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.
Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is one of Leeds most ambitious community driven projects. The Trust was set up in 2016 to develop a learning and leisure park over 200 acres of inner Leeds and to refurbish two heritage mills that lie at its heart. The Trust are working with Leeds City Council, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, the Centre for Alternative Technology and local community groups to create:
- A Centre for Future Cities (CFC) in Abbey Mills teaching practical and high level skills for sustainable living, focusing on water, energy, food and housing.
- Environmental education particularly aimed at young people
- Energy, growing and nature projects
- On site power sourced from the river and solar panels
- New parkland and wildlife areas
- Improved access, with cycle and walk ways
- Two refurbished heritage mills
- Workspace for sympathetic small businesses
- Flexible community space
- A public café / bar, events and exhibition space
The 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
Further details can be found at the Trust’s website here
During 2017 the Trust will undertake development work financed by our community share issue (running until April 20th) which will hopefully followed by a development grant from Heritage Lottery to pay for architectural and surveyor fees, project management, marketing and community engagement. Initially we are looking for investors via our crowdfunding page which can be accessed by clicking the link below.
We are very close to our initial £40,000 target so please do support us if you can!
Where is the retail market going now, in location, development and acquisition, what market trends are identified for new developments or retail opportunities, what is the impact on the high street, and the future for the independent retailer?
Cathy Barnes – Director and Professor of Retail Innovation, The Retail Institute, Leeds Beckett University
Gerald Jennings – President Leeds Chamber and York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, formerly Portfolio Director, Land Securities (North & Scotland)
Julian Dobson – director Urban Pollinators Ltd, author of ‘How to Save Our Town Centres: a radical agenda for the future of High Streets’ published by Policy Press 2015
Followed by Q & A with the Panel
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More than fifty volunteers from Leeds communities took part in an upbeat and enthusiastic neighbourhood planning workshop organised by Leeds Beckett University’ School of the Built Environment & Engineering on 30 January. They worked together to shape a vision for their communities helped by practical tips on plan-making and design from the university’s planning and housing lecturers. This was the second event in a programme of activities in which Leeds Beckett puts the skills and knowledge of its staff at the service of neighbourhoods in Leeds. Feedback from the workshop was unanimously positive and delegates went away with fresh ideas on how to deal with the thorny issues they face in the community.
Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Sixty communities in Leeds, and many others across Yorkshire, are setting out a vision for how their local community will develop. They need technical assistance and expert advice to do this neighbourhood plan. Leeds Beckett is making sure they get the help they need.” The workshop was organised by Leeds Planning Network, one the new research clusters set up by the School of the Built Environment and Engineering supported by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange.
Delegates heard from Jeff Newton and John Steel, community volunteers in Boston Spa who are in the final stages of their neighbourhood plan. They talked about their innovative new designs for the high street and plans for a renewable energy scheme. Jeff and John stressed that plan-making was hard work but they were enthusiastic about the future and the improvements they wanted for their village (see their presentation below).
Detailed guidance on the legal aspects of plan-making was given by Bob Pritchard, specialist planning lawyer and guest lecturer at Leeds Beckett. He spelled out what a neighbourhood plan could achieve and what should go in it. This was vital information for delegates learning to write planning policy that will guide development in their community over the next twenty years (see his presentation below).
Following this, there were three discussion groups each focusing on themes requested by delegates at the previous workshop. Will Sparling, PhD candidate at Leeds Beckett gave help to inner-city communities working together on common problems. Planning lecturer, Harvey Pritchard gave advice on planning for infrastructure, while Jenny Fisher, principle urban designer for Leeds City Council helped delegates work on improving the look and feel of their neighbourhoods. Delegates were full of praise for the Leeds Beckett event and gave the organisers many more ideas for future workshops.
Copy of Leeds City Council “Neighbourhood Planning & Design Issues” Document to download
The next neighbourhood planning workshop is 16 April 2016 but in the mean time Leeds Planning Network will be holding two planning masterclass events on Tuesday 1st March (Details here) and Thursday 17th March (Details here)