Visitor Facilities at Pudsey Park

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Consultation on proposals for visitor facilities at Pudsey Park
ABOUT THIS CONSULTATION

We are seeking your thoughts and opinions on Leeds City Council’s proposals to close the West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre and associated plant display-house, with the aim of making £90,000 per year in savings for the Council.
 
Subject to a suitable business case, we are also interested in your thoughts on the idea of providing a café in place of the visitor centre and potentially locating the children’s play area next to it.

A report to the Council’s Executive Board in October 2020 highlighted a budget gap in 2021/22 of £118.8 million, of which £59.1 million is due to the ongoing financial impact of Covid-19.  In response to this financial position, the council is undertaking a programme of service reviews to identify savings that will contribute towards closing the budget gap and enabling the authority to present a robust, balanced budget position in 2021/22 and beyond.

In line with the council’s ambitions and values, these proposals aim to protect services that support the most vulnerable, whilst ensuring that the council becomes more financially resilient and sustainable for the future.

This survey will take 5 – 10 minutes to complete.

TIMESCALE

The deadline for responding is on Monday 14th December 2020 at 5pm.  

WEST LEEDS COUNTRY PARK VISITOR CENTRE

The West Leeds Country Park is a 32 km circular trail running from the city centre, through the green corridor of the Aire Valley, around Calverley, south of Pudsey and into Armley and Wortley.
 
The West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre, in Pudsey Park, is free to enter for the public and is a registered zoo.  It keeps captive, native British species including birds, mammals and fish, and describes the different natural habitats of west Leeds and how they benefit wildlife.  Next to the visitor centre there is a display house containing a range of temperate and tropical plant species that visitors can explore.

The buildings have been closed to the public since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March 2020.

The visitor centre, plant display house and playground are located in the park as follows:

Yellow rectangle:              West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre
Red rectangle:                  Display-house
Orange rectangle:            Current play area
 
Closing the visitor centre and display-house would save approximately £90,000 on staffing, animal feed and veterinary costs along with the running costs of the buildings.  If the centre does close, the animals will be relocated to other animal collections in Leeds, e.g. at Lotherton, or in the UK as per the guidelines set out by BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
POTENTIAL CAFÉ

If the visitor centre is closed, there are two options for the buildings: they could be demolished and the area returned to parkland, or, subject to a suitable business case, a café could be developed.

The proposals for a café to replace the visitor centre at Pudsey Park are as follows:
  • Replace the visitor centre with a café with a terrace overlooking the park. 
  • Consideration could also be given to upgrading and moving the children’s play area to the current location of the display house, so that parents and carers can enjoy refreshments from the café whilst keeping an eye on their children.  The existing playground could be re-landscaped and incorporated into the park.
  • Retain elements of the West Leeds Country Park visitor centre such as the interpretation panels describing the wildlife of west Leeds; and, in the spirit of the West Leeds Country Park, create new wildlife habitats in the park (e.g. an orchard, a meadow, nest-boxes).
  • Provide accessible public toilets during café opening hours. 
Cafes, public toilets, playgrounds and wildlife were all highlighted by the public as something they want more of in parks, in the Leeds-wide Parks and Green Spaces Strategy consultation that took place earlier this year.

Funding for such a development would of course need to be secured, and would rely on a robust ‘spend to save’ business case, based on prudential borrowing in accordance with council policies and procedures.

It is proposed that  any new café facility would be managed and operated by the in-house (Leeds City Council) Parks and Countryside service.
Privacy notice (data protection)

We will use the information provided in this survey to seek views on the visitor facilities at Pudsey Park.

Your response to this survey will be used by Leeds City Council (as data controller). We will keep your information safe and secure in line with UK data protection law. Your data will be processed by the relevant teams within Leeds City Council. Our software supplier, SmartSurvey Ltd, will also process your data on our behalf but will never use these for its own purposes.
 
Further information regarding how the council processes your personal data, including your rights and contact details for our Data Protection Officer, can be found on our website.
 
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