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Press Statement: DCMS Launch Competition for European Capital of Culture

  • 5th July 2017
  • Posted by Leeds 2023

Following today’s announcement from the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) that the UK competition for the title of European Capital of Culture will go ahead despite the outcome of the EU Referendum in June, Leeds 2023 have issued the following statements:

“Leeds has been ready to bid since 2014 and we are delighted that today the Department for Culture Media and Sport has recognised the continued benefits of the competition to the UK economy and to cities like Leeds, with an announcement to continue to host the European Capital of Culture competition in 2023.

In Leeds we believe in a future where our culture in all its forms is valued and experienced by the broadest set of people, and for it to be central to the city’s identity and to its future – both economically and socially.

Communities, business, and all of the City’s Higher and Further Education providers came together with Leeds City Council over the last three years to invest significant time and resources in the anticipated bidding process. Today’s announcement is recognition of the ambition and commitment shown by Leeds, and cities like ours, in leading with culture across our communities.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council
Deputy Chair Leeds 2023 Independent Steering Group


The European Capital of Culture title provides an opportunity for Leeds to celebrate its relationship with Europe and the diversity that is distinctive to the city. Leeds has built partnerships with Europe over a number of decades, taking in artists residencies, cultural productions, trade and business networks, schools and educational partnerships and inward investment.

Our lives have been enriched by the thousands of Europeans who have made this city their home, bringing their cultural identity from food to music, dance, art and design to the city.

We are thrilled that the competition will go ahead and invite the whole city to join the journey!”

Sharon Watson
Chair, Leeds 2023 Independent Steering Group

Image: Ready, Set, Go
Credit: Lee Goater

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