000 period starter packs which include reusable two-night pads, reusable two-day pads, a single reusable pant-liner, and biodegradable travel bag.  Hey Girls has matched this to create a total of 20,000 packs.  The education roadshow roll-out will include a session about period health, care of products and an alternative to flushing for other single-use period products.

Kate Smith, Co-Founder and Director of Hey Girls, said:  “We want to put an end to one in 10 people affected by period poverty in the UK and stop 49% of pupils missing an entire day at school because of their period.”

It is hoped that the Hey Girls partnership will raise awareness about the safe disposal of period products. Previous campaigns have successfully resulted in a reduction of blockages caused by ‘fat-burgs,’ the collective term for fats, oils and grease that congeal into a stubborn, immovable mass once cooled on a reduction on the number of blockages caused by wet wipes. 

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Review: Bramley Community Arts Festival packs out the Villagers

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Class Act Youth Theatre take to the stage. Photo: Emma Greenwood

Words: Noelle Williamson. Photos: Emma Greenwood

Bramley Villagers’ Club was absolutely packed for the closing show on day two of Bramley Community Arts Festival 2024, and a three-hour programme packed with amateur entertainment at its best.

From three year-old youth theatre members doing a nursery rhyme medley to the 50-strong, and some of them aged 70-plus, Daytime Choir, the performers filled the stage and the dance floor. 

Even before the show started the concert room was buzzing with chatter and full of colour because, with so many performers, almost everyone was out front.

The crowds gather at Bramley Villagers. Photo: Emma Greenwood

Lisa Crawshaw’s dancers were gathered near one side of the stage, immaculately groomed and fizzing with excitement. Choir members in fruit cocktail colours filled another area. Families with buggies clustered round tables, parents soothing nerves and guarding props and headdresses.

Toddlers explored the dance floor, older kids joined their friends, mothers went visiting with newborns, the queue at the bar was chatty, and the organisers seemed to be everywhere at once, threading through the crowd, checking sound and costumes and reassuring youngsters. 

And then, at last, the first young dancers stepped out onto the floor, poised and smiling, and the music started. We were off! 

The show then moved onto the stage, with an athletic feline contemporary dance soloist and an elegant ballerina, followed by two happy cat burglars tap dancing to Jailhouse Rock and six very small dancers nervously holding out the hems of their tutti-frutti skirts as they faced the largest crowd they’d ever seen. And they did great! (Email l.crawshaw@ntlworld.com to find out about adult or children’s dance classes)

Members of Class Act take to the stage. Photo: Emma Greenwood

After the dancers, Emma Smith introduced Class Act, Bramley’s youth theatre group.

First, there were nursery rhymes, and then musical theatre with Shrek, Fiona, Pinocchio and a host of fairy tale characters, including Three Little Pigs giving it loads at their microphone.

Several of the young actors reappeared later when Bramley Players performed a medley from Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Bramley Parish Theatre Players. Photo: Emma Greenwood

Out in the audience, a lot of us were grinning at one another and singing along under our breath. If this sounds like your kind of fun, go to Bramley Parish Theatre Players on Facebook to get involved in Red Riding Hood – the pantomime! Class Act is for anyone aged 3-17 and new members will be very welcome on Fridays at Trinity Methodist Church. Beginners 4.30pm-5.15pm, Juniors  5.30pm-6.30pm, Seniors 6.45pm-7.45pm.

Trinity Methodist Church is clearly the place to be for community arts in Bramley! The long-established String of Beads ladies’ choir meets there at 7.30pm-9.15pm on a Tuesday evening, while the Daytime Choir meets on a Wednesday afternoon at 2-4 pm. Both welcome new members!

String of Beads sang a beautiful programme in three-part harmony for us; my personal favourite was The Beatles’ Blackbird.

The Daytime Choir is a mixed choir which has only been in existence since April, and this was their first ever concert, but their four-part harmonies are so rich and confident that you would never know it.

Musical director Robert Sanders said: “If they enjoy themselves, they sing louder!”

Ladies and gentlemen (particularly gentlemen!) if you would enjoy singing the likes of Walking in Memphis, Fix You and Shotgun, get yourselves down to Trinity on Wednesdays, from 2pm to 4pm.

Leeds Youth opera wow the crowd. Photo: Emma Greenwood

Finally, after an introduction from musical director Anita Adams, Leeds Youth Opera took to the floor with a moving extract from Children of Eden, Jr.

A chorus of 20 or more singers alternately filled the space with voices and twirling coloured ribbons, and pulled back so that we could witness Adam and Eve going out into the world, and Cain working on his brother Abel.

Leeds Youth Opera is now in its 50th year and rehearses at Interplay, on Armley Ridge Road. LYO is open to young people aged 12-25, and you can find out more at www.leedsyouthopera.org.uk.

Councillor Kevin Ritchie, Dean Patrick and Emma Smith. Photo: Emma Greenwood

Some background – and thoughts about the future…

The organisers, Dean Patrick, Emma Smith and Councillor Kevin Ritchie, are all members of Bramley Parish Theatre Players, which used to meet at St Margaret’s Church.

Introducing the show, Dean told the audience: “We formed a Community Interest Company last year to do lots of good things in Bramley.”

He said that, with the loss of St Margaret’s, the search is on for a suitable building to house a community arts centre so, if you hear of a possibility, please let them know.

In the meantime, and following the success of Bramley and Stanningley’s first Arts and Culture Festival, in Leeds Year of Culture 2023, the team set out to establish the first Bramley Community Arts Festival independently of Leeds City Council.

Dean expressed the hope that this will be an annual thing and go from strength to strength, and assured the audience that all donations during the festival will be carried forward into future projects in Bramley. 

So, that was our first Bramley Community Arts Festival. We’ll have to wait another year for the next one but, between now and then, how about getting involved with one of the many groups that have been part of this brilliant weekend? It’s all right here!

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Leeds artist puts her ‘stamp’ on Farsley with giant mural

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By Noah Roberts

A Farsley homeowner has donated the wall of their home to help create a huge mural.

On Friday night Farsley residents gathered outside the house on Croft Street to admire their new village mural. The mural is a culmination of the hard work a local people and was the idea of an arts collective called Project Farsley.

Last year residents were invited to vote for their favourite design. The winning design has since been painted onto the side of house kindly donated by a homeowner on Croft Street. The mural is a modern painting in the shape of stamp bearing a silhouette of the village’s landmarks behind the word Farsley. 

The mural on Croft Street. Photo: Project Farsley

Residents came together on a sunny evening to see the mural up close, enjoy a drink, listen to live music and meet with the winning artist Melody, of Melody Murals, who created the design. Members of Project Farsley were on hand to mingle and give out pieces of cake to all who attended. 

Artist Benjamin Mills spoke to the crowed thanking everyone for coming and giving thanks to all who have supported the creation of the mural, including Farsley Scaffolding who donated their services for free. Also in attendance was Councillor Peter Carlill (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) who had given advice on planning permissions. 

Benjamin said: “Project Farsley is a community led group which was opened and is run by local residents. They meet up once a month for a chat over a pint usually at The Fleece pub.”

He added that they are seeking new people to join anyone and all ideas welcome.

The project has received funding from the National lottery and over the last year Project Farsley has brought local residents together helped them build connection and make new friendships.

Two people from the group have gone on to work together on their own separate venture.

Over the last year the project has led a communuity crochet event, the Farsley Yard Trail and recently has invited the edible archives to Farsley.

The Project also gained attention when they adopted a giant sculpture of a sheep which is located next to Sunny Bank Mills. 

With ideas for future murals, a possible film festival and sculpture trail, the project plans to start crowdfunding soon, so watch this space. 

You can follow Project Farsley on Facebook

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Funding boost for Kirkstall Forge development

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number 1 Kirkstall forge
Number One Kirkstall Forge

By John Baron

Funding to help kick start the Kirkstall Forge development has been agreed.

Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) has completed a £25 million deal to help finance construction of the development, which has stalled in recent years.

The former industrial site is being developed by CEG and currently features a commercial and office block and a train station, with outline permission to build 1,385 homes.

Antonia Martin Wright, commercial development director at CEG, said: “Some £100million has been invested in Kirkstall Forge to date, the majority of which delivered remedial works, earth works, flood alleviation measures, river walls, roads, bridges, drainage, utilities and contributions to the rail halt. 

“We have now agreed a funding facility with Hampshire Trust Bank towards further infrastructure delivery as the development progresses in the coming years.

“We have also shortlisted residential delivery partners and hope to have further news regarding the selected partner in the coming months.”

The community will include over 1,400 homes, offices, hospitality and leisure venues.

The funding will be used to refinance and restructure CEG’s secured debt facilities across the site.

Rob Syrett, head of origination of development finance at HTB, said: “The deal allowed HTB to once again demonstrate its commitment and ability to support groundbreaking schemes with complex structures to achieve a positive outcome for all parties.

“We strive to deliver a best in class service and are absolutely committed to supporting clients such as CEG with the development of landmark schemes across Britain and we look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver the project.”

As reported by WLD in April, CEG had a strong response to their appeal for a partner to deliver a high-quality housebuild to the east and west of the site and are aiming to announce the partner ‘in the coming months’.

Fresh detailed planning applications for housing are set to be submitted once the partner has been agreed.

WLD reported 12 months ago that CEG hope to have both new office and residential developments up and running ‘within a couple of years’ – and admitted that a combination of the Covid pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine had all impacted progress on both commercial and residential elements of the 57-acre site.

Plans for a new public sculpture at the Kirkstall Forge site were approved by the council in February.

Pudsey runner launches 100km MND fundraiser around Leeds

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Pudsey runner Andrew Richardson.

A Pudsey man is set to run 100km around the boundary of Leeds to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Andrew Richardson says he was inspired by former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow, who passed away recently, and the fundraising efforts of Kevin Sinfield.

He’s planning to run a 100km lap around Leeds that goes into all 33 wards starting from his home in Pudsey and finishing in the city centre.

Mr Richardson said: “After ten years of working for LCC and looking at a map of the political wards in Leeds, I finally wondered if you could build a running route that passed through them all.

“The good news was it was possible, the bad news was the route’s 100km long.

“Inspired by the incredible fundraising of Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield, I will be running this full Lap of Leeds on September 21, passing through all 33 electoral wards totalling a distance of 100km (62 miles).

“People will be running with me throughout, and if anyone wants to join in (either for one mile or 50!) then please get in touch – there’s no excuses as I’m definitely passing through your ward!”

Donations can be made here.

5,000 people in the UK live with MND and there is currently no cure. As well as campaigning for better health and social care provision, the MND Association provides financial support issuing grants for those people and their families affected by this condition.

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