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Better together: Leeds and Bradford come together to support new producing talent

Owen Spafford, Francesa Russo T-B Michael Marquez, Nicole Raymond

With only eight miles between them, it would be easy to see Leeds and Bradford as rivals rather than what they actually are: two vibrant cities whose differences complement each other and make our region stronger as a result.

With Leeds set to mark a year-long celebration of culture in 2023 and Bradford putting its name in the hat to be UK City of Culture 2025, there’s no better time for the two cities to come together and showcase the enormous amount of talent in our region. That’s why we’re involved with ‘Get it Done’; a project which will see seventeen aspiring producers from across Bradford and Leeds districts take part in a 15-months’ long training project to develop a network of skilled producers for the region.

The ‘Get it Done’ programme will offer participants training, workshops, mentoring, funding and support to develop the skills of artists, musicians, performers and emerging producers. The programme will be delivered by the Bradford Producing Hub and a team of experts, in partnership with Leeds 2023 which is supporting four places for emerging producers currently under-represented in the arts, from communities in Leeds.

Research undertaken by the BPH through a series of workshops, surveys and group meetings showed a clear lack of opportunities for emerging producers to develop their skills in Bradford. As a result, the team created the ‘Get it Done’ training package to develop the skills of budding producers, including those already working independently, or at a junior level; individuals currently working in other areas of the arts sector and young people at the start of their careers.

Competition for the seventeen places was incredibly tough, with 40 applications from Bradford and an additional 30 from Leeds. The successful applicants come from a diverse range of backgrounds and arts practice – comedy, dance, street theatre and film-making are all covered.

Investing in the skills of our talented young people now means that both Leeds and Bradford will be two creatively rich environments not just in 2023 and 2025, but way into the future.

Producers selected for Leeds

Michael Marquez (Dance)
Nicole Raymond (Music, sound installations and performances)
Francesca Russo (Live theatre, interested in new writing, devised work, opera/musicals, site specific performances and work that looks at disability/illness/ableism)
Owen Spafford (Music)


IMAGE: L-R Owen Spafford, Francesa Russo T-B Michael Marquez, Nicole Raymond