Culture bosses meet with Minister to discuss Leeds 2023 follow-up plan after dashed European title hopes

Joe Taylor and Dreda Blow previewing Northern Ballets  production of Casanova at a launch event to Leeds business leaders backing the doomed Leeds 2023 City of Culture bid. Picture Tony Johnson.
Joe Taylor and Dreda Blow previewing Northern Ballets production of Casanova at a launch event to Leeds business leaders backing the doomed Leeds 2023 City of Culture bid. Picture Tony Johnson.
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Culture bosses from Leeds have met with a Government Minister to discuss the next step after the city’s dashed hopes of becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023.

As previously reported, Leeds had submitted a high-profile bid for the title, before the plug was belatedly pulled on a UK entry by the European Commission due to Brexit.

Council bosses have since announced they want to host their own ‘year of culture’ in 2023 to celebrate the best of the city’s arts scene.

Cluny Macpherson, Leeds Council’s chief officer for culture, told a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall today (Wednesday) that the city was “continuing with the refreshed Leeds 2023 programme”.

He said a recent meeting with junior arts minister Michael Ellis , which also included representatives of the UK’s other bidding cities for the 2023 European title, had discussed “options for continued Government support for each city’s ambition”.

He added there had also been a “good long meeting with Arts Council England” recently about funding, and the talks had been “very positive”.

Separate talks about involving the private sector have also been “well received”, he said.

A meeting at Leeds Town Hall is currently being organised for next month to “put some meat on the bones in terms of the next steps”, Mr Macpherson said.

Ideas in the pipeline include holding a ‘hack seminar’ to involve up and coming artists and designers in designing a new website linkied to the council’s wider cultural strategy.