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Celebrating Culture in Leeds

As Leeds continues its bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, as a removal company proudly based in the company for over 150 years, we wanted to celebrate culture in Leeds. The European Capital of Culture is decided by the European Union and despite the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the EU, the government is continuing with its bid for 2023.

Previous winners have included Athens, Amsterdam, Paris & Berlin with this year’s jointly held by Aarhus in Denmark and Paphos in Cyprus. Previous European Capitals of Culture have been Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008 with Leeds competing with the likes of Bristol, Dundee, Milton Keynes, Truro, Belfast and Nottingham for the 2023 title.

Arts, History Theatre & Literature

Art is very visible in Leeds with the city’s art gallery situated right on one of the city centre’s main street The Headrow. Leeds Art Gallery first opened in 1888 and is currently recognised as a collection of national importance. The Leeds College of Art also has well-known alumni such as Damien Hirst and Henry Moore who was born in nearby Castleford.

Leeds has one national museum, the Royal Armouries, which houses the National Collection of Arms and Armour. There is also the Leeds City Museum, the Thackray Medical Museum, Armley Mills Industrial Museum and Kirkstall Abbey House Museum. On top of this are a number of historical houses such as Harewood House and Temple Newsam.

Leeds has for main theatres, The Grand Theatre, the City Varieties, the more modern West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Carriageworks. The playwright Alan Bennett was born in the Leeds suburb of Armley.

The writer of the well-known series of books started by Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding, was born in the Leeds suburb of Morley.


Leeds has left its mark on the UK music scene with bands and artists hailing from Leeds including the Kaiser Chiefs, Soft Cell, Corinne Bailey Rae & Mel B of the Spice Girls.

Leeds is a regular tour date for international artists, with artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones playing the city’s Roundhay Park. This has been made even more prominent by the opening of the Leeds Arena in 2013. There are other smaller music venues such as the O2 Academy but the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park sees international artists flock to the city each year.


Leeds is rare in that it is one of the only major cities outside of London to have a well-supported club representing each major sport. Leeds United Football Club play at Elland Road in Beeston and have been English Champions three times in their history. The Leeds Rhinos (rugby league) and Yorkshire Carnegie (rugby union) both play at Headingley Rugby Ground – the Rhinos are multiple English and World Champions. Yorkshire County Cricket Club are the most successful county cricket side in England and play at the adjoining Headingley Cricket Ground. Headingley also hosts international cricket on a regular basis.


Leeds is home to both BBC Yorkshire and ITV Yorkshire which was previously known as Yorkshire Television. A number of TV series have been set in the city thanks to scriptwriter Kay Mellor who hails from the city – these include Fat Friends and The Syndicate.


Of course it wouldn’t be worth discussing the culture of Leeds without mentioning the Leeds West Indian Carnival which is one of the longest running of its kind in Europe. It is held on August Bank Holiday in the Chapeltown and Harehills areas of the city and usually sees an attendance of around 150,000 people.

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Britannia Turnbulls of Leeds