Andrew Cooper: Showcasing what Leeds has to offer

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Leeds is a thriving, growing city, striving to be an international ‘go to’ destination.

Essential to achieving this is creating a strong association with a place through great experiences, events or simply time spent there, which can often define a city, make it standout and put it on the map. 

Leeds is a great city and in this increasingly competitive world where places are jostling for position, for trade, investment and recognition of all they offer it is certainly well-placed to compete. But how do we maintain this momentum and visibility?

The Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) was created in 2015 to support this growing aspiration and ambition.  It is funded by city centre businesses and organisations to create tangible, visible ‘improvements’, investing £2.5m a year in Leeds.

LeedsBID is a not for profit, non-political organisation; it is not the council, nor a subsidiary of it but an independently run body delivering a clear business plan, voted unanimously by those it represents. As a catalyst for change, LeedsBID has already been the driving force behind various innovative projects, providing the glue which brings people, businesses and sectors together to make new things happen, working collaboratively to make bold statements about our city’s incredible depth and range. This collaboration projects a confident city.

Bringing the MOBO Awards to Leeds, the Leeds letters in the train station, and the first Leeds International Festival are just three examples of ‘new’ initiatives which illustrate this collaborative and fresh approach.

Leeds International Festival, running from April 22-30, brings together music, moving image and tech, showcasing 
the best of what Leeds has to offer. This new headline event brings vibrancy and energy which creates a strong association with the DNA of Leeds.

Events such as this and the forthcoming triathlon go a long way in raising the international profile of Leeds.

LeedsBID has been in place less than two years, yet already we can see the ‘improvements’ being made through financial investment and new activity taking place.

There is still more to do and no one organisation can achieve success for Leeds in isolation. This collaborative ethos will ensure Leeds continues to succeed, with the city firmly at the forefront of people’s minds locally, nationally and internationally.

Find out more about LeedsBID and its work at www.leedsbid.co.uk

Andrew Cooper is chief executive of LeedsBID (Business Improvement District)

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