WEST YORKSHIRE: ‘Town of Culture’ award by 2023?
Leeds City Centre
West Yorkshire could crown its first “Town of Culture” by 2023 – according to a new report.
Shortly after she was elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire in May, former Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin revealed that she planned to create a new cultural event for the region.
The “town of culture” title would be given to a local town or village as a way of highlighting and supporting that area’s cultural offer.
It would be aimed at places that would be too small to apply for the national City of Culture title – that both Bradford and Wakefield are vying for in 2025.
At a meeting of Bradford Council’s Executive in June she told members: “Places like Dewsbury or Shipley may not have a chance of winning City of Culture, but they could win Town of Culture.”
Other than this initial announcement there had been little detail on the award.
But a newly released report into West Yorkshire’s economic recovery from the Covid pandemic reveals a few more details.
A proposed “creative new deal” for the region will include the Town of Culture Award, which will “promote the places in West Yorkshire and boost the visitor economy.”
It says the festival will be launched as soon as 2023, and will “complement existing cultural festivals across West Yorkshire.”
The award will take inspiration from the London Borough of Culture – which sees a different area of the Capital hold the title for a year. The successful borough gets over £1m funding to organise a series of cultural events over the 12 month period.
Lewisham is the Borough of Culture for 2022.
Words: Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter
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