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.
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).