Articles From the Team

Leeds - The next UK city to win the European Capital of Culture?

On the 23rd February 2017 Leeds officially launched it bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2023. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of the European competition, it’s an annual competition that is awarded to a new City in Europe each year in Europe. Each City that wins the competition will have exactly a year to put on a number of cultural events to showcase the City on a European and Global level as to why it is the European Capital of culture and why you should visit or invest in the city. This is truly a great opportunity to show off the huge growth and development Leeds has been through over the past decade.

Why do cities take part?

Firstly, there is a large amount of funding available from an EU commission for the winner which will see millions given to communities across the City for bids an. The impact of a successful bid on the city has been significant for a number of winners but none more so than the last city to win the title in the UK, Liverpool. The city benefitted hugely from hosting the 2008 European Capital of Culture. The city saw 9.7 million visitors (a 34% increase); a £753.8 million boost to the economy; a 10% rise each year in arts audiences; 5.5 million visitors at the seven largest attractions; 85% of residents said the city was a better place to live than before; and massive amounts of positive media coverage that helped change perceptions.

Next steps for Leeds and how can you get involved?

Ideas will be collected and put together in an official bid booklet and submitted at the end of the year and put forward towards a board of judges from all over Europe. Leeds is calling on it communities and individuals from across the city to submit ideas of how Leeds can showcase its cultural and artistic projects. If you have a great idea for the city then you can get involved by submitted it on the official bid website


Despite Britain voting in favour of leaving the EU, the competition has nothing to do with politics and purely based on geographical locations throughout the European continent.

So, fingers crossed for a successful bid for Leeds and hopefully their bid can bring similar benefits to the city as it did for Liverpool. Leeds has been through a significant amount of change and growth over the past decade and this chance to showcase the city across Europe and beyond is one that they truly deserve.

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