Arts Leeds
Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre, a ballet by Cathy Marston. Photo Emma Kauldhar
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Grants boost announced for city’s cultural community

Innovative arts organisations making a difference across Leeds’s cultural community are set to be awarded more than £1.7m in vital funding.

The latest round of arts Leeds grants will go before Leeds City Council’s executive board next week, with 42 groups and organisations around the city recommended to receive funding as part of the scheme.

Members of the executive board will be asked to approve the list of recipients at a meeting next Wednesday (Feb 7), with community theatre, dance, performance and visual arts all represented.

Leeds City Council’s arts Leeds programme supports local companies to develop a huge programme of exciting cultural activities for the city’s residents to attend, enjoy or take part in.

It also helps arts organisations to access other forms of public funding, resulting in £55.9m of match funding from organisations including Arts Council England – meaning for every £1 awarded by the council, almost £30 was brought into the local economy in 2016-17.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We are immensely proud to continue our long-standing support for the fantastic network of arts organisations who create such an exciting and varied programme of cultural events and activities in our communities.

“Our goal is for culture and the arts to play a pivotal role in life in Leeds and for our city to be a place where those with the ideas and ambition to create something unique have the opportunity to bring their visions to life.

“The arts Leeds scheme is about giving some of those groups the head start they need to get their ideas off the ground or to help others continue the work they do putting culture at the very heart of everything that makes Leeds so special.”

Among the organisations recommended to receive grant funding through arts Leeds this year are Live Art Bistro, which supports the growth of live art by providing space and opportunities for local artists and encouraging artists from further afield to present work in the city.

Also recommended for a grant is the Leeds Community Arts Network, an association of 14 amateur drama, music and opera companies from around the city.

Others set to receive grants include the Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival, South Asian Arts UK, DAZL Dance and The Leeds Library, the oldest surviving library of its kind in Britain.

They sit alongside larger organisations including Northern Ballet Theatre, Phoenix Dance and Opera North.

The arts Leeds scheme is also a key component of the Leeds Culture Strategy, which aims to help the city’s culture sector to grow, change perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and to put culture at the heart of all major policy decisions up to 2030.

Members of the council’s executive board will meet on Wednesday, February 7.

To see a full copy of the arts Leeds report, visit:

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