Leeds today: gardening, sports centre, apprentices, travellers, adoption, performances and gems.

Morning folks! It’s nice to be back writing at BGL after a couple of weeks break; hope you all had a pleasant end-of-August. September is upon us (already?! Each year seems to go faster and faster..) and we’re all solemnly preparing for the arrival of shorter and colder days. It’s a good job that there’s loads going on in Leeds this month which should provide a welcome distraction from grieving seasonal changes.

In the news: a decision will be taken by a planning inspector this month over controversial plans to create a permanent traveller camp on the Leeds-Wakefield border. A previous application in February to create the site was turned down by Wakefield’s planning and highways council after more than 1,200 objections were received.

Development plans continue in Leeds city centre, with a proposal for a £12m, 10-storey boutique hotel in Greek Street. Developers want to demolish a 220-space car park to facilitate the building of the hotel.  In a bid to win over the eco-concerned, the new hotel will have no parking spaces of its own to encourage guests to use public transport.

Calderdale Council has ‘streamlined’ its adoption process as a means of boosting the number of prospective parents- the council claimed that it had cut the average time to arrange an adoption from 18 months to only 6. This measure was accompanied by the launch of an advertising campaign aimed at finding homes for the 40 children awaiting adoption.

We’re very much in favour of music events hitting Leeds- but its all too easy for forget about the aftermath. On Friday councillors pledged to avoid a repeat of the muddy mayhem caused in Leeds city centre after last Monday’s mass exodus of fans from Leeds Festival to the city’s train station.

An award-winning Leeds horticultural nursery will potentially be shifted from its currents home to a purpose-built facility in Whinmoor Grange. The move would free up land for possible future sale or use in the proposed East Leeds Extension housing development project.

Questions have been raised over why it has taken city hall bosses three years to decide on the fate of South Leeds Sports Centre. It was recently announced that the sports centre would be demolished and replaced with a new school. The sports centre sat empty for years, and the announcement of its impending demolition caused controversy earlier in August.

The struggle for young people in Leeds (and nationwide) to find work is being tackled by a campaign to get Leeds businesses to pledge to take on apprentices. Between April and July of this year, 235 businesses pledged to create 375 apprenticeships for young persons. This is what we like to see- and we hope there will be more schemes like this.

The Leeds landscape seems to be undergoing a period of rapid change, with a vast amount of development schemes sweeping through the city. So, what’s next for Leeds? Leeds-list takes a look at the impending changes on our horizon.

There’s plenty of events coming our way this week/month in Leeds. This week at the Leeds’ oldest (and best) cinema- Hyde Park Picture House- ‘Salt Song’, a live cinematic performance, will be evoking memories of the sea. Culture Vulture is running a competition for tickets to this weekend’s performances.

As summer draws to a close, we can at least look forward to theatre season! Our attention is brought to upcoming performances throughout West Yorkshire in a preview of all Leeds has to offer in terms of performance spaces. In the same vein, Leeds List gives us some tips of how to fill up your first week of September, suggesting a pick of the best shows to enjoy.

Desperate for a fix of culture but struggle to find enough time in the day to enjoy all that Leeds has to offer? Look no more! Let us draw to your attention some cultural gems in Leeds that will take no more than half an hour out of your day– the perfect 30-minute culture injection.

Well, that’s about it for today! I leave you with an entertaining video of Leeds court staff’s charity Zumba event (for those of you not acquainted with Zumba, it’s a popular dance/exercise class hybrid). Have a great week all!

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