by David Mackie
Leeds is eager to follow in the footsteps of Liverpool and Glasgow as it bids to become the European Capital of Culture 2023, a title which could generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the city.
When Liverpool was Capital of Culture in 2008, it is estimated that over £750 million was generated for the city’s economy.
The cost to the city of Leeds to put on a year of cultural events in 2023 is projected at around £14 million – but this figure is dwarfed by the potential revenue to the city.
Many have already been championing Leeds’s suitability for the bid. Cluny Macpherson, Chief Officer for Culture & Sport at Leeds City Council, tweeted:
Rich culture/s present in all our communities as evidenced just today by, for instance, @KirkFest @GarforthFest #Leeds2023
— Cluny Macpherson (@ClunyM) July 11, 2015
Others have linked the bid with the growing ‘Northern Powerhouse’ movement that seeks to encourage investment and growth in the North of England:
#fedleeds @tomriordan says that bidding for #Leeds2023 can help turn the Northern Powerhouse into a Cultural Powerhouse.
— Stuart Clarke (@StuartClarkeUK) June 1, 2015
The council are now calling for proud Leeds folk to steer the bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2023.
The bid needs positive, creative and energetic members for its 12-person steering group and also for a number of sub-groups.
The roles will involve getting the whole city behind the bid and galvanising support from people and businesses, as well as determining the vision and focus of the bid before it is submitted in December 2017.
Leeds University has pledged £75,000 a year to support the bid process, but much more will be required.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We want to hear from anyone who thinks they might bring something unique to our bidding team and who can enable us to draw on a range of expertise from within the cultural, third sector and business communities.
“Above all, it is imperative that at its heart, the bid paints a true picture of what a vibrant, dynamic and culturally diverse city Leeds is and that it typifies the passion and enthusiasm of the people who live here.”
If you’d like more information or require assistance in submitting your expression of interest, please contact Zander Marston at Leeds2023@leeds.gov.uk or on 0113 224 3041.
Forms must be returned by Friday July 31.