Leeds. European Capital of Culture 2023?
This month Leeds will be submitting its bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2020. What on earth is ‘Cultural Capital’ and what will it even do for our city?
For those of you wondering, the European Capital of Culture award has been running since 1985 and allows countries to make a bid for the title. Each city will showcase their history and cultural contribution to the world and is decided by a panel of judges. Cities that have earned the title will often see urban regeneration and a huge uplift in tourism as a result. Liverpool won the title back in 2008 for its long history with music and poetry. The title has been cited as one of the reasons why the city has been thriving since.
One thing you do need to remember is that European Cultural Capital NOT the UK Capital of Culture award, which went to Hull this year (well done, guys!). The main difference being is that Leeds is going head to head with cities across Europe and large cities here in the UK. Other UK entrances include Nottingham, Bristol, Belfast and Dundee, so it’s not going to be plain sailing.
Leeds is offering up the best we have in the arts, culture and sports. Everything from Leeds Carnival through to Victoria Gate shopping is being showcased in the bid along with our history of being a wonderfully diverse city. If Leeds were to get the 2023 European Capital of Culture award, tech would also need to play a huge part in showcasing the city. Not only as a city of emerging digital innovation but as a contributor to technology in the arts. Did you know that moving picture, cinema was invented in Leeds in 1888 by Le Prince? If the title was given to Leeds in 2023, our already thriving tech scene will be given an added boost that could bring businesses and more jobs to our fair city.
So, what happens next?
Well, on the 27th of Oct, Leeds is officially submitting its bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023. As with anything Leeds does, we are celebrating with a few drinks. The bid launch event is happening from 5 pm at Quarry Hill at West Yorkshire Playhouse and all are welcome to explore. In November, we will find out if Leeds has been shortlisted for the UK and then we go from there.
That all sounds brilliant, but what can I do?
Make as much noise as possible and pledge to back the bid. Leeds2023 bid is asking everyone to shout about their support for Leeds bid for 2023 by using the hashtag #MakeLeeds2023. All the noise we make online will help show the judges how passionate we are as a city to get the title. Businesses and individuals can also pledge to support MakeLeeds2023. Start by telling everyone you know now on social media to get the ball rolling!
To find out more, check out the official Leeds2023 site.
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Image from MakeLeeds2023