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NEWS ROUNDUP: Free solar panels scheme


26/05/21 | Leeds local news | Eligible Leeds residents will be able to install energy saving technology—including solar panels and cavity wall insulation, completely free of charge.

Leeds City Council has secured £5.6m from the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, to make nearly 685 of the city’s coldest homes healthier, warmer, and cheaper with energy saving measures. The work supports the council’s efforts both to reduce fuel poverty and tackle climate change and will be carried out in partnership with Better Homes Yorkshire.

Once installed, solar panels produce green electricity that can be used to power homes and reduce overall energy costs. A typical Leeds homeowner could save up to £156* per year this way.

Additionally, insulating a property reduces the amount of energy needed to keep it warm, cutting the cost of energy bills and helping to protect the environment.

To qualify for the scheme, households must have an income of less than £30,000 per year (or receive certain benefits) and own or have mortgaged a home with an EPC rating of D, E, F or G. However, homeowners don’t need to know their property’s EPC rating to sign up as this will be confirmed with a quick survey on the property.

Private tenants living in qualifying properties can also apply for the scheme if they have an income of less than £30,000 per year and have the permission of their landlord. Landlords of rental properties will be expected to contribute a third of the total costs of the work but will benefit from a grant of up to £5,000 to cover the remaining costs.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader at Leeds City Council said:

“We know that unfortunately too many people suffer from fuel poverty in Leeds and its work like this that will help cut those costs and make real positive impact to people lives. By upgrading hundreds of the city’s coldest and least efficient homes, we can transform the lives of hundreds of families by giving them a warmer, healthier and cheaper home and reduce the city’s carbon footprint at the same time.

“I am delighted to see our existing work being recognised nationally at this year’s Northern Housing Awards and this scheme demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to delivering a just transition in becoming a net zero city.

“I would strongly encourage homeowners to check whether they qualify for this fantastic scheme and apply if they might be eligible.”

Stephen Batty, Head of Sustainability at Better Homes Yorkshire, said:

“Existing housing in the UK currently contributes around 27% of total carbon emissions and, with 80% of the houses that will still be around in 2050 already built, it’s vital we look at innovative and practical solutions if we are to achieve the Government’s zero carbon ambitions. This offer is a great opportunity for people in Leeds to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat, and I’d urge anyone who is eligible to take advantage.”

To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, residents should go to www.betterhomesyorkshire.co.uk/leeds



Work has started on site this week on CEG’s flagship Globe Point development within the Temple district of Leeds.

BAM Construction has moved onto site to deliver the 37,800 sq ft seven-storey building on Globe Road. Responding to occupiers’ expectations and the new ways of working, Globe Point will deliver some of the highest quality workspace in the city, with ground floor break-out space, business lounge and café kitchen.  Ready for occupation in spring next year, it will provide flexible workspace for up to 400 people.

Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The start of work on Globe Point is hugely welcome news for the Temple district and the city as a whole.

“Developments like this will help drive our recovery from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as the restrictions on all our lives continue to ease, make it clear that Leeds is very much open for business.

“We are really enthusiastic about what the future holds for Temple and look forward to watching this particular piece of the jigsaw take shape over the coming months.”

Designed by award-winning architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Globe Point offers spectacular views across the city from roof terraces on the top two floors and innovative outdoor plazas. The building will also raise the bar in terms of quality, occupant wellbeing and sustainability.

SMART Technologies will be used to control and drive energy  performance. Sensors monitor air quality and adjust air flow while still optimising energy efficiency. All-electric, it will use 100% REGOS green energy and is designed to reduce water consumption. Secure cycle parking, showers and lockers and access to electric vehicle charging points will help occupants make sustainable travel choices.

Targeting BREEAM Excellent and EPC A. Globe Point has also been independently accredited as WiredScore Platinum, something only 10% of buildings worldwide have achieved. This means it will support tenants with best-in-class technological capacity, internet and mobile connectivity, infrastructure resilience and future proofing.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “The plans for Globe Point are very impressive indeed – this promises to be a landmark development in one of the city’s most exciting areas. It’s gratifying to see energy efficiency and other environmental considerations playing an important role in the building’s design, along with tech capacity and internet connectivity.

“A project of this scale and ambition is a major boost for our efforts to deliver increased job opportunities for people across the city through the regeneration of Temple and the wider South Bank.”

Nick Lee, Development Director of CEG, explained: Globe Point displays our confidence in the office market and the city. Companies which have been reticent to commit earlier in the pandemic are now becoming more active in real estate decision making and we’re already in active dialogue on a number of enquiries. Healthy, flexible space and lease terms, and the opportunity to not face up front fit out costs, makes Globe Point all the more desirable.”

Fox Lloyd Jones and Knight Frank have been appointed to market the building.

Paul Fox of Fox Lloyd Jones said: “The dedicated Temple Life team on site will ensure exemplary levels of service and wellbeing for its occupants unlike no other. It’s an iconic gateway building with a truly unrivalled design and specification catering to requirements from 1,920 – 37,800 sq ft. The commitment to speculatively build is testament to CEG’s commitment to Leeds and the strength of the office market where stock remains at an all-time low.”

Eamon Fox, Partner and head of office agency at the Leeds office of Knight Frank, said: “At Globe Point, we are also able to offer a new approach to leasing, not only traditional leases, but also a core and flex approach.  Business cycles have become shorter, and often decision making happens quicker than ever before, we offer options to lease the optimum level of space day one, with choices to expand when the conditions are correct for our customers. We can custom a leased solution, so that a business can be cost neutral when moving to Temple. This customer-focused approach means the customer can concentrate on their business rather than their space, providing a more productive, frictionless service.”

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP and NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships, said: The Globe Point development will further unlock the Temple District and South Bank area of Leeds by bringing the highest quality, Grade A office space to the market. 

“This new workspace, in the heart of Leeds, will help us to attract investment and retain businesses in the already thriving digital, health and professional services sectors. The Temple District will also be home to the new Labcorp facility and their game-changing developments in clinical trials.

“The Temple District connects the city centre to the southern districts of Leeds and is creating a vibrant and innovative district where businesses can grow and thrive.“

Ultimately, within the  Temple district, CEG, alongside Leeds City Council, is bringing forward further development with the potential to provide some 4 million sq ft of high quality accommodation. CEG is also working closely with LCC, the British Library and Historic England to secure the historic Temple Works as its cultural centrepiece.

Undoubtedly, this part of the city, which was historically the cradle of the industrial revolution, is now a focus for commerce. Offering a new way of living and working, it continues to play a vital role in Leeds’ future economic and social well-being.



One of the oldest penguins in the world has celebrated their 30th birthday - more than double her life expectancy.

Minnie the Humbolt was treated to lots of tasty fish to mark the special occasion – while her keepers enjoyed fish-shaped biscuits for the festivities.

Most penguins of her kind only live for around 15 years, but Minnie – who stands out due to her blue armband and fashionable centre parting hairstyle – has long surpassed that age.

Minnie lives at Harewood House in Leeds, an 18th-century estate boasting more than 100 acres of gardens, after moving from Windsor Safari Park in 1992.

(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)

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