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PUBLIC HOUSE: The Yorkshire Square


PUBLIC HOUSE - THE YORKSHIRE SQUARE | A new interactive pop-up pub project has arrived in Kirkgate Market as part of the citywide Compass Festival.

Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti’s Public House: The Yorkshire Square investigates the enduring role of pubs as places of community, intergenerational exchange, entertainment, (hi)story-telling and activism.

The project looks at our ‘third’ space outside of work and home and explores the idea that ‘the pub’ of the future has many faces. Nearly a quarter of pubs in the UK have closed since 2008, and the future of many more now hangs critically in the balance as we navigate the pandemic and restrictions on hospitality. The project will also include a range of walks and talks on the city’s pubs, current and lost with discussions around the future of the pub and other ‘third spaces’.

Artists Katie Etheridge & Simon Persighetti said of Public House: The Yorkshire Square: “The unprecedented closures of the UK’s already endangered pubs during the pandemic, has highlighted both their fragility and their central place in so many people’s lives. The Yorkshire Square as a meeting place, a talking shop and a heritage hub not only celebrates the role of the pub, past and present, but also looks to the future of these key social landmarks of city, town and village life.

Project partners Leeds Civic Trust recognise that tomorrows heritage is created by how people live, work and play in the city today, and the Yorkshire Square seeks to inspire more people to appreciate and care about pubs, and to consider ways in which they can help shape the social spaces of tomorrow.

Having gone through the crisis of the last 18 months there is a sense of re-evaluation in the air and we hope that audiences will leave the Yorkshire Square feeling part of its spirit of conviviality and exchange. Who knows, we might even get some regulars!"

Annie Lloyd, Compass co-Director, said: “We are so grateful for the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund who supported Public House from the very beginning allowing us to commission the piece and support the creative practitioners to dream big. And in the darkest days of the pandemic they also supported Compass with emergency relief funds which helped us keep going.”

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