Calderdale Council’s backing to Leeds’ European Capital of Culture 2023 bid

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Calderdale Council leaders are hoping that backing Leeds City Council’s bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 will have major benefits to the borough.

The Council is looking to build on the spirit of collaboration among local authorities demonstrated by the Tour de France, The Tour de Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Festival in 2014 and 2016.

Robin Tuddenham, the Council’s director for communities and service support said the Leeds bid offers a further opportunity to show that, through culture, the area can collectively showcase the success, talent and aptitude of Leeds and the wider region on a national and international stage.

“Building on the Regional support has been defining factor in the success of other city’s bids and is critical for Leeds,” said Mr Tuddenham.

“There are mutual benefits for Leeds and the sub-region and this initiative aligns with wider working on culture, the economy and cultural tourism.

“We anticipate the bid will bring benefits to the borough, including enhanced media attention and profile in the region, nationally and internationally; attract visitors and provide opportunities for local businesses and residents to be part of the activity.

“We will work with Leeds to ensure that Calderdale’s recent investment in cultural assets and the strong cultural offer which characterises the area will be highlighted and promoted through this international marketing opportunity.

Leeds is bidding to host the title of European Capital of Culture in 2023. Liverpool was the UK city to host the title in 2008.

For Liverpool hosting the title brought over £750m to the economy in addition to a major infrastructure development, a growth in tourism of 34 per cent and transformations in overall perceptions of the city

According to Mr Tuddenham, the evaluation of Liverpool showed that there were significant benefits to the wider Merseyside and Cheshire regions with more hotel beds sold outside the city than in Liverpool itself.

The economic benefits of a successful Leeds’ bid are likely to be spread across the whole of the Yorkshire region added Mr Tuddenham.