'˜Leave vote would damage our region's thriving cultural scene'

MEMBERSHIP of the European Union has played a huge role in enriching Yorkshire's cultural scene, according to one of Leeds's most senior arts figures.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, 9:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, 10:18 am
Dan Jarvis MP and Mary Creagh MP with Richard Mantle, general director of Opera North, in the wig department during a visit and tour. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Richard Mantle, general director at Opera North, expressed fears a Leave vote in Thursday’s EU referendum could isolate UK cultural organisations from their European counterparts.

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Mr Mantle said: “I think you can certainly see over the last 40 years the real value of being part of an enormous talent pool which is Europe. This natural exchange of ideas, of people, of talent that has gone on over 30 or 40 years has really strengthened and enriched our cultural sector to an extent that possibly wouldn’t have been there in the past.”

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis visited Opera North at their Leeds Grand Theatre home as part of the Remain campaign yesterday. Mr Jarvis said: “The cultural sector is a significant part of our economy in Yorkshire and the North of England and a decision to leave the European Union brings all sorts of risk and all sorts of potential upheaval.”