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The Team

The Leeds bid is being led by an Independent Steering Group which has cross party support from Leeds City Council.

Our bid belongs to the city and since 2014 we have been asking Leeds to dream big, from school children and office workers to local residents, artists, investment bankers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, property developers and councillors.

The Independent Steering Group set up a number of advisory groups to help guide and shape a Leeds bid for European Capital of Culture, who work alongside a small project team.

These are the people making it happen for Leeds.

Leeds 2023
Project Team:

Independent Steering Group:

  • Sharon Watson, Artistic Director Phoenix Dance – Chair
  • Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council – Deputy Chair
  • James Brining, Artistic Director West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • Anita Morris, Managing Director Anita Morris Associates
  • Nicola Greenan, Director East Street Arts
  • Godfrey Worsdale, Director Henry Moore Foundation
  • Karen Sewell, Solicitor WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • Kenny Tindall, Freelance Choreographer
  • Prof. Frank Finlay, Director Culture Institute, University of Leeds
  • Cllr Dan Cohen, Culture Representative Conservative Party
  • Cllr Stewart Golton, Leader Liberal Democrat Party
  • Gerry Godley, Principal & Chief Executive, Leeds College of Music
  • Tracey Lancaster, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Corporate Communications & Marketing, Leeds Beckett University

Leeds City Council Team:

  • Cluny Macpherson, Chief Officer
  • Dinah Clark, Bid Coordinator
  • Karen Murgatroyd, International Relations
  • Leanne Buchan, Marketing & Communications
  • Sarah Priestley, Community Engagement
  • David Israel, Fundraising & Partnerships
  • Jennifer Gridley, Project Officer
  • Kristina Assmann-Gramberg, Project Support Officer
  • Kat Handy, Project Support Officer

External Partner:

  • Andrew Dixon, Bid Advisor

Collective 23, Programme Team:

  • Emma Beverley, Jenny Harris & Matt Burman

Lee Goater and HeadOfffice™, Creative Team:

  • Lee Goater, Gaz Battersby, Peter Lowes, Ross Francis, Craig Jackson, Katie Buffalo & Hungry Sandwich Club

Artistic Programme Advisory Group:

  • James Brining (Chair), West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • Bryony Bond, Tetley
  • Amy Letman, Transform Festival
  • Adrian Sinclair, Chapel FM
  • Alan Lane, Slung Low
  • Laura Wellington, Duke Studios
  • Matthew Sims, Leeds City Council
  • John Roles, Leeds City Council
  • Patrick O’Mahony, New Substance
  • Whiskas, Leeds Beckett University
  • Sanjiv Buttoo, BBC
  • Wendy Harris, Tutti Frutti
  • Kenny Tindall, Freelance choreographer,
  • Dominic Gray / Christine Chibnall, Opera North
  • Nick Ahad, Writer & broadcaster

Community Engagement Advisory Group

  • Nicola Greenan, East Street Arts – Chair
  • Kerry Harker, Freelance artist
  • Wes Zepherin, Freelance engagement & diversity consultant
  • Michelle Lanham, Leeds Beckett University
  • Sarah Statham, St Anne’s Charity
  • Wendy Denman, Trinity Leeds/Leeds Minimalists
  • Howard Bradley, LS14 Trust
  • Ben Deutsch, Touchstone
  • Sharon Gladish, KPMG
  • Mike Love, Together for Peace
  • Roger Harington, Community theatre practitioner
  • Cath Linley, Tenfold
  • Madeleine Thorne, Opera North
  • Heather Nelson, Black Health Initiative
  • Sarah Westaway, Art Forms

Marketing & Communications Advisory Group

  • Anita Morris, Anita Morris Associates
  • Matthew Higgins, Freelance Communications Consultant
  • Alison Andrews, Freelance Producer and artist
  • Emma Beverley, Freelance Producer
  • Jack Simpson, The State of the Arts/Hyde Park Book Club/Eiger Studios
  • Stephen Woowatt, Something More
  • Ged Savva, Magpie Communications
  • Mark Hollander, Phoenix Dance
  • Shirley Beresford, Leeds Beckett University
  • Paul Smith, Virgin Trains
  • Dave Eccles, Numiko
  • Rachel Jeffcoat, National Trust
  • Nick Hallam, West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • Stuart Clarke, Leeds Digital Festival
  • Andrew Denton, Best Western Hotels
  • Nick Ramshaw, Thompson Brand Partners
  • Andrew Cooper, Leeds Business Improvement District

Fundraising & Partnerships Advisory Group

  • Godfrey Worsdale, Henry Moore Institute – Chair
  • Karen Sewell, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Paula Dillon, Bond Dickinson
  • Pam Bone, Freelance fundraising advisor
  • Fiona Spiers, Freelance consultant
  • Kate Hainsworth, Leeds Community Foundation
  • Mark Skipper, Northern Ballet

European Partnerships Advisory Group (November 2015-Jan 2017)

  • Gerry Godley, Leeds College of Music – Chair
  • Ivor Davies, Freelance international policy consultant
  • Wieke Eringa, Yorkshire Dance
  • Alison Fell, University of Leeds
  • Marguerite Hogg, Freelance consultant
  • Aisha Iqbal, Yorkshire Evening Post
  • Gill Park, Pavilion
  • Teresa Stoppani, Leeds Beckett University
  • Karen Watson, East Street Arts
  • Graham Webb, Promoting Communication Ltd
  • Franco Bianchini, University of Hull