In January 2017 Leeds was accepted on to the United Cities and Local Government Pilot Cities Programme, working alongside seven other cities from around the world. The programme brings cities together to share ideas and best practice for how culture can be used to overcome global issues such as changes in population, migration, digitisation and isolation at a local level.
Each city will work with an international research and policy specialist and people from their home city to make a detailed self assessment of how they perform on a range of areas from how local people are involved and represented in their cultural offer, to how culture influences education and decision making. Following this there will be an event to share the findings and celebrate the city’s strengths.
Leeds will then be paired with another two cities – one who we can learn from to overcome our challenges and one who we can share our strengths with to help them overcome their challenges. As part of the programme we will host international partners here in Leeds and take our knowledge and experience out across the world.
The programme lasts for two years and will have a strong connection to the city’s emerging Culture Strategy and will help to inform the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2023