Leeds today: Snow, City House, Bees, Test Space, Home tourism and TSL.

If you think today is going to be a bit warm, spare a thought for the ten Humboldt penguins at Scarborough’s SeaLife Centre (YEP), who received a delivery of show this week from Castleford’s SNO!Zone. The penguins are OK in this sort of weather but do prefer the cold, so the ten tonnes of snow should keep them happy for a couple of days, at least. I know how they feel – the thought of plunging into a snowdrift right now sounds awfully good.

Also on the East Coast, the Yorkshire Post reports that businesses in Hull’s Business Improvement District are staging a revolt over the levy that they have to pay. Over the five years the BID has been in place a total of 44 businesses (out of 750) have failed to pay the levy which goes towards extra police patrols, graffiti cleanup and events such as the Yum! food and drink festival. Opponents to the scheme say that business rates ought to pay for the police and graffiti, and fashion and food events only help a small number of the businesses in the BID.

Back home, plans to revamp City House will go before planners on Thursday. The empty building has been a bit of an eyesore for quite some time, although it has only been vacant since 2006. Plans include re-cladding the building in glass, although if Bridgewater Place is anything to go by people driving North along Neville St might get a bit of a tan with the reflected sunset.

Leeds University researchers will be poking around in people’s gardens in Headingley and Meanwood, reports journal Bioscience Technology. The three year project to look at pollinators in a given urban environment and includes 12 universities across the UK. Hopefully pollination “hotspots” will be identified, and ultimately the University will team up with LCC to create flower “margins” for the city that will encourage pollinator diversity. BGL loves bees, for the record. In fact, this Saturday Leeds Beekeepers is having a couple of “taster sessions” at the apiary at Temple Newsam; booking in advance is essential, and is really well worth the £10.

Tickets for Kirkstall Abbey’s annual Classical Fantasia are now on sale. The previously free event may well see a reduction in numbers similar to Opera in the Park however Classical Fantasia has always been far more popular because of the location and programme. Tickets are £12 or £9.50 for Leeds/Breezecard holders, £8.50 for Leedscard Extra.

This week Leeds and York artists are being exhibited at Test Space. The exhibit by Fonica magazine will show work from up-and-coming artists and have a special anniversary edition of the magazine available.

If you’re looking for something for the kids to do over the summer, SCRAP is after people to come in and make art from recycled and unwanted stuff. The project needs participants and as something to do during the summer hols making your own pieces of art can’t be beaten.

Leeds is playing #Hometourist games with recent graduate Mark O’Brien. Mark will be blogging about his adventures in being a home tourist for The Culture Vulture. Mark says:
“This month, with the help of Emma and Phil here at the Culture Vulture, I’m going all around Leeds, Yorkshire, and even further afield, trying to discover some of the local curiosities, the little-known points of interest, the quirky characters and tales that make this region what it is. Starting tomorrow until the end of August (28 days!) I’m on a mission to bring out all the life and glory there is to be found in these parts.”

Talking of being a Home Tourist, Exposure Leeds is having its monthly Talk & Social tonight, and it’s a Home Tourist Special! Meeting at Caffe Nero on Boar Lane the plan is to run around the city with a set of instructions, taking photos which will be collated into something like a ‘zine. Sound like fun? Bring your camera. BGL will certainly be there and taking part in what sounds like a fun evening.

Also on CV is a call to action! The Source’s Rebecca Roberts is asking people change a tiny amount of their shopping habits, maybe sign a petition, and get people talking about the market a little bit more than they were.

Leeds Grub reviews a new Greek and Turkish place in Headingley, Agora. Sounds tasty, and I’m a sucker for baklava regardless. If they do tiny cups of that really sweet coffee with it I’ll be a happy chap.

Yorkshire Film Archive looks after 16,000 pieces of historic footage, and this week launched its Yorkshire Film Calendar. The video player, currently viewable on yorkshire.com and soon to be embedded on BGL when I get a chance to do the coding, will feature a new piece of historic film each week of the people, places, traditions and events that make Yorkshire so special. YFA’s Director, Sue Howard said

“Thanks to the support of Screen Yorkshire this is the first of a number of initiatives we have been working on, using digital technologies to create new ways of connecting people to Yorkshire’s great film heritage.”

YFA does great things with film including running the Memory Bank, a film resource aimed at people with dementia, and has some interesting and fun things in the pipeline.

Travelling Suitcase Library owner Jess Haigh is having an event at Aglassto, the wine bar on Gt George St. The bar now has a library shelf, where patrons who donate a book get 20% off their bill, and patrons who return books get 10% off. Jess is organising a TSL Literature Evening at the bar on Aug 10th and is after people to read their own work or even a passage from their favourite book. For more details get in touch with @BookElfLeeds on twitter or via her Blog.

That’s it for today! If you have anything to say on this or any other topic then please get in touch; leave a comment, email us, tweet us or stop us in the street and tell us things. See you tomorrow!

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