Leeds 2023: The City Speaks

Read More

"Leeds 2023 is a unique opportunity to imagine a brighter future for us all, to celebrate our great arts institutions and amplify the thriving arts and culture in our many communities across the city and the region"

Kully Thiarai, Creative Director, Leeds 2023 Image: Incredible Things by David Shearing. Photograph by Tom Joy

Our journey started in 2014 when we first asked the people of Leeds if they wanted to see the city bid for the title of European Capital of Culture and they responded with a resounding YES LEEDS!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride since then. In 2016 the Brexit vote meant we could not progress our bid further, but a remarkable level of co-operation and enthusiasm had already been built, with strong partnerships between arts organisations and community groups growing right across the city. We realised we could continue to harness the energy, creativity and momentum of the original bidding process to enhance the city’s cultural life and celebrate our international connections and heritage.

That’s why we are now continuing with our ambitious City of Culture plans to strengthen our culture, our economy, our tourism and our communities.

We have kick-started our cultural investment programme which will culminate in a year of culture in 2023. We’ve appointed the highly respected Kully Thairai as our creative director and we’re now building our board and our team and looking for an office space so we can share our plans with everyone and hear what people want this amazing year of culture to do for them.