/ Projects

Cultural Innovation

What is it?
Could Leeds be a home of cultural innovation where there is no demarcation between the 'creative industries' and the 'cultural sector', where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) is standard and the relationship between arts and technology is not only understood but actively nurtured and supported to flourish? Over the next six years we will create a series of programmes and projects to explore these opportunites.

We have artists who have made Leeds their home but are using the technology at their fingertips to challenge global perceptions and issues from climate change and sustainability to equality and social inclusion. Many arts organisations are adopting digital strategies as they seek to engage with new audiences, and communities are using online tools and channels as a means of creating new projects, formulating ideas and creating local movements transforming where they live and raising awareness of the cultures they hold dear.

We have a phenomenal and ever-expanding digital and tech sector in the city that continues to gain national attention and welcome global companies to the city, from the major relocation of Sky of a few years ago to the recent announcement that Leeds has made the shortlist for Channel 4's Northern HQ and creative hubs. Our Smart Cities movement continues to grow, considering how technology and data can better inform our choices, create new services and reconnect with communities. All this is supported by a range of co-working spaces, festivals, events and conferences that underpin this industry providing a strong network of collaboration and support.
These amazing connections are a happy accident of a diverse city holding a diverse range of industries and communities all responding to the changing world around them.

The grey areas of where technology, innovation and digital meet art, culture and creativity offer enormous potential for Leeds. However, with the drop off in arts subjects at school the creativity of many of our young people is not being nurtured and action is required to address this - for their benefit, and to ensure the workforce of the future has the skills it needs.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Aims & Objectives will it deliver?

  • Change perceptions and attitudes towards culture and the arts, moving the focus from what they cost to what they create.
  • For Leeds to be nationally and internationally recognised as a liveable city, and a thriving, internationally connected cultural hub open to collaboration.
  • For Leeds to be at the forefront of cultural innovation, making the most of new and emerging technologies.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Area of Focus does it serve?:

  • A Fast-Paced City of Cultural Innovation

Project Contacts
Leanne Buchan leanne.buchan@leeds.gov.uk

Image: 'On Your Wavelength' part of Light Night 2017. Photo Lizzie Coombes.