Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber

Regional partner to Constructing Excellence, the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction

Launch of Centre for Future Cities Event

Share This:

Wednesday 29th March 2017

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Leeds Beckett University, Lecture Theatre B, Rose Bowl, Portland Crescent, Leeds, LS1 3HB

This is a one-off chance to create a centre for sustainable education in two heritage mills based in 200 acres of green space in inner Leeds involving the universities, community and private sectors.

Help us build an urban education centre for the future With the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett and the Centre for Alternative Technology (Macynlleth).

The community driven Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is aiming to establish a Centre for Future Cities (CFC) in Abbey Mills, Kirkstall. CFC intends to be a genuine partnership space bringing together different sectors. It will focus on key areas of city life that need to be, and are being, transformed: transport, energy, food and nature, housing and work. It will do this by:

• Providing real world opportunities for research and learning from an early stage in development

• Co-creating and sharing knowledge and understanding between different groups – communities, enterprises, policy makers, researchers, learners

• Being an exemplar of sustainable good practice in urban scale developments

• Recognising challenges, evaluating and adapting

Tahira Hamid (Leeds Beckett Course Leader Architectural Technicians), Prof Paul Chatterton (Lilac Co-Housing, Prof of Urban Futures UoL, CFC Co-ordinator) Clair Bastin (UoL Sustainability Manager, Director KVDT) Chris Hill (Development Director, Kirkstall Valley Development Trust) will explain what we are trying to achieve and how University staff can be involved.

The Trust is currently undertaking a community share issue to raise development funds. Please support if you can.

If you are unable to make it but would like to be involved please contact Chris Hill or Paul Chatterton on 07968968862 or 0113 3436636.

Click here to book your place!

For more information please visit the Trust’s website.

Race Up the Hill for NHS Yorkshire Cancer Centre

Share This:

A 9.15 start at Pugney Watersports Park for a Run Up The Hill to Sandal Castle saw over a hundred runners enter the event.  Just over 5K, the short trial was quite demanding, with hills, fields and mud – plenty of mud to contend with. 98 athletes of all ages completed the challenge the youngest only 5 and the dignity of the oldest competitor will remain hidden, but needless to say the 50+ age group was one of the largest contingent of entries, with some of our senior runners in the front pack.  The trail was muddy, bumpy and lumpy, the sun was out, the weather very kind. Participation and smiles for all was the main aim of the event.

Race Up The Hill, is an event inspired by the late Ruth Gorse, a sports enthusiast and teacher from Leeds who always wanted people to have fun and participate in sport.  Ruth had breast cancer very young, but continued to run, play basketball, volleyball and take children’s teams to athletics and a whole manner of other events.  Although Ruth’s life was shortened, her time with us and those that engaged in sport with Ruth was rich with laughter, fun and enjoyment of sport, whether laughing at sporting blunders and trips or being the first to cross the line.  The Race Up The Hill (R.U.T.H.) events will aim to run at no cost or low costs – keeping the costs for participation low so all can get involved.  The inaugural run at Pugneys has raised over £600 for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, which was amazing since we had a low entry fee and just asked for donations on the day.

The winners on the day were Brendon Wain, with a winning time of 19.22. First lady was Ruth Draisey (25.40),  first 40+ male Scott Kelly, first 40+ lady Michelle Tones,  first male 50+ Dave Hammond, 1st 50+ lady Elaine Kelly, 1st under 17 lady Imogen Morely, 1st under 17 male Stewart Lee.  Other results are available at with other winners of younger categories included.

more pictures here RACEUPTHEHILL 2017 and  Results 12th March 2017 Pugneys Sandal Castle RaceUpTheHill

Best regards,

Chris Gorse

Factory 2050: “The Factory of the Future”

Share This:

Thursday 30th March 2017


AMRC Factory 2050, Sheffield – S9 1ZA

08:30 for registration, 09:00-10:30 

Refreshments provided!

Factory 2050 is a smart factory and arguably the world’s most advanced production facility.

Completed in late 2015 it is a joint venture between the University of Sheffield and Boeing and has been a catalyst for future investment within South Yorkshire’s buoyant advanced manufacturing district.

It is the UK’s first totally reconfigurable, digital factory for collaborative research and provides a world class environment for robotics and automation, integrated large volume metrology, digitally assisted assembly and manufacturing informatics.


It was also a game changer project for Interserve within Yorkshire, their first project for the University of Sheffield and their first advanced manufacturing project within the region.

The project has been a huge success; it was delivered safely, on time and within budget whilst overcoming a number of challenges associated with a circular building and a logistically complex site.

The excellence of the outcomes achieved along with the collaborative approach adopted, recognised by the project being crowned the National Constructing Excellence ‘Building Project of the Year’ in 2016.

Please join us on Thursday 30th March at Factory 2050, where the Interserve project team will present a case study on the project and provide a tour of the facility.


To get involved join us at

AMCR Factory 2050, Sheffield S9 1ZA

Thursday 30th March 2017 08:30-10:30

Click here to book your place for this not to be missed event!

Planning and Housing Strategies in the Combined Authorities – Leeds Planning Network Master Class 16 February

Share This:


Planning and housing strategies are essential for economic growth in the Combined Authorities and delegates at the Leeds Planning Network event in February had the opportunity to study three different approaches.
Speakers from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, South Yorkshire and Leeds City Regions provided much needed insight into the impact on planning and housing strategies on the city devolution agenda. They were ably chaired by consultant and researcher Jane Kettle, and addressed an audience of around 50 practitioners. Identifying a choice of strategies, the three speakers shared a vision that links housing growth to rising prosperity.

Anne Morgan, Planning Strategy Manager for Greater Manchester set out the benefits and challenges of the Combined Authority. The ability to produce a Greater Manchester spatial framework has made it possible to identify strategic growth areas, and plan collectively and consistently across ten local government areas. The spatial framework is supported by Mayoral compulsory purchase powers, and benefits from the potential to create Mayoral development companies. It has enabled the authorities to identify priorities, not only for economic growth but for the enhancement of green infrastructure. But it has also entangled the Combined Authority in public controversy over the loss of green belt land as tough decisions on housing allocations are made.
You can look at Anne Morgan’s  presentation here: Anne Morgan – GMSF Leeds .

While the route to becoming a Combined Authority has not been smooth in South Yorkshire, a collective approach to planning and housing has emerged from the bottom-up. A housing compact agreed between registered providers in South Yorkshire was hailed by Tony Stacy, chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, a leap forward in co-operation and joint planning. The compact between local authorities and housing associations demonstrates a willingness to work collaboratively in meeting housing need. It has resulted in a joint bid for housing investment and plans to radically expand the number of new homes built. Housing – once excluded from the priorities of the city region – is now seen as a key part of the infrastructure of economic growth.
 You can look at Tony Stacy’s presentation here: Tony Stacey – Devolution, housing and Planning

An infrastructure investment framework has enabled the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to co-ordinate strategic planning in the Leeds city region and neighbouring areas. Colin Blackburn, Head of Infrastructure, stressed the need for a shared approach to planning and placemaking. While political structures evolve slowly, it is co-operation between authorities on development frameworks, land acquisition, site selection that makes combination possible. Significant challenges to housing delivery persist, and the Government White Paper provided few solutions, but agreement on strategy and consistency in approach are key achievements for West Yorkshire authorities.
You can find Colin Blackburn’s presentation here: Colin Blackburn RTPI – Planning and Housing Under Devo


By  Quintin Bradley



CEYH Excellence Breakfast Series -25th January 2017

Share This:


Planning Network Master Class: Planning and housing strategies in the combined authorities -16th February, Leeds

Share This:

Thursday 16th February 2017
17:30 – 19:30
The Rose Bowl (5th floor), Lecture Theatre RB538,
Leeds Beckett University,  Woodhouse Lane,
Leeds LS1 3HB

Master Class pic 16th Feb
What has been the impact of city devolution on planning and housing strategies? What new approaches have been taken by the combined authorities and what benefits have they seen?
Chair: Jane Kettle, Housing Consultant and Researcher
Our Panel:
Colin Blackburn, Head of Infrastructure & Investment, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Anne Morgan, Planning Strategy Manager, Greater Manchester Planning & Housing Team
Tony Stacey, Chief Executive, South Yorkshire Housing Association
Followed by Q & A with the Panel

        Book Here!

CGL’s Harrogate: breakfast briefing on ‘Local Authority Requirements for the Verification of Contaminated Land’ on Wednesday 8th February at 7:30am.

Share This:

CGL GEAwards 2016


CGL‘s next breakfast seminar, Local Authority Requirements for the Verification of Contaminated Land will be on Wednesday 8th February.

Inconsistencies between different local planning authorities in their respective verification requirements for contaminated land can often lead to confusion, conflict and costly delays for developers. In order to ease this process, the Yorkshire and Humber Pollution Advisory Council (YAHPAC) – a group of council bodies stretching from Northumberland to South Lincolnshire – has issued guidance on their collective expectations to ensure consistency for developers working across the different regulatory areas.

  • Jonathan Shaw and Mark Stringer will take a closer look at YAHPAC guidance and how it can be applied to streamline the contaminated land verification process.
  • Drawing on examples of both good and bad practice, Jonathan and Mark will take a particular focus on the verification of cover systems and gas protection measures.

This event will be of particular benefit to developers, contractors and related professionals.

The event is held at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate (HG1 2RZ) View Map.

Doors will open at 7.30am to allow networking before the main presentation with bacon baps, pastries and refreshments served. The presentation will be at 8.15 – 9.00 with time afterwards for questions/discussion.

Register yourself directly for free or find more information at


If you have any queries please email Katie Hatchley at: or call 01423 276000. Website



“I think therefore I BREE-AM”

Share This:

Join us at our breakfast event on 25th January 2017

Multi BREEAM award winning and two time BREEAM Assessor of the Year – Barry Rankin, director of Leeds based GWP Project Services will review the benefits (and challenges!) of BREEAM to those tasked with delivering, operating and owning BREEAM assessed buildings. Barry will draw on best practice examples from current and previous projects of how BREEAM has been approached and achieved on an economically justifiable basis and has effected substantial change to the approach to sustainability within the industry.  He will also look at the range of BREEAM versions applicable to multiple building types, alternatives within the marketplace and give an insight to where BREEAM may head in the future.

Why build sustainably: A review of UK research, governance and industry activity

Professor Chris Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, and Dr David Glew, previously seconded from Leeds Beckett University to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, reflect on their research, the position of the government and industrial activity in the UK.  While over recent years the government have seemingly taken a back step with its environmental agenda, insights are provided into some of the research being undertaken, the benefits of sustainable building and what the future might hold.  The impact of certification schemes such as BREEAM will be explored as will the benefits of understanding energy use and building performance.

To get involved join us at:-

Addleshaw Goddard LLP, 3 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds LS1 4ER (New venue)

Wednesday 25th January 2017 08:00-09:30

Click here to book your place!

Land value is key to building more affordable homes, Leeds Planning Network hears

Share This:

Planning and housing practitioners discussed the urgent challenge of how to build more affordable housing at Leeds Planning Network’s Master Class on Innovation in Housing Supply on November 17th.

The event was organised by Leeds Planning Network, Leeds Beckett’s School of the Built Environment’s planning research cluster, and the Centre for Knowledge Exchange and was chaired by Martyn Broadest, Director of Home at Connect Housing.

The Planning Master Class was attended by nearly 50 practitioners, and featured presentations from Rob Greenland, of Leeds Community Housing, and Vicky Payne, from Urbed – Urban Environmental Design – the Manchester-based planning co-operative.

Quintin Bradley, from Leeds Planning Network said: “This year only 32,110 affordable homes were built in England. That’s 52% lower than the previous year. There is an urgent need to change the way we deliver housing in this country and this Master Class look at innovative ways to tackle the problems.”

Leeds Community Homes are developing a community land trust to ensure homes stay affordable in perpetuity and any increase in house values goes back to the community. Meanwhile Urbed are working on designs for new garden cities where increases in land values are captured for the long-term benefit of residents.

The key issue for both presenters was the need to purchase land at its existing use value so that the increase in price that follows planning permission can be channelled to provide affordable housing, and to invest in infrastructure and community services. In the current planning system, this uplift in value goes to the landowner and developer only.

Urbed’s garden city vision won the Wolfson Economics Prize in 2014 and they are currently working on master plans for potential settlements in Sheffield and near Birmingham. Leeds Community Homes have launched a community share offer to raise £360,000 to create 16 permanently-affordable homes in Leeds.

For more information go to


Please see link here for the Presentation Slides from The Master Class.  leeds-master-class-slides-final




Never Mind the Bollards… … Here’s the real impact of security on the built environment – CIC Yorkshire Annual Conference

Share This:


CIC Yorkshire Annual Conference

Wednesday 2nd November 2016






The aim of this day is to explore the ways in which our built environment has developed and continues to develop strategies that respond to safety and security risks, and how we, as construction professionals, can work together to create safe yet welcoming spaces. What this conference is not about is bomb blast bollards and barriers, but rather an interrogation of new threats, what we can learn from past threats and what we can do to defend the future.

  • Security in the UK: the impact of defence on place making.  Many of our historic cities developed because of their defensive position, but changes in threats have made these urban areas look less like refuges and more like the targets. How has modern day urban planning responded and is there a way that we can bring sanctuary back to our cities?
  • Teenage Kicks? In defence of public space. Is it possible to design urban spaces that are all embracing and inclusive to the wider society in which we live, yet remain safe and welcoming?
  • Complete Control: Intelligent buildings and digital security. The development of the concept of intelligent buildings is leading to significant shifts in the way buildings are designed,
    operated and used. But could this reliance on digital technology backfire?
  • Military Sounds in the Suburbs: Military innovation for civilian problems. Can we utilise the armed forces incredible skills in design and engineering for emergency situations to overcome peacetime problems?
  • Manchester Calling: Building a resilient city. Reflecting on the 1996 IRA attack in Manchester and its influence on the masterplanning of the city.


Please register your attendance via eventbrite at the link below 



And we are not just referring to the impact of contemporary terrorism on our built environment – it is also about safety.  Creating places that feel safe at all times of the day is crucial to the success of a neighbourhood, resulting in reduced crime and increased business.  It can attract investment, people and culture.  Indeed a little anarchy can be a good thing for an area, cultivating alternative thinking, artistic endeavours and literary inspiration.  A counter-culture can be good for business – just look at New York’s Meat Packing district or Brixton.  Unfortunately safe places = terrorist targets.  Boston, for example, is consistently voted as being one of the safest cities in the US, although this illusion was shattered during the Boston Marathon, giving rise to the question as to whether a balance can be struck between ‘safety’ and ‘security’.  It would seem this shift in the balance is only temporary.  Cities are amazingly resilient – largely due to its people who rebelliously will not hide, but also the buildings, infrastructure and public spaces that continue to endure.

Many of our cities developed because of their defensive position.  Whether a small city like York or a metropolis like London, the very existence of these conurbations is due to their foundations as fortifications.  The quaintness of Yorkshire market towns like Richmond or Knaresborough belive the once strategic importance of their associated castles, but these fortifications influenced how our cities developed and in turn shaped our society, becoming places of safety in turbulent times.  How things have changed.  From the blitz, the threat of nuclear war and alternative tactics from terrorist organisations have made these urban areas look less like refuges and more like targets.  How has modern day urban planning responded to these new challenges and is there a way that we can learn from past defensive design to bring sanctuary back to the city?

There is a great deal of research on how the creation of spaces that give residents and users a feeling of sanctuary, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.  However it would seem that this theory is taken to the extreme; that rather than creating urban design that engages people,  some local authorities and developers are keen to ‘design out’ certain activities, and ipso facto, certain people.  Whether it is the anti-loitering “Mosquito” device, anti-skateboarding studs or benches that prevent any other use other than the act of sitting, urban spaces are becoming less about inclusive design and more about defending our cities from the homeless, ‘anti-social’ youths and feral pigeons.    What are the consequences of such design?  How can we design urban spaces that are all embracing to the wider society in which we live, yet remain safe and welcoming?

Is the Internet of Things possibly the future of the industry, and the development of the concept of intelligent buildings is leading to significant shifts in the way buildings are designed, operated and used.  From the designers, constructors and users, everyone stands to benefit from the optimisation of space, energy efficiency and connectivity, whether a workplace or home, changing demographics come with increasing user expectations of modern and flexible space design, improved comfort, productivity, and pervasive connectivity.  Sounds great, but the downside is that the greater the reliance on digital technology, the greater the chance of the building – or elements of – being hacked.  Can terrorists turn out the lights out of a city, can a burglar hack into your security alarm, can your kettle turn against you?  Is this the future or will there be a revolution against the digital age?

Maybe the armed forces can help solve some of the challenges.  The armed forces have incredible skills in design and engineering; skills used to overcome some extraordinary circumstances in places of extreme danger.  These skills, developed in response to defending security, can be used to overcome peacetime problems.  Whether in the aftermath of earthquakes or, as the Boxing Day floods demonstrated, the army’s skills in design were indispensable in keeping communities together and society functioning.  However, can these skills be used for more than emergency situations, when all other options have failed?  Are there innovative solutions that the industry can use as a matter of course?

I realise that I have introduced more questions than answers, but that, I think, is because there is no single answer in creating safe and welcoming spaces.   Indeed it is questioning what has been done and how we can work together in the future that is the basis of the Construction Industry Council’s sixth annual Yorkshire & Humber conference.

The aim of this day is to explore the ways in which our built environment has developed and continues to develop strategies that respond to safety and security risks, and questions how we, as construction professionals, can work together to create safe yet welcoming spaces.  What this conference is not about is bomb blast bollards, barriers and anti-parking paving, but rather an interrogation of new threats, what we can learn from past threats and what we can do to defend the future.

For further information on the conference please click here


« Older posts