YEP Says, March 11: Leeds couldn’t afford to pass up city culture bid

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THERE has long been a groundswell of public support for Leeds to bid to become a European Capital of Culture – so it’s good to see the council feels the same way.

THERE has long been a groundswell of public support for Leeds to bid to become a European Capital of Culture – so it’s good to see the council feels the same way.

The decision to go for it is set to be rubber-stamped next week, then the preparations can begin in earnest.

The success of last summer’s staging of the Grand Départ has shown just what Leeds is capable of if it dares to think big.

Yes, there are financial considerations that enter the equation when it comes to events like this, but the benefits from the Tour’s visit proved that sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate.

The city’s cultural offer is not to be sniffed at. Home to the Henry Moore Institute, the Grand Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds can more than hold its own.

Coupled with the 13,500-capacity arena, impressive Victorian architecture and a thriving arts, dance and music scene, there is no reason why we should not expect to be in the frame when it comes to the UK’s chosen city for 2023.

You only have to look at the way the Capital of Culture title has helped take cities like Liverpool and Glasgow up a league to see why Leeds should bid and what it stands to gain.

Now we need everyone to get behind the bid and show why the city deserves this chance to shine bright on the international stage.

Alfie’s legacy is saving tots’ lives

WHEN Alfie Martin was born, his parents had an agonising wait for him to be taken to the nearest neo-natal unit because of a shortage of suitably equipped ambulances.

Tragically, Alfie died at just two days old due to a catalogue of errors and delays.

Since then, mum Fiona and dad Roger have strived to ensure other parents don’t go through the same ordeal by raising money to help save the lives of critically ill babies.

The Friends of Alfie Martin’s latest donation of more than £30,000 worth of equipment to Leeds Children’s Hospital will do just that.

More than a decade after his tragic death, they should be proud that Alfie’s legacy lives on.

PIC: Simon Hulme

YEP Says: Dust ourselves down Leeds and become a cultural success