Flood management group photo in front of sign

University flood management scheme is first in UK

A natural flood management facility at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre, University of Leeds, has now completed.

The first of its kind in the UK, it will reduce flood risk in the area and make it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Some of the measures include the planting of 5,000 trees, creating leaky barriers, installing a balancing pond and wetland areas, and improving site drainage which help to slow the flow of water and increase flood resilience in the area.

James Wright from Estates and Facilities, whose team supported the construction and planting phases, liaising with academic colleagues to coordinate soil sampling, said:

“As well as helping to reduce flood risk, this fantastic new development provides a ‘living lab’ for research and teaching at the University of Leeds and contributes to the understanding of flood management at a national level.

“The trees act as a shield to stop and slow rainfall before it reaches the ground and increase carbon capture and storage capacity, providing valuable habitats for local wildlife.

“The University is working towards a Net Zero by 2030 campus.”

Colleagues from Sport & Physical Activity also supported the construction of the project.

Michael Howroyd, Sustainability Projects Officer at the University of Leeds, added:

“The site at Bodington Fields will be invaluable to academics and students, providing hands on research opportunities and data, whilst also providing benefits for local residents, biodiversity and climate.

“The project is a fantastic example of how collaboration across stakeholders can make use of University land for world class research and teaching, which will have an impact across the wider city region and beyond.”

Flood management woodland sign

Partnership working

The project has been delivered through a collaboration between the University of Leeds, the Environment Agency, and Leeds City Council and is the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme which aims to better protect 1,048 homes and 474 businesses from flooding along the River Aire.

Studies are being carried out by the University of Leeds on how to optimise tree densities and to better understand how to improve the survival of young trees as they develop into mature woodland.

The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Natural Flood Management Project is funded by Leeds City Council and aims to deliver natural flood management measures across the Upper Aire Catchment to help slow and store the flow of heavy rainfall and flood waters.

Find out more about Bodington Fields and the natural flood management work conducted by the University of Leeds

Rosa Quintana standing on the University precinct

New exhibition shows cleaning staff in pandemic

An exhibition of photographs by one of the University cleaning team shows her colleagues working on campus during the pandemic.

Rosa Quintana’s striking images depict staff – often appearing alone – from 2020 to 2021, when many people were working from home.

Like many others, particularly in the Facilities Directorate – including those working in Estates and Facilities, Catering Services and Residential Services – the cleaning team kept the campus running, responding at short notice to changing guidelines.

Rosa’s inspiration

Rosa is a professional photographer from Spain who has lived in Leeds for six years. She said:

“I wanted to show the quiet impact of the team, working in every building doing essential work. This felt particularly acute during the pandemic but we do important work every day.

“We cover morning, afternoon and evening shifts, seven days a week, and I wanted to put on record the different types of jobs we do, particularly as they relate to the different functions of the spaces we clean.

“Although in some of my photographs the architecture of the buildings and the locations dominate the image, the most import aspect is the person you can find if you look closely. These are the cleaners, who make our spaces clean, safe and more comfortable.

Getting to know the team

One of Rosa’s objectives was to get to know her colleagues better and to allow us, as viewers, to do the same. Her captions tell of her colleagues’ lives outside work, their hobbies and their hopes for the future.

Some also talk about previous jobs – seamstress, carpenter, physiotherapist – and about their dreams: owning their own business, studying to be a nurse, teaching in the classroom they are cleaning.

The cleaning team comprises over 350 people, covering all academic buildings on the main University campus. They are essential to the smooth running of the University and to the staff and student experience, providing a professional service to create an attractive and hygenic space for us all.

Jill Roberts, Head of Cleaning Services, said:

“I’m very proud of my hard-working team. Our work helps to enable the University to be one of the best in the country yet we are often unseen, working away in the background. Rosa’s photographs highlight this beautifully.”

 

Cleaner cleaning window ledge with a view of the Leeds cityscape

‘Unobtrusive Impact’ opens in Leeds University Union

‘Unobtrusive Impact’ is in the Leeds University Union Building, next to the Refectory, from 23 May.

Find out more about Rosa Quintana or visit her Facebook page.

Let us know if you get a chance to visit by sharing your thoughts on social media, using the hashtag #FDImpact.

 

Please note, this exhibition has now finished. Thanks for your support.

Bodington Football Hub group visit

Bodington Football Hub reaches milestone

Construction works have reached the halfway point at Bodington Football Hub, a major new facility at the University that will support grassroots sport in the city.

Representatives from the University, the Football Foundation and Sewell Construction gathered last week to mark the development’s four-team changing pavilion reaching its ‘topping out’ phase.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said:

“This is an important milestone in the creation of this key sports facility for the people of Leeds, including our students.

“We are grateful to our partners and excited that it is another step towards inspiring our community to become more active and involved in sport.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“This site at Bodington is a great example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, the FA, Government and Sport England, improving grassroots facilities across the country. This funding will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.”

Community sport a core focus for new build

Made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Football Foundation, the site will feature three full-size LED floodlit football turf pitches, a pavilion with community café, and extensive parking.

Chris Soper, Joint Managing Director for Sewell Construction added:

“It was great to see such progress on site, especially with the pavilion taking shape and the final pieces of structure being laid to the highest point.

“This facility is going to be such a welcome boost to both grassroots sport in Leeds, and the wider community, and I know I’m speaking on behalf of the whole team when we say we’re proud to be the ones bringing a sports development of this scale to fruition.

“Once complete, it will support community engagement and wellbeing, and we can’t wait for our partners and end-users to see it all come together over the next few months.”

Bodington Football Hub group visit

Left to right: Dave Major – Project Manager, Sewell Construction; Brian Ford – Head of Capital Development, University of Leeds; Will Wallace – Football Foundation; Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep; Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – Outdoor Operations Manager, University of Leeds; Chris Soper – Joint Managing Director, Sewell Construction; Steve Grime – Head of Football, University of Leeds; Carl Hurdus – Site Manager, Sewell Construction

The Bodington Playing Fields site is located three miles north of the main University campus, and is also home to the Brownlee Centre – the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre – and Bodington Cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.

Once completed later this year, the new site will be home to partner clubs from across the city.

Find out more about Bodington Football Hub.