Leeds residents urged to back city’s European Capital of Culture 2023 bid

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COUNCIL chiefs in Leeds are urging the city to get behind a bid for Leeds be named the 2023 European Capital of Culture.

Cluny Macpherson, Leeds City Council’s chief officer for culture and sport, told an executive board meeting that public support for the bid would be taken into account by decision makers choosing which city wins the honour.

The deadline for bids is October 27 this year with the UK winning city to be announced by the end of 2018.

Updating senior councillors on the bid, Mr Macpherson said: “We have really got to get the whole city behind the bid so you will start seeing it a lot more publicly out in the open in terms of campaigns with marketing to try to get everyone in the city backing it. The amount the city is behind it is one of those criteria about whether or not we win. So we have got a big job to do in the next few months.”

Councillors were told a culture strategy for the city is being drawn up along with the bid.

Leeds City Council’s chief executive Tom Riordan, said: “I don’t think always Leeds’s rich cultural assets are known outside the city nationally and internationally as they could be, as they deserve.”

A report to the executive board concluded: “Progress to submit our bid to be European Capital of Culture is on track. However, it is a competition and in places such as Dundee, Milton Keynes and Cornwall we face some very stiff competition. “They are places with their own stories to tell and their own ambitions.”