Leeds today: busking, Fabrication, indie shopping, heart unit, Mabgate, Graze, cheese and being patronised.

FRIDAY!

Good news this morning with the announcement that children’s heart surgery at LGI would resume ‘within days’. However, anything less than a formal statement with a time and date should be taken with a pinch of salt, it seems, as the Leeds Citizen gives us a second chapter on rumour and counter-rumour.

It being Friday, we have the usual thoughtful post from South Leeds Life’s Jeremy Morton, this week on racism.

The Ben Manning Music Foundation, a charity set up to help disadvantaged children and adults learn to play music, is looking for a new home. Can you help?

Speaking of music, North Leeds News tells us of busker Tristan Mackay who is running a kickstarter to fund his second album. It seems that the chap in the hat – a regular sight in Leeds around Albion Place and Briggate – is well on his way to getting more tunes out there.

The Council made a ‘big announcement’ earlier this week about Lower Kirkgate’s £2 million investment. I didn’t link to it in BGL, however, as I recognised that this was far from news, but in fact the announcement of a delay to work starting. I wasn’t the only person to notice, it seems. The City Talking then posted a fascinatingly critical viewpoint on this and other regeneration – a very interesting read.

A disappointing announcement on Twitter from Fabrication Crafts (@FabricationLS2) this week: “I’m sad to say that unless by some miracle we get a response from the Light landlords in the next 24 hours we will be closing on Sunday…” The lease on their current shop in The Light having expired, the group of craftspeople have had enormous difficulty finding a new home, with both rents and business rates sky high and thus unachievable for a shop of its type. While one needs to be realistic – retail property owners are not going to give a prime site away for nothing – it should be recognised that in a very retail-focused city centre, it is the unusual and independent shops that distinguish Leeds from every other city in the UK, not the same-old chains or ten-a-penny Made in China fall-apart-at-first-wash fashion stores.

BREAKING NEWS: Fabrication have a two-week reprieve! More details here.

Funnily enough, that’s akin to the conclusion of The Daily Mail, too, and though I’m reluctant to link to them, this is a positive article on the city from someone who evidently wasn’t expecting to be impressed.

The Leeds List also gives us two articles on indie shopping: on vintage clothing and the ‘nooks and crannies‘ of the city centre.

Finally, on a food-based theme, a quick reminder that Amazing Graze starts today, cheese club has announced Spanish cheese, and this Sunday is the farmers’ market on Briggate. Yay! (Ed’s note: I’m so out of it at the moment I’d not even noticed that the first FM had moved out of Kirkgate.)

Have a fabulous, sunny and snow-free weekend!

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