House of Commons support for Leeds Capital of Culture bid

Rebecca Land from the Henry Moore Institute looks at the Kotaro Takamura 'Hand', which is part of the Modern Japanese Sculptures Exhibiton, at the Henry Moor Institute, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Rebecca Land from the Henry Moore Institute looks at the Kotaro Takamura 'Hand', which is part of the Modern Japanese Sculptures Exhibiton, at the Henry Moor Institute, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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Leeds’s potential bid to be named European Capital of Culture – and the YEP’s championing of it – has received support in the House of Commons.

City MP Greg Mulholland has presented a parliamentary motion to back our campaign for the city to shout #YesLeeds – and urge our leaders to submit a bid for 2023.

High-level talks about Leeds’s cultural credentials, and whether we will put in a bid, are ongoing. Any bid must be formally submitted by mid-2017 and a decision will be announced in 2018. Only two UK cities have previously held the prestigious title – Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.

Mr Mulholland’s motion sets out some of Leeds’s cultural highlights, “from Europe’s longest-running West Indian Carnival to the Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious, well-known and popular arts organisations like Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet, world-renowned museums and galleries including the Royal Armouries and the Henry Moore Institute”.

His motion also says Parliament “believes Leeds is fast becoming a city of wider European and global appeal and would be a strong contender for the 2023 title”.

Mr Mulholland asked ministers from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport what support they were providing for UK cities considering a bid for the title. Responding, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said the UK’s selection competition for the 2023 title was due to be launched before the end of 2016. “The DCMS will consider how best to support potential bidders closer to the time,” he said.

STILL TIME TO VOTE IN OUR POLL

The YEP has been asking readers to vote for their favourite cultural jewel in Leeds’s brimming crown. You have been voting in droves in our online poll, and a few early favourites are emerging.

Currently leading the pack are sister theatres The Grand and the City Varieties. Hot on their heels is Leeds Arena, which has drawn some of the world’s biggest musical stars to the city since it opened in 2013. Also popular are the Leeds West Indian Carnival, Armley-born playwright Alan Bennett and homegrown rockers Kaiser Chiefs.

Vote at the side of this page. We’ll announce the winner later this month.

Saphieh Ashtiany, the equality and employment lawyer

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