Support grows for bid to show off Leeds’s culture

Leeds Light Night at the Civic Hall. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Leeds Light Night at the Civic Hall. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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Support is gathering pace for Leeds to make a bid to be named a European Capital of Culture.

The city could be poised to follow in the footsteps of Berlin, Athens, Paris and Liverpool for the high-profile title.

A detailed consultation is currently ongoing to see whether Leeds should present a bid for the right to host a year of cultural events.

And a report to Leeds City Council’s Sustainable Economy and Culture Scrutiny Board said the success of the Grand Depart for the Tour de France showed Leeds has the capability of delivering a major event.

Kevin Duffy, centre manager at Trinity Leeds, told the Yorkshire Evening Post it would be an exciting prospect for the city.

He said: “Bidding for European Capital of Culture 2023 is an exciting prospect for Leeds.

“Our city has been growing in strength and cultural offering for decades, and its many different cultures go back hundreds of years. Trinity Leeds is proud to be part of that rich and diverse offering.

“Leeds presents many different cultures and should be rightly proud of that, it is a unique, exciting and thriving city which deserves recognition as European Capital of Culture.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “We think it would be excellent if Leeds were to bid and would do all we could to support it.

“Leeds City Council showed both vision and leadership around the Grand Départ and are well placed to repeat this with a bid, should they choose to.”

Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, an honorary alderman of Leeds and former shadow chairman of Leeds Leisure, said the city should put in a bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

He added: “How many cities can claim to have their own opera company?

“Leeds is also home to the Henry Moore Institute which is world famous and whose work is disseminated throughout the whole world.

“The thousands that poured into the city for Light Night showed there is a great appetite for the new, the exciting and the sparkle and that fantastic evening just showed what Leeds is capable of.

“From popular culture to traditional culture Leeds has all those elements to springboard ahead of its rivals as city of culture for 2023.”

The authority’s executive board will receive a report and recommendation in February next year outlining the results of the consultation.

It will also recommend whether or not the city should bid for the title.


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