Leeds today: BlogNorth, transport, Holbeck, lights, Brewdog, housing, Odeon, folk.

Morning, Leeds! Mike here (unusually for a Friday) with a roundup of the news and whatever is going on in Leeds & environs this weekend.

Today is Park(ing) Day! Cities all over the world take part in this annual event where someone books a parking space and turns it into, well, a park for the duration of the permit. Leeds is no exception to this brilliant idea, as Culture Vultures finds out. Head on over to the Leeds city Museum & Cookridge St after 12 today to see what’s what.

It’s perhaps a good day to have a debate on public transport in Leeds, then; CV is having its sixth Cultural Conversation today, and it’s all about:

What are your thoughts on getting about in West Yorkshire? Whether you drive, cycle, walk, or take public transport we’re keen you come along. What would you like to see improve? What’s working well? Do you have ideas about how we could do things better?

It’s sold out at time of writing but you can follow the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #ITWMC (In Town Without My Car).

South Leeds Life has details of a new project to explore the heritage Hunslet and Holbeck that’s being run by the University of Leeds. The project is focussing on the 19th century industrial life of the area, as well as community memories, to inspire education, skills and training. A series of meetings on how the project is happening are being set up.

Speaking of South Leeds Life, the shortlist for the Blog North awards has been released! SLL is there, as is BGL’s own Elly Snare whose blog The Magic Square Foundation is essential to modern living.

It seems that students in Leeds are starting to move out of shared housing and into purpose-built flats; research from Unipol (PDF) seems to indicate that the number of empty properties in Woodhouse and Hyde Park are set to increase. Perhaps it’s time for student landlords to think about doing something else with their properties? Like selling them for a reasonable amount of money instead of overinflated prices that may reflect their rental income (but probably don’t)? The housing market in LS6 is a total disaster because of this; perhaps over time parity will re-establish itself.

We’ve been covering the Brewdog story on BGL for a while – certainly since I saw the license application at the White Cloth Hall one day – and this week the license was granted. The Beer Prole casts his eye over the judicial commentary, but there is a wider question that could be asked; is that part of town becoming a bit of a dodgy area? When ambulances are permanently stationed there on Friday and Saturday nights…

The Bradford Odeon has been saved from being knocked down and turned into something else, reports the BBC. The Telegraph & Argus points out that any future redevelopment could cost rather a lot of money. Some say that attention-seeking cat impersonator George Galloway MP will probably do a “it was me wot won it” but that is not the case, it was the results of a considerable amount of hard work by many campaigners (especially BORG and Save Our Odeon). Also, have a look at this opinion piece by Simon Cooke from Cullingworth, in which he says

…the City needs a new central library, the West Yorkshire Pension Fund needs better offices and, even after restructure, the Council still has staff littered across the District. […] There’s perhaps a discussion to be had with the Science Museums who have the wonderful Media Museum next door?

It looks like West Riding House is getting a facelift, reports Leeds Online. The site on Albion St could be getting some exciting new LEDs on the facade, which has never really pleased Leeds residents very much.

The YEP has a story on residents in Farnley who are requesting that a boarded up pub be turned into a badly-needed play area for kids. The pub, which has been abandoned for several years, needs to be flattened and made into a playground.

If you’re looking for things to do over the weekend, why not try something different and go to the Otley Folk Festival?

And that’s that for today! Thanks for reading and we’ll see you again on Monday. Have a great weekend.

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