Brownlee Centre

A trial to use nature to reduce flood risk launches at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

A trial to use nature to reduce flood risk gets on its marks at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

A trial is being launched by the Environment Agency and the University of Leeds at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre to look at how nature can be used to help reduce flood risk.

This will be the first urban pilot site set up as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme’s natural flood management (NFM) project.

It is being launched at the centre, owned by the University of Leeds, to inspire students and the Leeds community to test how natural solutions such as creating wetlands can be used to help reduce the risk of flooding along the River Aire and in Leeds.

The site will be used to showcase many innovative ways to deliver NFM which will be used for academic research and help to develop practical ways to monitor different techniques and gather evidence on their success.

Five pilot sites have been set up as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme using techniques such as woodland creation, wetland scrapes and leaky barriers.

Holly Radcliffe Leeds NFM project manager from the Environment Agency, said:

“We are very grateful to the University of Leeds for working with us to develop a pilot site at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre to trial and test natural flood management.

“The Triathlon Centre is a real asset for students and the local community, and are excited to work further with them to develop suitable designs for the site.  “We hope that visitors will also be able to learn about how effective NFM techniques can be.

“As the country faces a national and global climate emergency, restoring our natural environment is an important component to help reach net zero emissions in the future.

“Natural Flood Management offers potential for climate mitigation, for example, creating wetlands, restoring our uplands and planting trees can help to capture tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

James Wright, from grounds and gardens team at The University of Leeds, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Environment Agency on a natural flood management project at the Brownlee Centre.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase the huge benefits of working with natural process to Leeds Community and academic partners across the university.”

Brownlee Centre with the bridge across the track

The site earmarked for the project is at Bodington Playing Fields to the north east of Leeds city centre. The Brownlee Triathalon site earmarked for the project is to the north east of Leeds city centre.

Proposals for the site currently include:-

  • Woodland creation – planting almost 4,000 trees and hedges at various locations across the site
  • Measures to improve the management of the flow of surface water including grass covered earth bund -embankments which act as flood barriers to store water and pocket wetland – to be formed from series of wetland scrapes (shallow ponds) to control storm-water
  • An interactive information board to educate visitors about the benefits of each type of NFM and monitoring taking place on the site
  • A teaching area for groups, for example a two-tier grass covered amphitheatre, formed as an earth bund, an NFM measure and benches made from wood from various tree species on site
  • Demonstration areas featuring how to build your own leaky dam, the life-cycle of a tree and a sand pit where you can re-meander a straightened water channel
  • A discovery walk featuring sculptures, nature base art, activities, wildlife spotting, edible hedges and a sensory trail
  • Creation of a virtual tour of the site using 360 degree photographs

This pilot site will be part of the flagship Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme which forms part of the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme alongside traditional engineering. The development of the scheme is being led by Leeds City Council, working alongside the Environment Agency. This phase got underway this year and aims to invest £112.1 million in flood prevention measures for areas upstream of Leeds city centre, to better protect 1,048 homes and 474 businesses.

The NFM element is transformational in scale working with nature to reduce the risk of flooding across the catchment from the source of the River Aire, at Malham, through to Leeds City Centre. The programme will not only reduce flow of water from upstream so the landscape can hold more water in times of flood but also restore and create new habitat, increase biodiversity resilience and improve water quality. As well as tree and hedge planting, it includes re-channelling rivers to their natural courses, soil aeration, wetland creation and moorland restoration all of which have lots of benefits for people and wildlife. This will contribute to delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and realising the vision of the Northern Forest in the Aire catchment.

For more information about the LeedsFAS visit www.leeds.gov.uk/fas

 

Bodington Playing Fields

Proposed plans for Bodington Playing Fields

Discover more about the exciting development plans for Bodington Playing Fields

Members of the public, University staff and students are invited to find out more about the proposed plans for the development of some of the existing grass pitches at Bodington playing fields. The proposed plans are to provide one dual-use artificial grass pitch (football and rugby) and two new artificial grass football pitches with an ancillary pavilion building, access and car parking facilities. A new access point into the site is proposed from the A660 and has already been discussed with Leeds City Highways Department.

This scheme is part of a national programme known as Parklife, part funded by The Football Association, Premier League and Government and delivered by the Football Foundation. The development at Bodington Playing Fields is one of four such hubs planned in Leeds and forms a city-wide approach to address a shortage of good quality community football facilities and in particular to support the development of mini, youth and junior age participation.

The University will use the site as well as numerous partner clubs from the local area. The proposed new pavilion building will become a community hub and, together with the adjacent cycle track and Brownlee Centre, will reinforce this site’s contribution to sport at a local, regional and national level

We will be submitting a planning application to Leeds City Council for this scheme later this year and are providing you with the opportunity to view and comment on the scheme in advance of this submission.

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Old bar LUU

Leeds powers into top 10 Good University Guide

The University of Leeds has secured its place in the top 10 universities in the UK, according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, published today.

Last year, Leeds was named University of the Year by the Guide, having been runner-up for the award in the previous two years.

The overall rankings for 2018, which are based on a range of metrics, sees Leeds rising to its highest-ever position, at number 10 in the UK.

Exceptional year for student experience

The University’s move into the top 10 is the latest recognition of its exceptional student education and all round student experience, combined with a strong research base.

Students voted Leeds in the top five universities in the UK in the 2017 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, where students from all over the world commended Leeds for its facilities, activities and societies, and student welfare and support.

Investing in quality

As part of its ambitious plans to maintain its position as one of the best universities in the UK, Leeds is investing £520 million in its campus, including major refurbishment of libraries, lecture theatres and the creation of new sports facilities.

Recent examples include the £17m upgrade of the Student Union to transform the social spaces, improve performance venues and extend facilities for societies. A new cycling track and sports centre, named after the Brownlee brothers who were former students at Leeds, officially opened earlier this year, to complement the state-of-the-art campus sports centre, The Edge.

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee opening the Brownlee Centre

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee open the new cycle circuit and Brownlee Centre at Bodington Playing Fields

A new undergraduate library, the Laidlaw Library, and a complete refurbishment of the Edward Boyle Library, have also created inspirational study environments, with group and silent study spaces, new cafes and IT-rich facilities. Leeds also excels at digital learning, as highlighted in its Gold standard teaching award, which praised Leeds for supporting students with “outstanding physical and digital resources.”

Reflecting the University’s ongoing commitment to life-changing research, the investment programme continues with the transformation of the Engineering and Physical Sciences environment, creating first-class laboratories and specialised teaching spaces for students.

The new enterprise and innovation centre, Nexus, will also provide crucial connections with industry, bringing students and business together to support access to wider opportunities through placements, internships and networking.

Read the full story at leeds.ac.uk

  

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Brownlee Centre

New Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit complete

The ten-month, £5m investment is complete at the University’s Bodington Playing Fields in North Leeds. The new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit is one of the longest in the country and sits alongside the Brownlee Centre; the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base, providing the first permanent home for the world-class Leeds Triathlon Centre.

Adrian Smith, Estates Project Manager said about the project:

“This has been a unique opportunity and project for Estate Services to deliver. Geo Houlton & Sons Ltd, the contractor have been very dedicated in delivering an exceptional result for the university. Throughout it all we have worked closely with the client to ensure we fully interpreted their requirements. It’s been incredibly exciting working on this project and on behalf of Estates Services we are delighted that this new facility really strengthens the sports facility provision at Leeds.”

Construction Director Dave Padden said: 

“Houlton were very excited to be involved in this project. The scheme offers students first class, state of the art facilities as well as continuing to provide grass roots sports in the wider community.

For us, the fact that Houlton, a long established company with a tradition of providing investment and opportunity for its own staff, were given the opportunity to be associated with the investment, the University and its partners have made to develop aspiring athletes of the future as well as existing Elite athletes, makes us immensely proud”

Find out more about this project.

    

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Brownlee Centre

A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility is to be named after its most successful alumni athletes, Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

The Brownlee Centre sits alongside a new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country – at the University’s Bodington playing fields in north Leeds.

The unique centre, which opens in April, is the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base and will provide the first permanent home for the world-class Leeds Triathlon Centre.

The 10 month project has involved extensive work to revive the original sports pavilion into a modernised Centre.  Now offering a welcoming reception area and newly redesigned changing facilities, the former pavilion has also benefited from a first floor extension to incorporate a new spectator viewing area, a kitchen/café area and social space with glazed windows providing views of the cycle circuit.

The closed loop cycle circuit design incorporates changes in gradient, a mildly banked hairpin corner and triathlon transition area. A significant investment has been made to install circuit lighting to enable extended hours of use and a footbridge across the circuit to provide users with access to both the cycle circuit and sports fields.

Dedicated facilities for the Leeds Triathlon Centre have also been constructed within the former Pavilion –these include combining a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services.

Partnership funding from Sport England, UK Sport, British Cycling and British Triathlon is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.

  

 

The site will also continue to be used for grass sports including football and rugby. The next phase of development will see three additional grass pitches, with work scheduled for completion in September 2017.

Read more about this news story.

Find out more about the Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit.

  

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Changing room Leeds sports park

Making tracks at Bodington Playing Fields Pavilion and Cycle Circuit

Good progress is being made with the development of the closed loop cycle track and pavilion upgrade. Former pitches are now under transformation with soil layers removed and levelling of ground taking place in order for track construction to begin.

Enabling works to refurbish the interior of the pavilion are underway. Over the coming weeks we will see a third floor and viewing balcony added to the building along with the installation of new windows and a modernised exterior frontage.

Planners at Leeds City Council have given consent to the planned £5m investment that will create significant training facilities for cycling and triathlon in Leeds.

The main contractor appointed to carry out the works, that are due for completion in January 2017, is Geo.Houlton and Sons Ltd.

Dave Padden, Construction Director of Geo.Houlton and Sons Ltd. commented:

“Houlton are very excited to be involved in this project. The scheme is going to offer students first class, state of the art facilities as well as continuing to provide grass roots sports in the wider community.

For us, the fact that Houlton, a long established company with a tradition of providing investment and opportunity for its own staff, has been given this opportunity, to be associated with  the University’s investment in its aspiring athletes of the future as well as existing Elite athletes, makes us immensely proud”

Patrick Craig, Assistant Head of Sport at the University of Leeds added:

“We are delighted to be able to add this new cycle track and sports pavilion to our growing portfolio of top class sport facilities. To be able to do this in partnership with world leading sports bodies including British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Sport England reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK and demonstrates our desire to support the development of sport on the world stage”

Find out more about the Sports Park Weetwood Pavilion and Cycle Track 

Cycle track

Cycle Track and Sports Park Weetwood Pavilion on-track for 2017 opening

Planners at Leeds City Council have given consent to the planned £5m investment that will create significant training facilities for cycling and triathlon in Leeds.

Work began last week on the project that will create an outdoor cycling circuit and refurbished sports pavilion on the University’s Bodington playing fields in North Leeds.

The main contractor appointed to carry out the works, that are due for completion in January 2017, is Geo.Houlton and Sons Ltd.

Dave Padden, Construction Director of Geo.Houlton and Sons Ltd. commented:

“Houlton are very excited to be involved in this project. The scheme is going to offer students first class, state of the art facilities as well as continuing to provide grass roots sports in the wider community.

For us, the fact that Houlton, a long established company with a tradition of providing investment and opportunity for its own staff, has been given this opportunity, to be associated with  the University’s investment in its aspiring athletes of the future as well as existing Elite athletes, makes us immensely proud”

Patrick Craig, Assistant Head of Sport commented:

“We are delighted to be able to add this new cycle track and sports pavilion to our growing portfolio of top class sport facilities. To be able to do this in partnership with world leading sports bodies including British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Sport England reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK and demonstrates our desire to support the development of sport on the world stage”

The proposals, which are part of the University’s sports and physical activity strategy, have been drawn up in partnership with British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Leeds City Council.

Partnership funding from Sport England, British Cycling and UK Sport is contributing £1m to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.

Find out more about the cycle track.
Read more on the University of Leeds website.

UECI New

Discover more about the ambitious plans for a £5m Cycle Track

Join the Sport and Physical Activity team on Thursday 17th March between 2pm-5pm to find out more information about the fantastic new cycle track and sports pavilion.

Anyone interested in this exciting project will be able to see the proposed development plans and hear more about the intention to establish Leeds as the primary UK centre for cycling and triathlon. 

Find out more on the Sport and Physical Activity website.

 

Cycle track

£4.5M Cycle Track

Innovative plans to create a state of the art cycle track are being consulted on with users over the coming weeks.

Proposals to develop a new £4.5m development of an outdoor closed loop cycling track have been passed by the University and will hopefully receive planning consent over the coming months.

Located on the University Bodington playing fields in North Leeds, the development will include a cutting edge, 1.6km tarmac cycle track and refurbished pavilion which will be used as a base for British Triathlon’s elite training centre.

Anticipated for completion this autumn, the new facilities will be maintained by the University of Leeds and will be open for use by students, staff and the public. British Triathlon will also be based at the new site with access to strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and other support services. Amongst these elite athletes will be Olympic medallists and University of Leeds Alumni Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

The impressive new development will also support the elite athletes at the University ensuring they have state of the art facilities to train in to achieve their aim of competing on a world class level.

“The University of Leeds excels at cycling and triathlon, and our students are consistently at the top of their sport in the UK. Having these new facilities and British Triathlon based on site will further strengthen this.”
Rob Wadsworth- Head of Sport

For more information on the project visit the Bodington Pavilion and Cycle Track page.