Exciting plans have been announced for a major programme of cultural events and activities inspired by a much-loved part of Leeds city centre.

Three years of creativity and collaboration designed to celebrate the past, present and future of New Briggate are getting under way this month following a successful application for support from Historic England.

Leeds City Council previously secured £1.3m of funding from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) initiative for regeneration-focused improvements to buildings and public space along New Briggate.

Now the New Briggate Cultural Consortium – which is led by Leeds-based East Street Arts and includes the council – has been awarded a further £119,774 for a complementary programme of culture that will showcase the area’s rich and diverse story with the help of specially-commissioned artists and a wide-ranging process of community engagement.

Pop-up events, exhibitions and installations will be held on New Briggate during the ‘delivery’ phase of the Leeds scheme in 2023, with the exact plans due to be shaped by research and engagement work that will take place with local communities over the next two years.

Sounds, pictures, moving images and, most crucially, people’s personal memories will all have a role to play in shining a fresh creative light on the street, part of the Grand Quarter Conservation Area and home to landmark buildings such as Leeds Grand Theatre, St John’s Church and the Grand Arcade.

The work in Leeds is part of the country-wide HSHAZ Cultural Programme, which is being led by Historic England in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund with the aim of making high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places.

The funding award follows the success of a pilot project which explored the relationship between New Briggate and Leeds’s famed Burmantofts Pottery.

The main Leeds cultural programme will continue this spirit of co-operation and inclusion by engaging with residents in nearby neighbourhoods such as Little London, Chapeltown, Woodhouse and Lincoln Green as well as the theatre-goers, drinkers and shoppers most commonly associated with New Briggate.

The New Briggate Cultural Consortium comprises East Street Arts, Leeds City Council, Leeds Heritage Theatres, Opera North, Age UK, North Bar & Brewery, Leeds Civic Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust, with each member contributing widely-acknowledged expertise in their own field and a passionate belief in the potential and personality of the high street.


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