Video: Leeds culture title gets city talking in consultation

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Communities across Leeds are being urged to join the debate over whether the city should bid to become a European Capital of Culture.

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

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon at Leeds Art Gallery

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon at Leeds Art Gallery

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

Council chiefs are calling on residents across the city to make their voices heard about whether Leeds should put in a bid to become a European Capital of Culture in 2023.

A recent web poll by the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed more than 60 per cent of respondents were in favour of Leeds making a bid for the title.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive for digital and creative technology, culture and skills, said: “Personally I think we have got so much to offer and it would be brilliant for Leeds to bid but that is me talking from the heart.

“The decision has to be made with our heads and the official decision will be made next year.

“We have got to make sure we have done all the maths and know what the costing for a bid would be.

“People are raising their queries and concerns through the consultation. There has been a huge spectrum of different opinions but the majority of those have been supportive.

“It is vital that different voices are heard and we want to make sure that this is a decision for the city and not just the local authority.

“If the bid was successful then it would have to be in partnership with organisations because the council could not do it on their own.”

And she said the consultation provides an opportunity to get organisations across the city talking and developing new partnerships - regardless of whether a bid for the European Capital of Culture is put forward.

Councillor Yeadon added: “The economic climate is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and even by having these conversations it means we are developing new partnerships.”

A recent 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.

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.

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

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