Leeds England Culture
The Times has just ranked the northern city of Leeds as the best place in Britain for culture, and for good reason. Leeds should be the centre of the country's cultural life, not just a tourist destination. Despite being the UK's third largest city, Leeds often seems to live in the shadow of its northern counterparts. In some cases, people identify more with the streets called Garnetts and Methleys than with Leeds.
I learned this in a pub on the Regent's, which was part of Leeds Polytechnic, the first of its kind in Britain, which grew to be one of the largest in England. I thought that teaching me English would help my family settle in outside the UK and make our stay more enjoyable. After leaving school at 16, I soon had enough of the world of unskilled work, moved to Leeds in 1973, went to university, landed at Leeds University and was fed up with the city's vibrant arts and culture scene. This radicalism continued into the 1980s, when the college was split to form the new multidisciplinary Leeds Polytechnics, now called Leeds Beckett University.
The director was Sam Nicholls, aka Whiskas, who was familiar with music and culture. The man who could walk through Morrissey's lyrics attracted the attention of the biggest clubs in the world and made Leeds arguably the biggest club in Europe. He did this in a pleasantly weird way, with a mixture of rock, hip-hop, jazz, blues, folk, rock and pop and jazz.
Leeds is therefore one of the hotspots of British nightlife and has behaved similarly to other cities such as London and Manchester. As Leeds became a leading economic and industrial centre, its canals and later the railways brought prosperity and enabled it to connect with the rest of the world. This type of economic opportunity and success brought Leeds a city and a university, such as the University of Leeds, which maintained the city's reputation as a world-class centre of art and culture and education.
That's a bit true, but Leeds also hosts a number of popular cultural events such as the Leeds Festival, which embody the cosmopolitan vibe Leeds has to offer. Leeds is also home to many of the world's most important cultural institutions, both those that preserve the historic culture of this northern city and those that celebrate the modern aspects of its life.
The PSi conference is coming to Leeds and we are working to organise a series of events to coincide with the conference and open up to delegates and residents of Leeds. We are developing a stronger exchange of data and a series of initiatives to connect communities to the cultural offer of the city and encourage them to reinvent it. Meanwhile, our "music in Leeds" initiative will give young artists the opportunity to benefit from the local community's knowledge of their local music scene.
This is being created by the Ludus Festival Leeds, which is being developed in partnership with Leeds Performing Arts Centre (LAC) and Leeds City Council.
The Leeds International Film Festival is the largest film festival in England outside London and shows films from around the world. The city has many good things to offer, with hundreds of other attractions including a world famous cricket pitch, and there is a lot of great culture to discover.
With such a sought-after cultural scene, it is no surprise that business experts from across the UK are relocating their offices to Leeds.
Leeds is the second most populous city in England, but this is a little misleading, as most of the population growth in the Leeds City Region, an economic area around Leeds's core, goes to the city itself, not the surrounding areas. Leeds is estimated to have a population of 780,000, while West Yorkshire is estimated to have 1.8 million. It represents the majority of EU migrants, providing a valuable labour market for local businesses and enriching our city's cultural offering and global reach. Leeds and Huddersfield, the largest of which had the same population of over 3 million in 2014 as the city of Leeds itself, which was the economic area around its core, had a population of 3.5 million in 2014.
Leeds is the northern powerhouse of the United Kingdom and should finally be recognised as such. Manchester and Liverpool seem more familiar - but they're not the only powerhouses from the north of England.
Leeds epitomises the 'can-do' attitude of the North And it permeates every aspect of our city, including our cultural production. From the Tharavadu Restaurant, which has been recommended by the Michelin Guide as the best Indian restaurant in Leeds, to the diverse areas of life in Leeds, we see a strong link between the north and south of England. This means that the strengths of the cultural and creative sectors within Leeds are inextricably linked to the strength of their local communities.