Mr L Thomas-Mason
2nd Floor (West)
Contact: Paul Burns
Fax: 0113 395 0568
29 October 2012
Dear Mr Thomas-Mason Freedom of Information Request: Regeneration City Centre, Belle Isle & Chapeltown
I am writing regarding your request which I received on 22 October 2012. In your request
you asked for the following information:
1) How much government funding and council money has been spent rejuvenating Leeds
city centre in the last 10 years?
2) The average budget for Leeds city centre?
3) How much council money has been allocated to the Seacroft area in the last 10 years?
4) How much money you have spent in Belle Isle and Chapeltown
With regard to your first question, there have been a number of major developments in
Leeds City Centre in recent years and others are in progress. These include the new Leeds
City Museum, the refurbishment of the Grand Theatre, and the new Leeds arena. The Trinity
Leeds retail centre is due to open next year and a new retail and leisure Eastgate Quarters
development is planned. New establishments include the Royal Armouries museum, the
BBC’s regional headquarters and the new Leeds College of Music. Major companies have
invested in new office accommodation in Leeds including Addleshaw Goddard,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, First Direct and BT. Specific parts of the wider city centre have
also seen major redevelopment such as Clarance Dock and Brewery Wharf. The City’s two
universities have continued to expand.
Some of the above projects have been delivered by Council monies and in some instances
the Council has been in partnership with other bodies or acted as a facilitator. Other
developments are the result of investment by the private sector or other public institutions.
The term “rejuvenation” you have used is very broad and could include such specific
developments but also wider activities that impact on the fabric, profile and culture of the
city centre. These would include pedestrianisation, highways works, street lighting, festive
lighting, lighting of public buildings, cultural events, marketing, planning permissions and
0113 222 4444
Given the broad scope of the term “rejuvenation”, the number of years specified in your
request, and the fact that many of the Council’s activities are not accounted for on a
specific location basis, it is not possible to quantify the amount of money spent by Leeds
City Council for this purpose in the time allowed (18 hours) as defined by S12(1) of the
Freedom of Information Act. Even if it was possible, I could only comment on central
government monies allocated to the Council. I would not have access to detailed
information on central government monies that have been allocated to other public bodies
and used to contribute to the rejuvenation of the city centre.
Leeds City Council delivers a wide range of services across the whole city including
Seacroft, Belle Isle, Chapeltown and the city centre. These services include social care for
children and vulnerable adults, children’s centres, youth work, fostering services, refuse
collection and recycling, roads and pavements maintenance, street lighting, advice and
benefits, libraries, sports centres, housing advice, major events and other cultural activities,
and many, many more. In 2012/13, two thirds of the Council’s planned net spend is on
Children’s Services and Adult Social Care. A full A-Z of the Council’s many services can be
accessed on its web-site, www.leeds.gov.uk. The Where I Live part of the web-site allows a
citizen to interrogate using his or her post code or address to identify council facilities in their
However, in most cases it is not possible to express the cost or benefit of the Council’s
services in terms of how they specifically relate to their use by residents of a specific area
such as the four you have cited. There are some facilities physically located in or near to
these areas. For example, the people of Seacroft may use the Fearnville and John Smeaton
sports centres and the Seacroft and Whinmoor public libraries. They may access services
and information via the North Seacroft Joint Services Centre or attend the Kentmere
Community Centre or the St. Gregory’s Youth & Adults Centre. There are a number of
schools in the vicinity including Beechwood, Cross Gates, Parklands, Seacroft Grange, and
Grange Farm Primary schools, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Primary school, as well
as David Young Community Academy and the E-Act East Leeds Academy (these two latter
schools are not under the auspices of the Council).
Similarly, the people of Belle Isle have access to the John Charles Centre for Sports, may
use Hunslet Library or Dewsbury Road Library, they may utilise the Dewsbury Road One
Stop Centre or attend the community centres at Old Cockburn Sports Hall or Watsonian
Pavillion. There are a number of schools in the area including Clapgate, Middleton, Sharp
Lane, Westwood and Windmill Primary schools, Middleton St. Mary’s Church of England
Primary, St. Phillip’s Catholic Primary and Nursery school, as well as the South Leeds
Academy, which is outside Council control.
The public of Chapeltown may use the Scott Hall Leisure Centre or visit the Chapeltown
Library based at the Reginald Centre or the Chapel Allerton Library. They may attend the
Mandela Centre or the Little London Community centre, visit the One Stop Centre also
based at the Reginald Centre or use the Meanwood Road waste sorting and recycling
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The city centre is host to the Central Public Library, the Leeds City Museum, the Art Gallery,
and the City Centre One Stop Centre.
Nevertheless, most of the Council’s service delivery is driven by the needs and demands of
service users throughout the city and is not necessarily limited to one particular locality and
its residents. A Council function located in say Morley may have a remit to deliver services
across a much wider area than just its immediate environs of Morley. Some services have a
broader remit covering the whole city. Other teams are charged with covering a geographical
area within the city, although not necessarily as specific as restricted to an individual area,
such as Seacroft only. Furthermore, most of the major Council facilities in the city centre,
such as the city museum and art gallery, are used by people from all parts of the city, and
contribute in part to the service delivery to citizens in areas such as Chapeltown, Belle Isle
and Seacroft .
Therefore it is not practical to comprehensively quantify the average budget for the city
centre, monies allocated to Seacroft in the past decade or the level of spending in Belle Isle
or Chapeltown, especially within the time allowed.
Under S16(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, the Authority has an obligation to help
requesters to refine their request if it would exceed the appropriate limit. With respect to
this, I would suggest that you might consider more closely focussing your enquiry so that it
addresses specific developments, facilities or services.
I trust my reply serves to assist in your enquiry. If you have any queries about this letter,
please feel free to contact me.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to
make a complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to:
Leeds City Council
PO Box 657
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act
for a decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by Leeds City Council.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Yours sincerely Paul Burns
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Officer
0113 222 4444