Leeds today: Eastgate, architects, PhysCap and ILWL.

We start today with a notice; the Eastgate and Harewood quarter redevelopment will be having its planning application considered on July 7th. The notice of application states:

Outline application for major redevelopment, including demolition, involving mixed use to provide retail stores, restaurants, bars and offices, gym, medical centre, creche, multi-faith prayer room, changing places toilet facilities; with new squares and public realm, landscaping, car parking and associated highway works.[…]
This application will be considered at the Plans Panel (meeting of Councillors) on 7 July 2011. The Panel meets in the Civic Hall, Leeds, in Rooms 6 and 7 and starts at 13.30.

Information about the application for redevelopment is available on Public Access (search for Eastgate) and the YEP has its take on the story. There is inevitable controversy over the proposals; Kirkgate Market will be isolated by it and the development does not really take traffic into account, say opponents to the scheme.

Exploring Leeds also looks at architects. taking a look at the Architect in the House scheme, where architects do work in exchange for charitable donations. Three Leeds-based architects who are taking part in the scheme, which matches homeowners with architects for an hour’s consultancy work ranging from kitchen extensions to building a new house, are looked at in the article – however to take part you need to sign up by July 3rd!

The BBC reports that thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, Thornhill Hall near Dewsbury can be excavated. The hall was blown up by a mysterious gunpowder explosion during the English Civil War, and since 1648 has been gently crumbling away. Archaeologists hope to find out more about the site and help the community rediscover its history.

Also reported by the BBC, a new playground for disabled children has been opened at Temple Newsam. The park was designed by Leeds City Council and children’s charity PhysCap; it includes a sensory maze and adventure area, and the first “tactile map” at a Leeds play area. The map can be used by visually impaired children and children with learning difficulties to find and identify what equipment is available before entering the play area. The balloons are from the launch event!

The YEP has found a shop worker aged well past normal retirement age. Roland Sherwood still goes to work five days a week at the Model Shop in Cross Gates despite being 90 years old. To be fair he did buy the shop and his son still runs it, but nonetheless that’s an impressive working record. Good for him.

There’s three events going on this weekend that deserve a quick mention; the Bradford ‘Zine Fair is on at the Impressions Gallery from 12-4 tomorrow (free), and Otley Courthouse is playing host to Steven Sogo on Saturday, a musician from Burundi who mixes traditional Burundi music with more contemporary, western forms. This is intriguing music, well worth a listen (£12/£10 conc otd). Finally, there’s a dog show on Sunday at Cross Flatts park to go with the always-popular brass bands in parks season! If you like brass bands and pampered pooches, pop along.


Of course, the big event this weekend is I Love West Leeds, a month-long festival that kicks off today. The BBC has reported on Art for Dogs, a series of pictures put on lampposts around the area specifically at a suitable height for dogs, which starts the festival off. Organiser Jane Earnshaw has been talking to Culture Vultures about particular highlights.

BGL is a regular attendee to at least one ILWL event; the Big Free Festival Day, this year appearing in Bramley Falls Park on Sunday. This is never less than entertaining and Jane has managed to get some incredible activities on the books this year. Other highlights include a roving cinema, four cafes in Armley that have been taken over by artists, and of course the Water Music event – alas, long sold out – where an orchestra plays at Bramley Baths. This isn’t everything – it’s barely a tenth – that’s happening as part of the festival; more information is available from the website.

If you can get to one event on Sunday, make it the Festival day (I’ll be there!). But of course there’s plenty of things happening over the weekend and we don’t have time to feature them all (but don’t forget the Leeds Loves Food festival that we covered yesterday). If you’re attending or organising something that we’ve not covered, why not leave a comment?

That’s it for this week; thanks for reading. If there’s anything you’d like us to feature next week then please get in touch! We’re friendly, approachable people who don’t bite. Email, twitter, or collar me on Sunday at the festival! Have a great weekend.

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