Leeds will be a furnace of creativity throughout 2023 as the whole city lets culture loose and shows off its artistic strength in a programme that features major new commissions with world-renowned artists alongside celebrations of everyday creativity.

The 12-month cultural programme of fabulous events got off to a sparkling start when thousands watched the opening ceremony at Headingley rugby ground on 8th January. Locally-born stars including poet laureate Simon Armitage, singer Corinne Bailey Rae and presenter George Webster performed.

Leeds had hoped to be European Capital of Culture in 2023 but it’s bid was deemed ineligible by the European Commission following Brexit. The city chiefs bounced back and decided to press ahead with the exciting programme of cultural events.

Sharon Watson, who chaired the original bid and is now principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, recently told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, “we decided, and I think rightfully so, that we deserve this, that we believe in culture, and as a result of that, here we are in 2023, about to deliver a year of culture, of activity which is for everyone.”

Why not explore the city for yourself and enjoy one of the events? The full programme can be seen here: https://leeds2023.co.uk/

Leeds’ neighbour Bradford will be the next UK City of Culture in 2025.


Contributed by Colette Walker, Yorkshire Blue Badge Guide – https://yorkshiresbestguides.co.uk/project/colette-walker/

Image credit: The Awakening – copyright Leeds Year of Culture 2023