Five children on a rooftop in Leeds playing with homemade toys
Press Release
‘Children’s Day: Reimagined’: 1,000 Leeds children will be front and centre of LEEDS 2023’s next major event bringing bold joy and wild hope to the city.

It has been 60 years since the last Children’s Day took place in Leeds’ famous Roundhay Park. Drawing inspiration from this part of the city’s heritage, LEEDS 2023 has been working with artists and children from the city to reimagine Children’s Day for Leeds’ Year of Culture. The event, designed by, with and for children, will be a joyful celebration of the children of Leeds and will take place in Soldiers Field in Roundhay Park over the course of Friday 14th July.

More than 1,000 children from around 20 primary schools across Leeds have been preparing for ‘Children’s Day: Reimagined’ for weeks, creatively led by arts organisation Fevered Sleep in collaboration with Young Creatives (eleven 8-14 year olds from across Leeds), award winning British singer and composer, Emily Levy, and York-based textile artist Ingrid Bale.

The children will come together for the first time on 14th July when their combined work will create an epic artistic installation of 1,000 banners that express their dreams, hopes, demands, refusals, fierce joy and wild hope. This snapshot of statements from Leeds children in 2023 will form a striking backdrop to an evening of live performances, food and film, including the first collective performance of a new song, to an anticipated audience of thousands of family, friends and the general public.

A programme of films will be shown, commissioned and chosen by Young Creatives and by Fevered Sleep, including a film created by Leeds-based Studio Bokehgo.

At its height the original Children’s Day was attended by around 90,000 school children and families in Roundhay Park. Fevered Sleep and the Young Creatives have picked up that mantle and totally reimagined the day with children at the front and centre.

“We’re now well and truly into Part 2 of our programme with a focus on Playing and what better time to listen to and amplify the voices of our children and young people. Decades ago, Children’s Day was an iconic event in the city created by adults for the school children of Leeds. Today our world is so very different and we wanted to offer our children a major platform to shape an event that enabled them to express themselves fully, taking the same spirit of community and collective endeavour as the original Children’s Day whilst also reimagining it with children at the very heart of that process. With the support of some of the UK’s leading artists in participatory and collaborative work, Leeds’ children have created an event that we hope will live as long in our memories as the event that inspired it. Their voices loud, heard and amplified by LEEDS 2023 as they express their hopes, dreams and desires for the future. These young people are our future and I’m excited to see what our world will look like with them in charge for one day."
Kully Thiarai
Creative Director and CEO, LEEDS 2023

Leeds City Council has made a commitment to being the best place in the UK for children and young people to grow up, through its Child Friendly Leeds initiative

“Children’s Day was once part of life in Leeds for so many young people, giving them a unique opportunity to come together and make some incredible and unforgettable memories. As we celebrate the best of culture in Leeds this year, it’s exciting to see this event return in a dynamic, new and innovative form which will engage a whole new generation of our city’s children. Young people should always be at the heart of the cultural activity we create today in the hope that it can inspire them to create a better tomorrow.”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor
Executive member for economy, culture and education, Leeds City Council

Commissioned and produced by LEEDS 2023, ‘Children’s Day: Reimagined’ is supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, to Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme, Foyle Foundation and FirstBus.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re delighted to be able to support Children’s Day: Reimagined in Leeds. The award fits with one of The National Lottery Community Fund’s four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring young people from across the West Yorkshire region together to celebrate their future, on what I’m sure will be a very memorable day for all involved.”
Joe Dobson
Regional Head of Funding for Yorkshire & Humber, The National Lottery Community Fund
“‘Children’s Day: Reimagined’ promises to be an inspiring and memorable day for visitors, bringing together ideas from young people throughout Leeds. “It is the natural event for us to be involved with as it comes from the communities we serve. We’re excited to be a partner in helping the day come alive and encourage everyone to think about sustainable travel to get there.”
Lucy Mottram
Marketing Manager, First Bus in West Yorkshire

Free Tickets are now available here.

Editor's Notes

For further information and interviews please contact Anys Williams at Anita Morris Associates on / 07909 151441  


About LEEDS 2023 

LEEDS 2023's ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experiences connecting and benefiting people now and into the future. 


The planned programme will celebrate and transform the City’s identity locally, nationally and internationally – creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact.  


LEEDS 2023 is run by the Leeds Culture Trust, an independent charity set up in 2019 by Leeds City Council as part of its Culture Strategy and as a response to the cancellation of the UK's participation in the European Capital of Culture competition.  


Leeds City Council recognises in a number of its key strategies the difference culture and creativity can make to a city and its citizens, and is the principal funder of LEEDS 2023. 


LEEDS 2023 is supported by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible. 


Fevered Sleep was established in 1996 by artistic directors Sam Butler and David Harradine.    

All our work is made in collaboration with people outside the company, and participation is at the heart of everything we do.  We see our creative process as a kind of research: a way to investigate and reimagine the complex and challenging world in which we live.  

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest non-statutory community funder in the UK – community is at the heart of our purpose, vision and name.

We support activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable and that will strengthen society and improve lives across the UK.

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.

As well as responding to what communities tell us is important to them, our funding is focused on four key missions, supporting communities to:

1. Come together

2. Be environmentally sustainable

3. Help children and young people thrive

4. Enable people to live healthier lives.

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we distribute around £500 million a year through 10,000+ grants and plan to invest over £4 billion of funding into communities by 2030. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £47 billion has been raised and more than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK - the equivalent of around 240 National Lottery grants in every UK postcode district.

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 we will invest over £440 million of public money from Government and an estimated £93 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. 

 Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies responsible for administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund of which we delivered over £1 billion to the sector in grants and loans. Find out more at

Child Friendly Leeds brings together the whole city with an ambition to make Leeds a happy and safe place for all children to enjoy and grow up in.

Children and young people’s voices are at the heart of our approach, celebrating and empowering those growing up in Leeds today and building a more socially and economically successful city for the future.


Child Friendly Leeds was launched by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. In 2022 His Majesty The King visited the city to help celebrate our ten-year anniversary.

About First Bus. In Leeds, First Bus has invested more than £60m to introduce over 200 ultra-low and zero-emission buses on to the network, helping to create cleaner air and reduce carbon.

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant making Trust supporting UK charities which, since its formation in 2001, has become a major funder of the Arts and Learning.  The Foundation also operates a community small grants programme and a national school library improvement scheme.

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