Leeds today: West Park, Aspiring Communities, PSL, parks, reporters, Writers, student fair and short film.

Good Morning Leeds, it’s a fine start to the week. If the recent sub-zero temperatures have given you a tricky time of it lately, now is the time to get back out into the world.

Although, my first item might want you to put your head back under the duvet. Local councillors have launched an investigation into the shady closure of the West Park community centre. You may remember that the site was quite suddenly and surprisingly shut down last November after council officials found its electrical system to be at fault. However, reports to the council since 2009 indicated that major works needed to be carried out on the building and there is suspicion that the site, which housed several thriving and important community groups, was left to rot so that it could be sold to a housing development. Tch!

After that dismal piece of news there’s quite a lot of good regeneration happening, starting with the Ice Pak factory site on Barkly Road in Beeston. The area has been bought by Aspiring Communities to build a community centre for not only sports and youth recreation but as a multi-faith facility with an Islamic learning centre.

Next, Project Space Leeds, who help with the production and viewing of contemporary visual art, have been given a grant of £225,500 by the Arts Council to turn the former Tetley brewery headquarters into  a ‘publicly accessible creative facility, to be named ‘The Tetley’. Work to convert the 1930s building will be sympathetic to its history and will ‘contribute to a creative renaissance along Leeds’ ‘South Bank’ say the charity’s directors.

‘Set to open in Autumn 2013, The Tetley will create opportunities for artists based in the city and region to develop and show work that will appeal to a wide range of audiences, and artists will be commissioned to create new work as part of the capital refurbishment.’

Queen’s Park, Rodley Park, and a community garden in Woodhouse have received £400,000 between them as part of the council’s improving green spaces scheme. The spend will include remodelling some worn out areas, increasing the range of play facilities, increasing park furniture and tree planting.

South Leeds Life launches the work of five new community reporters who have just graduated from their journalism scheme. They have two further community courses on the horizon for those keen to get involved with this fabulous news blog. If you already write (crime fiction, children’s novels, short stories, poetry or prose), feel you have something to offer right now and want a share of a £40,000 prize fund, then the Northern Writers Award is open for submissions until the 31st of January.

‘For new writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award can help them to get noticed by agents and publishers and on to the first rung towards publication. For established writers, the awards can buy time to write to undertake major new projects.’

The Student World Fair arrives in Leeds on March 17th at the Royal Armouries; this is the first time the event, which provides a platform for international universities to showcase their degree courses to under-graduates and post-graduates in the UK, makes it here. Students, parents and teachers can talk to reps from institutions around the world to find out whether given the rise of tuition fees they may be better off studying abroad.

This Saturday, City Varieties will stage an acoustic music concert in aid of Cancer Research UK and moving further afield, the CV has a glowing feature on Sheffield’s Lantern theatre’s upcoming season which features Jane Eyre in February.

Finally, if you’re looking for more immediate events then Wharf Chambers’ gig listing tomorrow evening features a line-up of ‘intricate and acoustic emo’ singers and bands whilst Wednesday at the White Cloth gallery sees the inaugural ‘Up North Short Fim Night’. It’s billed as an evening to socialise and share a passion for film, all within the great setting of the White Cloth Gallery.

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