YEP survey: Readers share Leeds leisure and arts views

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Culture vultures and shoppers are well catered for in Leeds but there is a call for more sports facilities, a Yorkshire Evening Post survey has revealed.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents to the YEP’s Voice of Leeds 2014 survey say the city’s arts and cultural offerings are either good or excellent.

But 33 per cent of people claim Leeds is not well served in terms of sports facilities for people to participate in.

Nearly 2,000 people responded to the YEP’s Voice of Leeds Survey 2014 with their views on life in the city.

Readers have told us they want to see more central sports facilities – such as a swimming pool – and more places for children to play.

But 40 per cent of respondents say Leeds is well served in terms of sports facilities.

Council officials say that sporty residents have helped to make Leeds the most active big city in the country.

The latest national survey looking at adult participation in sport and active recreation across the country has seen Leeds top the list of England’s core cities.

Leeds is also the seventh most active local authority area in England out of 326.

The Active People Survey by Sport England shows 31.2 per cent of people in Leeds now take part in sport or active recreation three times a week or more.

The figures represent a rise of more than 10 per cent from 2005-6, when 20.6 per cent of residents were taking part in sporting activities.

Readers have also told us they would like to see even more facilities for young people and children across the city.

THE COUNCILLOR

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said: “It’s wonderful to see that so many people are appreciating and enjoying arts and culture in Leeds.

“In fact last year 321,529 people visited Leeds City Museum and 447,654 came to Leeds Art Gallery.

“That enthusiasm is a huge boost to our credentials as a centre for the arts- especially as we continue to explore a potential bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023.

“It’s also encouraging to see that many people are positive about sports and leisure facilities in Leeds and, while we appreciate that not everyone has a leisure centre on their doorstep, we’ve gone to great lengths to keep the cost of staying fit and active down.

“Since last September, free hour-long Leeds Let’s Get Active gym, swimming and fitness sessions have been available every day at all council-managed centres.

“They have helped more than 116,000 people to visit our leisure centres and we currently have more than 37,000 people registered to the scheme.

“Last December also saw the opening of the fantastic new £28m Holt Park Active wellbeing centre which stands as a real benchmark for the future of fully inclusive and community-based sports and leisure facilities in Leeds.”

THE LEISURE CENTRE

Thousands of people have already passed through the doors of the new £28m wellbeing centre for Leeds in just twelve months.

Holt Park Active opened in October last year and is the first centre of its kind in the city.

It combines sporting and support facilities to encourage people to lead an active lifestyle as well as a host of activities for older people and those with physical or learning disabilities.

And there are hopes that its success could be used as a blue print for the future.

Centre manager Mark Robinson told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I think that we will be used as a blue print.

“We are trying to be more inclusive and trying to bring different services together into what we’re doing.

“If there are plans for any new facilities in Leeds then I think we will certainly be a good blue print.

“There are a lot of role models in the city now for sport.

“The success of the divers and the Leeds City swimmers.

“We are doing so well on a national scene with the Tour de France. Over the last two to three years Leeds has been shoved to the forefront for sport.

“It is always a case of moving forward and don’t get time to sit still.

“We have had people returning to swimming for the first time who are in their 80s.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for adult social care, said: “Holt Park Active represents a real statement of intent about what we want to offer older people and people with disabilities both now and in the future- modern, friendly places where they can feel part of what’s going on in their area.”

THE SHOPPING CENTRE

It has been hailed as the jewel in the city’s crown.

And now Trinity Leeds has received the thumbs up from Yorkshire Evening Post readers.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents to this newspaper’s Voice of Leeds 2014 Survey said that the shopping centre is either good or excellent.

The news comes after the landmark £350m development bagged a top spot on the prestigious CoolBrands list by a panel of judges.

Paul Smith, Trinity Leeds’ development marketing manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Trinity Leeds ranked highly with Yorkshire Evening Post readers as one of the many things they love about our fantastic city. The centre is proving to be an essential part of life in Leeds.”

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