Executive board ready to back Leeds Culture Trust

The newly-formed trust that will spearhead a game-changing cultural investment programme for Leeds is set to get the official backing of the city’s senior councillors next week.

Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked to approve a formal grant agreement with the Leeds Culture Trust, sparking an ambitious, four-year programme of activity culminating in Leeds 2023, a landmark new city-wide celebration.

The council’s support will also allow the trust to appoint key team members as well as beginning more detailed work with local, national and international individuals and organisations as they bring together an exciting, world class artistic programme for Leeds 2023.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, who will represent the council on the trust’s board, said: “Next week is set to be a pivotal moment on the journey towards Leeds 2023 and throughout that journey, our commitment to seeing the best of culture in Leeds given the showcase it deserves has never wavered.

“An investment in culture is an investment in everything that makes Leeds such a fantastic place and if approved by the board, this agreement will represent a decisive statement about our unshakable belief that this city deserves to stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best cultural destinations in the world.

“We are confident that the trust and its team will have the knowledge, expertise and passion to deliver on that ambition and that, in their hands, Leeds 2023 can be a genuine game-changer for culture in Leeds.”

Last summer, the executive board approved the formation of the trust, an independent charity which will be the main delivery body for Leeds 2023. That followed cross party support for the festival at a meeting of the city’s full council in January 2018.

The 2023 festival itself will nurture and celebrate the cultural life of Leeds as well as bringing the best global arts to the city and providing a catalyst for attracting visitors, jobs, new skills and economic growth.

Councillor Dan Cohen, shadow cabinet member for leisure and culture will also sit on the Leeds 2023 board.

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