Call goes out to help capture what culture means to Leeds: dsc_1130c.jpg

11 May 2016

Call goes out to help capture what culture means to Leeds

The city’s bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023 is set to take an exciting leap forward with the creation of a new brand to showcase the very best of Leeds.

Leeds City Council and the 2023 independent steering group are this week issuing an open call to designers and creative people from all walks of life who think they can capture and communicate exactly what culture means to the city.

Those who apply will be asked to come up with a visual identity that gets across the values and ambitions of the Leeds bid and which will help raise the city’s national and international profile.

Drawing up the new branding represents the next important step on the road to the bid and will be a key factor in building support for Leeds locally, regionally and nationally.

Sharon Watson, chair of the Leeds 2023 independent steering group, said:

“This is a hugely exciting moment in the bidding process and one which we hope is going to spark the creation of something genuinely unique and exciting.

“Right from the start, our main goal has been to ensure our bid is truly inclusive and that the people of Leeds have a chance to feel part of it each and every step of the way.

“That’s why it’s so important to us that creative people from all walks of life take this chance to get involved if they think they might have an idea which could add something special to the bid.

“We feel that the right brand could make all the difference and be the catalyst that brings the bid to life for both for the people of Leeds and the 2023 judges.”

Applicants should submit a 500 word maximum expression of interest that explains what they know about culture in Leeds and their experience of working with cities to promote arts and culture.

Entrants can also submit a separate credentials document showing examples of previous work.

All entries will then be judged by members of the Leeds 2023 marketing and communications advisory group who will draw up a shortlist of five applicants to pitch for the brief.

Everyone is eligible to apply including freelancers, established agencies, consortiums and students.

Expressions of interest must be sent to by no later than 5pm on May 31 2016.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“This branding will play a crucial role in building momentum for our bid and will give the people of Leeds something visual and exciting to rally behind as well as helping to promote the city as a centre for culture, diversity and the arts.

“What we really want to see is something memorable and instantly recognisable which will speak loudly and clearly to people all over the world about what culture means to Leeds and its communities.

“We know that Leeds is a city full of inspiration and creativity and we’re confident that we will see some outstanding designs and ideas.”

The city’s expression of interest for European Capital of Culture 2023 is now being drawn up and will be submitted near the end of 2016, with a final bid submitted by December 2017.

The decision to bid followed a wide-ranging 14-month public consultation, which gathered the views of local communities, children and young people, cultural organisations and the city's independent arts sector.

For more information of the European Capital of Culture 2023 bid, visit


For media enquiries, please contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team