Music stars from Leeds will be banging the drum in London this evening for their home city’s bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023.
Corinne Bailey Rae and Kaiser Chiefs rockers Simon Rix and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines are attending an event taking place at the Royal Society of Arts in support of the bid.
They will be speaking to fellow attendees – described as “national influencers” – about the Leeds cultural scene and the city’s ambitions for 2023.
Simon and Nick are also due to wax lyrical about the bid at Welcome To Yorkshire’s Y17 tourism conference in York this morning.
Put Your Records On singer Corinne said: “As someone who grew up in Leeds, I’m thrilled that Leeds is going for the title of European Capital of Culture 2023.
“I hope everyone in Leeds gets involved in the bid to show the world what we can accomplish together.”
This evening’s event will also be attended by University of Leeds chancellor Lord Melvyn Bragg, Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake and Sharon Watson, chair of the Leeds 2023 Independent Steering Group.
Ms Watson said: “We’re extremely proud to have won the backing of such big names and excited about their ability to help speak about our bid and the many amazing things Leeds has going for it.
“It speaks volumes that these stars, who have travelled and performed for audiences all over the world, haven’t forgotten what a unique and special place Leeds is and how inspirational the communities they grew up in have been for them.”
Coun Blake said: “We’ve had an incredibly positive response to the bid in Leeds and there’s a real buzz in the city about the competition and how transformational it could be for our communities.
“Now it’s time to also start shouting about culture in Leeds on a national level, showcasing the very best of our city to those who can help us spread the word even further and give us the best possible chance of winning.”
Entertainment at tonight’s gathering will include a film about cultural life in Leeds made by young people from digital media initiative Studio 12 as well as a showcase of the Leeds International Piano Competition.
Leeds’s rivals for the 2023 title include Belfast, Dundee and Nottingham, with a final decision on the successful bidder due next year. Past holders include Paris, Madrid, Bruges and Genoa.
As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds’s bid is now being backed by top businesses such as Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire Building Society and Yorkshire Water.
For further information about how to get involved with the city’s efforts during the countdown to the 2023 decision, visit the www.leeds2023.co.uk website.