Leeds considers alternative to Capital of Culture

LEEDS could look to host another international festival if its bid to be European Capital of Culture is scuppered by Britain leaving the European Union.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 3:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 4:59 pm
Judith Blake
Judith Blake

With the Government yet to begin talks with Brussels over leaving the EU and the rules unclear over whether cities outside can be Capital of Culture, Leeds is continuing to work towards the goal of holding the title in 2023.

A report to senior councillors on the impact of the decision to leave the EU on Leeds says the city will continue to pursue its Capital of Culture bid but if it is “ineligible” it will “consider the potential for a major international cultural festival to bring people together and to promote Leeds internationally”.

The council’s executive board will be asked to back a range of other measures in response to last month’s EU referendum result including securing promises that the Government will replace money lost to the city when it no longer has access to EU funds to help the local economy.

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The city is also looking to step up its talks with the Government over taking over more control of its own affairs in partnership with neighbouring councils and work with businesses that could be damaged by leaving the EU.

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said the authority was “determined to ensure that the city is in the best position to not only meet any challenges that may arise from Brexit, but also to capitalise on any opportunities that present themselves.”