Buck the bad news trend with ten local stories that’ll make you smile
The month of March is behind us, but with it came some excellent new developments for the city. Here are ten of the biggest wins worth cheering...
British library plans Leeds expansion
In a massive win for northern scholars and academics, The British Library is in talks to build upon its current Wetherby site with an extra home in Leeds, expected to open in 2023. A dedicated tie-in with Leeds year of cultural celebration, the archive is set to gather centuries of local and national newspapers, as well as books, multimedia artefacts and sound recordings.
Channel 4 building ‘decided’
After months of speculation, the new Leeds Channel 4 headquarters has been seemingly confirmed by The Architects’ Journal as the former Majestic nightclub, a Grade II listed building directly opposite the train station. Commissioning departments in Leeds will include comedy, drama, entertainment, E4 and factual, amongst others. Leeds’ is expected to be a major base for hundreds of the company’s staff so get those CVs sharpened…
Mass train station update in full swing
Featuring over £161 million of works, our revamped train station will see dated ticket machines replaced and a new roof (due in August) to let in plenty of light. As for the trains themselves, unmarked ‘bullet‘ trains are currently being tested along the West Yorkshire-Liverpool route; promising more luggage and seat space, full USB charging and a smoother journey. If only they could sort out the local service…
City centre buildings nominated for architecture award
Two of Leeds buildings have been nominated for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire Awards 2019. First up is the Leeds Arts University and the second is Merrion House - home to Leeds City Council and recipient of a recent facelift. The winning Yorkshire projects will be considered for a National Award, to be decided later in the year.
Flood defences scheme approved
With the effects of 2015’s floods still visible in parts of Kirkstall, a governmental debate over the need for flood defences has finally come to pass with the agreement to invest £112 million along a 14km stretch of the River Aire. A final planning application is due in April, with work expected to begin in summer 2020. All being well, West Yorkshire Combined Authority believe the defences would protect 1,385 businesses and 11,000 jobs.
Leeds youth team win big at Crufts
A testament to triumph in the face of diversity, a junior team from Leeds bagged first place at Crufts despite being victims to thousands of pounds of equipment theft mere months ago. The Critical Impact Flyball Team, aged between eight and twenty, took home the National Youth Kennel Club prize following support from the British Flyball Association to fundraise new equipment.
Pioneering new hospitals planned for city centre
Virtual tours have landed for two newly proposed hospitals in Leeds City Centre. Worth £450 million, a new adult hospital with operating theatres and a purpose-built children’s hospital are in the works, complimenting the already-existing services. A new multi-storey car park and retail quarter is also proposed, with work commencement dates to be confirmed.
Black Box Launches in Trinity
After a couple of false starts, new retail offering Blk Bx is finally open in Leeds Trinity; offering small, independent businesses an opportunity to find their footing. Curated by Darren Rutland, the line-up of retailers changes monthly, complimenting the (very Instagrammable) artwork that will remain in place within the mall.
Leeds folk ready to challenge climate change
Good news for our environment – a national survey has revealed that over half of Leeds residents are prepared to make ‘significant lifestyle changes’ to fight climate change. Run by organisational group Modular Classrooms, the survey revealed 59% of Leeds residents to be on board with actions such as eating less meat and using more public transport, 2% above national average. The study also suggested that we’ve in favour of more education in classrooms relating to sustainability and conservation. Time for change…
Shears Yard welcomes ‘The Half Yard’
Lastly, a little treat for food fans - esteemed eatery Shears Yard has announced its new budget snack menu. Designed to compliment its hugely successful traditional brunch and dinner options, the ‘Half Yard’ is a 12-dish menu built on natural organic produce, available to order from the bar. With cauliflower fritters, beef sirloin nuggets and cheddar sriracha fries on offer, we’ll be heading down just as soon as we’ve finished this sentence.