Leeds today: Kirkstall, beer, housing, Huddersfield and crockery.

The Kirkstall Festival seems to have been a massive success, says the YEP. The festival attracted thousands of visitors on what was a glorious day in Leeds. Over 100 stalls and plenty of live entertainment kept the visitors happy, and individual reports heard by BGL have been very positive. Leeds resident and Exposure Leeds member Si Cliff has a series of photos taken on the day.

It’s all about Kirkstall today, though. The YEP is also reporting on two new development schemes for the area, one that will see a flagship Tesco superstore on Commercial St and another redeveloping the BHS site. Public consultations were held last week for both bids. The proposal from Metric Property includes cafes, meeting points, other shops and restaurants. Architect Mike Lampard said: “We want to give Kirkstall a town centre feel where people can eat, meet and go shopping. The current site is in a very bad state of repair.”

In other Kirkstall news, the New Kirkstall Brewery has been officially launched. The brewing heritage in Kirkstall cannot be disputed; monks at the Abbey were brewing in the 12th century, and the original Kirkstall Brewery was finally closed in 1983 – it is now home to several hundred students. The New brewery is on Wyther Lane, in the shadow of the old one, and has an interesting selection of beers on the go. More information on their brews is available on their website. BGL is intrigued by the gathering pace of smaller breweries opening in Leeds and around the area, and wonders if the pace will pick up now Tetleys has closed.

The Hop on Granary Wharf is having a beer festival. Neil Walker previews it on the Culture Vulture blog mentioning a couple of beers that are well worth a look at; Saltaire’s Elderflower Blonde, for example, sounds like a fantastic pairing of their very good blonde beer with a lighter, zestier note to it.

The YEP is reporting on two people who managed to get onto high rooftops in Leeds on Saturday evening, who are seemingly unconnected. Police managed to get the people down without too much drama, although the article makes note of one being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Two pieces of news from Leeds City Council. There is a new scheme in place in East Leeds to help tenants develop their DIY skills to help them gain employability. East North East Homes have been running five-day skills courses in Gipton, Halton Moor and Meanwood and 21 people have so far successfully completed training in bricklaying, plastering, decorating, and fitting a toilet.

Also from LCC, work is about to begin on 55 new family homes in the Beverleys in Beeston. These homes will be available for social rent and shared ownership schemes, and as part of the build students from Cockburn High School will be able to attend work placements on site. LCC has provided 1600 new homes since 2008, which doesn’t seem like that many given that 4000 new homes a year – not all of them built by LCC, of course – are expected to be built to keep up with demand; BGL discussed this last week.

On a related note Leeds homeless charity Simon on the Streets asks “Where do homeless people come from?”

Baking blogger and underground tea room Cafe Nouveau takes a look at Byram Arcade in Huddersfield, pointing out that it is a hidden gem of architecture and asks how to get more people in the building. The answer could be to “fill the ground floor units” or do what The Source is doing at Kirkgate Markets.

Also in the blogs is, erm, underground tea room blogger Bake Lady talking about getting charity shop crockery to shine. Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market talk about “market integration” with the Eastgate development and writes a piece worthy of inclusion in Private Eye (there’s also a meeting of FOLKM next Wednesday). My Life In Leeds has a post on where the good sweet shops are in Leeds, which does include my favourite new shop in town, Mr Simms.

Quick reminder; tonight is Leeds Salon’s Quantum Mechanics talk and the Leeds Psychogeographers Beating the Bounds walk, and tomorrow night is Bettakultcha Huddersfield.

That’t it for today; as ever, if you want to say something then say it! Email or tweet, or say hello on the street.

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