Funding boost for city’s arts and culture projects set for approval

A year-long funding pot aimed at boosting innovative arts and cultural activity in communities all across the city is set to be approved by senior councillors in Leeds.

The latest arts@leeds grants programme, which supports more than 40 Leeds-based cultural, voluntary and community organisations delivering activity in every council ward, will go before the council’s executive board this week.

If approved, over the next 12 months the £1.6m funding programme will give a much-needed financial lift to applicants delivering everything from small, grass roots local groups to some of the city’s larger, world-famous arts organisations.

The one year scheme will also align with the LEEDS 2023 year of culture and begin the transition to a new culture investment programme which will be developed in consultation with the sector in the autumn and help cement the LEEDS 2023 legacy.

Arts organisations will be eligible to apply for funding starting at £5,000.

In 2021/22, organisations which received arts@leeds funding generated £15.7m through ticket sales and income, with more than 75,000 people taking part in creative and cultural activities.  Every pound invested by the council through arts@leeds was also matched by £29 from those organisations who received funding.

Previous recipients have included the Leeds Piano Competition, Compass Live Arts and Leeds City Varieties.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds has a quite astonishing breadth of arts and cultural organisations delivering activity which makes a real, tangible difference at the heart of our communities as well as creating stunning, world class performances and events.

“The arts@leeds programme has played an integral role in bringing many of those projects to life and we’re proud to be once again backing local cultural organisations and supporting their vision and ambition.

“Cultural activity makes a huge contribution to the city’s economy, generating income, growth and inward investment while also showcasing exactly why Leeds is such an incredible place to live, work and visit.”

If approved, the Leeds City Council Cultural Investment Programme would launch and be open to applications in August for funding from April 2023 boosting activity and engagement during the city’s upcoming year of culture and forming an important part of the legacy of LEEDS 2023.

To read a full copy of the executive board report, please visit: https://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=102&MId=11821&Ver=4

To sign up for Leeds City Council arts funding alerts email: arts@leeds

ENDS

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