What does Leave result mean for Leeds’ Capital of Culture bid?

The Leeds skyline. City is bidding to be the European Capital of Culture for 2023. Photo: James Hardisty

The Leeds skyline. City is bidding to be the European Capital of Culture for 2023. Photo: James Hardisty

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ORGANISERS of Leeds’ bid to be the European Capital of Culture are to hold discussions to find out if it will be affected by the country’s decision to leave the European Union.

The city had been vying for the title for 2023.

Members of the European Capital of Culture 2023 steering group.

Members of the European Capital of Culture 2023 steering group.

Leeds was one of only three council areas across the Yorkshire region where the majority of voters wanted to keep the United Kingdom in the EU.

Backers for the bid insisted Leeds was still a European city despite the outcome of the referendum yesterday.

The title of Capital of Culture has been hosted by cities outside of the EU before but not by a city in a country opting to leave the union.

Sharon Watson, the chairman of the Leeds 2023 Independent Steering Group said: “We are working with the organisers of the European Capital of Culture Competition to determine if there is to be any impact of this decision on those cities in the UK wishing to bid for the title.

“Previously countries including Norway and Iceland, both of whom are not part of the European Union, have hosted the title.

“Regardless of political alliance, Leeds continues to be a European city, hosting and exporting work across the continent and working with partners across Europe in cities such as Dortmund, Lille and Brno.

“These strong relationships will continue across the artistic community.”

Hull is the UK’s city of culture for 2017.