Leeds nostalgia: Civic Trust offers £1,000 grant to study city

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Leeds CiviC Trust is offering budding historians the chance to win a £1,000 grant to conduct a unique study of the city.

The grant will be open to any individual or group which has an idea to “investigate the past, present or future” of Leeds.

Past recipients of the grant have looked at ways of improving the city’s cemeteries, planning ‘green corridors’ and making social documentary films about aspects of city life.

Trust director Dr Kevin Grady described the grant as “a great opportunity to investigate Leeds and promote its improvement.”

The grant is being offered as part of the trust’s 50th birthday celebrations. It is open to anyone living, working or studying in Leeds to explore some aspect of the city.

The money will come from the trust’s Crabtree Memorial Bursary, which is named after named after Charles Crabtree, the Leeds printing press manufacturing magnate who founded Leeds Civic Trust in 1965 by endowing it with £50,000.

Dr Grady said it would help people in Leeds to better understand and appreciate some aspect of the city and assist the work of the trust in encouraging good planning and design, improving the city’s amenities, and celebrating the history and heritage of Leeds.

Dr Grady added: “Many Leeds people will have enthusiasms for aspects of the city about which they would like to know more and which they would like to tell people about.

“These might be about its past, present or future. Others may have bees in their bonnets about improvements which they feel could be made to the city and which they would like to promote and encourage.

“The Crabtree Bursary can provide financial support over a 12 months period towards the expenses of undertaking their work.

“Leeds Civic Trust is as much interested in the future of the city as it is in the past and we hope the project undertaken would contribute to the future work and thinking of the Trust.”

Leeds Civic Trust promotes the improvements of Leeds in the spheres of planning, architecture, heritage and city amenities. It has campaigned for the restoration of buildings such as the First White Cloth Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Leeds; and it has also leant its voice to calls to revive Leeds waterfront, the stretch of the River Aire which runs through the city and links up with the end of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

The trust also has its own planning committee, which meets fortnightly, to assess the impact of proposed schemes and review those already ongoing - it also makes representations to the local council’s own planning committee, which ultimately determines such matters.

In February this year, the trust objected to plans to site wind baffles at the base of Bridgewater Place, dubbing them a “bland engineering solution” and instead calling for something more elegant and befitting of the location, pointing out that in time it will be the terminus for the High Speed 2 rail link from London to Leeds.

Full details about the Crabtree Memorial Bursary can be found on the Trust’s website: www.leedscivictrust.org.uk

The closing date for applications is 25 June 2015. Email the trust on: office@leedscivictrust.org.uk