Agenda item

Update on Leeds 2023 Year of Culture

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Culture and Economy which, together with a presentation to be provided at the meeting seeks to update Members on the LEEDS 2023 programme and which also seeks to gather input and support from Elected Members and residents.


The Chief Officer Culture and Economy submitted a report to provide the Inner West Community Committee with an update on LEEDS 2023 and to gather input and support from elected members and residents.


Members were shown a presentation as an introduction to the LEEDS 2023 year of culture with a brief background which included the setting up of the Leeds Culture Trust with an independent chair, funding, scrutiny, partnership

working and promotion of the year of culture.


Members were informed of the following points:

·  It is the aim of LEEDS 2023 for 75% of Leeds residents to be involved in the events. Some of the events will be free and held in all 33 wards with schools being invited to get involved. The aim is to show the diverse heritage of the city.

·  Economic research has suggested that holding this type of event will attract investment to the city particularly through retail and hospitality.

·  My LEEDS 2023 aims to empower the local communities through partnership and community working. There will be 33 Neighbourhood Hosts with one host recruited from each ward, this will be a paid role as a member of the LEEDS 2023 Team. The role will be as a connector to local residents to access and make the most of the Year of Culture. They will also play a key role in an event called the Weekender.

·  The Weekender will take place for two days in August 2023 animating every ward with neighbourhood events. The aim is to bring together the communities through events such as street parties, cook outs and mini carnivals.

·  Currently the team are holding events in wards to promote the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture.

·  The Team are looking to recruit at least 1,000 volunteers from all wards and all walks of life across Leeds. It is the hope that this will be the start of a legacy for volunteers to become involved in events across Leeds.

·  The Team requested support and assistance to spread the word of the host and volunteer roles and the events to the local groups and networks in the Inner West area.

·  Roadshows to promote LEEDS 2023 had already taken place in the Inner West area. However, it was noted that there was to be a Roadshow at Kirkstall Forge on 21st July 2022. 


Member’s discussions included:

·  Members were pleased to see the impact of the projects already in Armley and wanted to ensure that back stories be provided as these had already proved popular in the local area in relation to the ‘Armley Horses’

·  Members acknowledged culture as an important way to raise income for the city, benefitting the economy especially in these difficult times. They recognised that culture was as important to the children of the city along with essentials such as beds and food and families should not have to make the choice between these things. The team offered to produce a useful Q&A for Members to use, to deflect negative comments in relation to the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture. 

·  In relation to concerns raised by Members about the short lead in time to recruit Neighbourhood Hosts and 1,000 volunteers. The Team explained that the recruitment for Neighbourhood Hosts was already live and would close on 8th August 2022, with the Team looking to have Hosts in post in October. It was noted that training, internal workshops, master classes and mentoring would be provided with continual training being given throughout the year.

·  Members acknowledged that it had not been defined where or how the grant funding would be spent.

·  Members were of the view that most of the events should take place in the local ward areas but recognised that some of the bigger events would need to take place in the City Centre.

·  The Committee recognised that links to Bradford UK City of Culture 2025 would be beneficial for both cities and the region.


RESOLVED -  To note the content of the report.

Supporting documents: