Leeds today: sport, sandwiches, mountains, and markets.

A proposed parent-led school in Kirklees has been knocked back after plans for a new school on the same site were approved, reports the BBC. The “free school”, funded by central government rather than via an LEA, was held up as an example of good educational reform by David Cameron during the election campaign and since taking office has provided legislation to make forming such schools a simpler process. Kirklees Council approved plans for a new primary school on the site of Birkenshaw, which was the site earmarked for the “free school” opening in 2013.

Leeds City Council have a full weekend of olympic-themed events happening, but one in particular caught BGL’s eye. The Sports Volunteer Fair on Saturday looks to be an interesting event where the public can see what volunteering opportunities are available in sports clubs and organisations across the region. The event in Albion Street is part of the Year of Volunteering programme that is happening across Europe, with a focus on sport in July and August.

Holt Park Today reports on a series of summer camps that will be running from Monday 25th July for a month on Mondays through to Thursdays, organised by the Leeds YMCA. The camps, designed for children aged six and above, are sport-centred and include one designed to encourage those baby Beckhams to come forward called Football Fever!

My Life In Leeds takes a look at some of the places you can go to for lunch in Leeds city centre. As this is a guide for visitors to the city it gives a good overview of some of the out-of-the-mainstream places where you can buy a decent sandwich, but even locals may find something new here; I’d not heard of Joseph’s and as it’s only around the corner from work I shall give it a try.

A couple of stories from LCC’s press office now. Firstly, there’s an executive board meeting next week and so many of the releases are about what will be discussed at that meeting. The council will discuss the future of the market; there has been a report on the future of the market, published in the last quarter, which proposes closing down part of the market itself and this and other measures will be debated. One proposal is to move the market to an ALMO (arm’s length management organisation) instead of keeing it under LCC control. After Rod McPhee’s remarkably unhelpful comments about the market only being a place to “park your car, score drugs and buy a bag of chips” in the YEP, I hope that the council reflects on the great reputation for food the market has, and builds on improving the reputation as well as fixing the infrastructure. And I hope that, should the market close, Mr McPhee enjoys eating factory-fresh shrink wrapped carbon footprint-laden tasteless chicken at £16/lb from whatever posh foodhall appears in Eastgate (with the associated extortionate parking charge).

The way cultural finding in Leeds is set to change, says LCC. The main change will see the annual funding agreements change to three-year agreements:

A proposal to be presented to the council’s executive board meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 27 July will call for a change from the current annual system for the council’s approximate £2.6m allocation of funding to arts, culture and sports organisations to instead be based on three-year terms and the creation of an entirely new funding element entitled ‘Leeds Inspired’ which aims to focus each year on a specific theme to promote the city.

Applications, which would be accepted from April next year if plans are approved, will have to fit four key criteria; identifying and attracting talent, inclusiveness, demonstrating how Leeds is distinctive, and working within communities. BGL truly hopes that this is a genuine attempt by LCC to support smaller arts orgs in the region as well as keeping the process as transparent as possible, especially where larger orgs are concerned.

Finally from LCC, a new exhibit is opening at Leeds City Museum about the carnival spirit in the city. Visitors can dress up, play steel drums and watch footage of carnivals in Leeds as part of Dancing in the Street. Leeds City Museum curator of exhibitions Helen Langwick said:

“Creating our carnival troupe and getting involved directly like that has been great fun for the whole team and has given us all a terrific insight into the important role that these events play in Leeds and we hope that will come across in the exhibition. It will tell the tale of these events and the fantastic people who make them happen in a really colourful and fun way and we think people of all ages who come along for a look will enjoy what they see.”

Looks like fun!

The first graduates from Leeds Trinity celebrated last night, including PGCE students and MA Business Management students. Leeds Trinity was given degree awarding powers in 2009, and has become a University College capable of awarding different levels of high education – rather than through an accreditation scheme with the University of Leeds. Leeds Trinity already has an excellent relationship with schools across the region in providing first class teachers, and as one graduate, Nicky Hopwood, said: “I am proud to be a Leeds Trinity PGCE graduate and I know that I am now well placed to be a great teacher.”

It’s indie a go-go as hip young things The Mexanines won Centre Stage on Tuesday night, a battle-of-the-bands style competition, and were awarded the opportunity of playing at upcoming Leeds and Reading festivals. Winning last year’s Bingley Music Live competition, The Mexanines were in a good position to fight through the incredibly high standard of bands at Centre Stage. They’re playing this Friday at Milo Bar (Leeds) alongside last year’s winners Penguin.

A terrifically romantic project is underway, with poems being carved into hidden rocks in the Yorkshire Moors, BBC News reports. Simon Armitage, a local poet from Marsden, has written seven poems all on the subject of water and its varying forms in this collaboration with Ilkley Literature Festival. One particular poem from ‘The Stanza Stones’, worked on location, has taken a month to complete. Their exact location will remain secret in order for walkers to discover them by chance when hiking from Marsden to Ilkley Moor, and all seven will be in place by May 2012.

And finally, The Guardian Northerner blog reports two brothers have set up a cafe on England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn in the Lake District. Because, you know, hikers need bacon butties! The now-defunct Easedale Tarn refreshment hut shows there is a precedent for this sort of thing, albeit slightly modernised now. Have you set up a cafe in an unusual, incredibly high spot? Or maybe you’re thinking of franchising out to the Mariana Trench? Do let us know and we will send a Beyond Guardian Leeds reporter out to cover the story.

That’s it for today – don’t forget to keep emailing and tweeting your news stories!

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One Response to Leeds today: sport, sandwiches, mountains, and markets.

  1. Pingback: “Shoes that melt”: 47 miles of poetry | Backwards Lion

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