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What is it?
Music:Leeds is a project about making music in Leeds better – creating more opportunities, increasing collaborations and raising awareness.

Its aim is to explore, nurture and promote music in Leeds as an experience, as a business and as a cultural driver in Leeds.

Since last Summer Music:Leeds has undertaken an audit of music venues, services, producers and audiences in Leeds, hosted an international symposium to learn from similar models in other cities and developed a comprehensive proposal for how a Music Office could be created to develop a coherent strategy in support of music in the city from venues to advice and development, create new capacity building programmes to develop future artists and industry professionals in this field and continue to shape the future of music in Leeds as a vital part of our cultural life.

In developing the Culture Strategy the city took a conscious decision to not focus specifically on art forms and how they could each be developed. Instead the Culture Strategy focuses on the issues and challenges of the city, how culture could be considered as a means of responding to the challenges of modern cities like Leeds unlocking future opportunities. That said the strategy does recognise that different art forms require different models of support and that those best placed to develop strategies for the various art forms are those who live, breathe and work in that field of expertise every day.

With this in mind it is anticipated that over the course of this Delivery Plan industry sectors will come together to develop their own responses to the Culture Strategy, make their own asks of the city and each other and create new routes of collaboration and development in their specific areas of work, following the model of Music:Leeds and Leeds Dance Partnership.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Aims & Objectives will it deliver?

  • Value and respect artists and creativity considering both vital to the growth and prosperity of Leeds and ensuring that they are promoted as part of our diverse economy.
  • Embrace and celebrate the differences in our communities, inviting artists and thinkers from all corners of the world to sit alongside us, and find new connections with Leeds.
  • For the city to value and prioritise cultural activity, utilising it as a means of improving the quality of life experienced by every person and every community in Leeds.
  • For people, whatever their background, to be supported to be creative through school, informal learning, training, volunteering and employment, ensuring that culture can be created and experienced by anyone.
  • For Leeds to be nationally and internationally recognised as a liveable city, and a thriving, internationally connected cultural hub open to collaboration.
  • For the culture sector to grow and increase its contribution to Leeds’ economy, by placing culture at the heart of the city’s narrative.
  • For established cultural organisations to be resilient, and to create an environment where new cultural organisations can flourish.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Area of Focus does it serve?

  • A City of Creators

Project contacts
Leanne Buchan leanne.buchan@leeds.gov.uk
Sam Pollard sam.pollard@leeds.gov.uk
Ann Wishart ann.wishart@leeds.gov.uk

Partners & Contacts
Sam Nicholls/Whiskas, Music Leeds, whsikas9@gmail.com

Image: Izzy Bizu plays Live at Leeds in 2016. Image courtesy of I LIKE PRESS, taken by Ed Whitmarsh.