They’re backing the bid! New sponsors for Leeds’s 2023 European dream

Dancers on stage during last night's performance of an extract from Northern Ballet's Casanova.
Dancers on stage during last night's performance of an extract from Northern Ballet's Casanova.
Have your say

Business bosses have thrown their collective financial muscle behind Leeds’s bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023.

Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire Building Society and Yorkshire Water were all announced as bid sponsors at an event held at Northern Ballet in the city last night.

Also confirmed as sponsors were Arup, Bruntwood, Keepmoat, DLA Piper, Rushbond and RSM UK.

And today it was revealed that the amount of money committed to the bid by companies from across the region now stands at £250,000.

The cash will be used to support a programme of events this year and next that will celebrate and enrich Leeds’s already vibrant cultural life.

Richard Gregory, senior advisor and honorary Yorkshire Bank chair, said: “Leeds is a great city and this is a great opportunity to tell its story.

“The bid will create value and opportunity for the city’s communities, cultural sector and businesses and give Leeds the European and international profile it deserves.

“Yorkshire Bank is absolutely delighted to be helping Leeds realise its potential.”

Tanya Jackson, head of corporate affairs at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “As a major employer in Yorkshire we are proud to back the Leeds 2023 bid to secure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Leeds to take its place on Europe’s stage.

“We will be champions for the region’s cultural diversity and provide inspiring opportunities for our colleagues and members to help share and shape the great story Leeds 2023 has to tell.

“As the only bid from the north, if successful it will bring social and economic benefits that will have a lasting and positive impact on the region.”

Last night’s event gave scores of local businesses the chance to learn more about how to get involved in backing the bid.

Attendees were treated to a showcase of performances from a range of artistic fields, including an extract from Northern Ballet’s forthcoming production of Casanova.

Leeds’s rivals for the 2023 title include Belfast and Nottingham, with a final decision due next year.

For more details about getting involved with the bid, visit