Royal visit: Duke of Kent presents award to Leeds charity and opens city's new recycling facility

A PIONEERING Leeds educational charity was presented with a Queen's Award for innovation yesterday when it welcomed a Royal visitor.

HRH the Duke of Kent presents Lhasa chief executive Dave Watson with a Queens Award for innovation during his visit to Leeds. Picture: Tony Johnson.
HRH the Duke of Kent presents Lhasa chief executive Dave Watson with a Queens Award for innovation during his visit to Leeds. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The Duke of Kent toured the Lhasa headquarters in Granary Wharf before being given a special demonstration of Derek Nexus, the leading scientific software for which the organisation won the award.

Initially based in the chemistry department at the University of Leeds, Lhasa now employs 130 people across sites in the UK, Poland and USA,

Chief executive Dave Watson said: “Winning the Queen’s Award will not only boost awareness of the work Lhasa Limited does in improving the development of safer drugs, but it will also highlight an important wider industry that is innovating all the time.

“We are constantly developing new computer-based approaches that keep the UK at the forefront of drug development.

“We believe the work we do is very important, so it is great to be recognised.

“It was a real honour to welcome the Duke to Granary Wharf and gave our talented and hardworking team the opportunity to be part of this fantastic occasion.”

The Duke also officially opened the award-winning Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility during his visit to the city.

The state-of-the-art site in Cross Green Industrial Estate was developed by resource management company Veolia on behalf of Leeds City Council and became fully operational back in April.

It processes all the household black bin waste from across Leeds, separating out recyclable materials and then recovering what is left to generate enough energy to power 22,000 homes.

The site is also home to Europe’s largest vertical green living wall that stretches 1,800m2 as well as a unique timber-arched frame structure.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia UK and Ireland’s senior executive vice president, said: “Leeds is a shining example of a circular economy hub transforming unwanted materials into an important resource. The partnership will continue to drive recycling rates and look for more solutions to material streams.

“Together we have created an iconic facility which is an attractive landmark for Leeds and, more importantly, a sustainable solution for the city’s waste for generations to come.”

In the future, the facility will use a combined heat and power system to generate hot water and heating to local homes, buildings and potentially schools and hospitals in Leeds.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said: “This excellent facility is at the heart of our commitment to sustainability and making the best use of our resources.

“It allows us to divert black bin waste away from landfill and into environmentally-friendly further recycling or energy creation. This in turn means we save a considerable amount of cash for Leeds by not having to pay landfill fees.”