Leeds's new cultural master plan for 2030 revealed today

CIVIC leaders will today set the wheels in motion for a new cultural master plan to boost the city's bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 4:00 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 8:29 am
The Leeds skyline. Pic: James Hardisty.

It is hoped the new vision – laying out the city’s cultural ambitions for the next 14 years – will deliver equally significant projects across the city, from music to sport.

The last plan of its kind delivered Leeds’s First Direct Arena and new homes for Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance. Civic leaders will lay out their plans at a meeting today.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, urged the public to get involved.

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She said: “We feel very strongly that we need to rally people that haven’t necessarily engaged in this kind of conversation before.

“The key is for everyone to realise they have something to contribute.

“We are taking a new approach this time. It’s about community engagement.

“We’ve set up blogs to get people’s opinions and there is an open invitation to people and community groups to attend upcoming meetings and further contribute.

“We are looking at culture in its broadest form from sports, parks, music, dance and food to architecture and urban spaces.”

According to a report by Leeds City Council, the culture strategy will help achieve health and wellbeing targets, create new jobs, boost skills and ‘add civic pride’.

Coun Blake added: “Leeds is one of the most diverse cities in the country. We have small villages, towns and urban spaces and inner city areas.

“Everyone who lives within the city can feel like they have a role to play.

“Go online, have a look at the conversations that are already going on and get involved with new, fresh ideas.”

Thousands of people have already clicked on to the dedicated website and had their say.

Coun Blake added: “This has to be a city-wide approach.

“We need to make sure the whole city understands and recognises the contribution that culture brings to the economy.

“Different parts of the city can make a real contribution to making the culture strategy alive and relevant.”

Visit www.leedsculturestrategy.org.