Leeds 2023: Thousands sign online pledge backing city’s European Capital of Culture bid

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Leeds’ hopes of becoming Europe’s Capital of Culture is gathering pace after a surge of online support.

Organisers behind the city’s bid launched the #MakeLeeds2023 campaign in July, asking people to pledge their support on its website for the title 100 days before the submission deadline.

And just 50 days in, the people of Leeds have already surpassed the 2,023 online pledge target ahead of the bid submission to judges on October 27.

To mark the milestone, Leeds’ bid team yesterday unveiled a new film, I am a Spark, to help promote the city’s chase for the title.

Sharon Watson, chairwoman of the Leeds 2023 Independent Steering Group, said: “It is extremely pleasing to have hit our #MakeLeeds2023 pledge target faster than anticipated. “This is a wonderful indication that our bid has strong backing from a diverse range of people and groups and that Leeds is really getting behind it.”

The new film aims to promote the bid to residents, businesses and communities in Leeds and beyond.

It features actor Dave-O, who delivers a monologue highlighting the city’s wealth of culture.

The video, created by Studio 12 and Mojo Films, also showcases Leeds’ arts and culture. Ms Watson added: “Initiatives such as the promotional film by Studio 12 highlight and showcase the wonderful diversity of Leeds as well as helping to bring people together, giving our bid a distinct and unified voice.”

Rob Pritchard, director at Mojo Films, said: “We created a film that symbolises Leeds working together and shows a visual journey of the history and culture of the city as we head into a bright future with the possibility of holding the European Capital of Culture 2023 title.”

At the time of writing, the campaign for online pledges has reached 2,259 at the half-way point before the deadline.

Jamie Hutchison, Producer at Studio 12, said: “It was such a pleasure to produce a film that allowed the citizens of Leeds to come together and show the world what Leeds has to offer.”

People can continue to pledge their support on Leeds’ bid website ahead of the submission deadline next month.

On social media, people can back the bid campaign by using the hashtag #MakeLeeds2023 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.