Potential 2023 European Capital of Culture bid to be discussed by Executive Board

Caption: The potential of a 2023 European Capital of Culture bid, will be debated by Leeds City Council's Executive Board next week.

A report detailing the opportunities and challenges if Leeds were to submit a 2023 European Capital of Culture bid is set to be discussed by senior councillors next Wednesday, 22 January.

This debate follows a meeting held at Leeds Town Hall earlier this month, attended by nearly 300 people, which began a conversation on whether there is an appetite for the city to puts itself forward for the prestigious prize.

Members of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board, in considering the report, will offer their thoughts around a number of key areas, and be asked to provide their support to continued city-wide discussions over the next 9-12 months. If approved by the Executive Board, a second paper will then be brought back to a future meeting in early 2015 detailing the results of those discussions.

The report considers the possible social and economic benefits and impacts of a bid on different sectors and communities across the city, the potential of raising Leeds’ profile internationally, as well as the resources required and value for money.

During the week of the event at Leeds Town Hall, a twitter conversation on Leeds entering the 2023 race reached 455,548 accounts. If you would like to join the debate, please add the #Leeds2023 hashtag to the end of your twitter comments.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"After an extremely positive initial meeting which was attended by nearly 300 people, we are extremely keen to gain the approval of the Executive Board to continue the conversation over the next 9-12 months to see if Leeds should bid for the 2023 European Capital of Culture.

"A submission at this time is certainly not a given, and this is why we want to hear exactly what stakeholders think regarding us as a city entering the race, and on key issues such as the potential social and economic benefits it might bring, how it could be delivered, and of course cost.

"These are exactly the sort of conversations that must be undertaken before we can even contemplate saying yes or no, and if we are given the go-ahead by the Executive Board this will allow us to start the work that is needed to be done, so we can bring back a further report outlining some of our findings in early 2015."

Notes to editors:

A full copy of the report can be viewed at:


For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk