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Arts Development

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The Arts Development Team runs a funding scheme and a programme of cultural events throughout the year.
Our aim is to:
  • CREATE opportunities for local people to take part in the cultural life of the city;
  • SUPPORT local artists and arts organisations working in communities; and
  • PROMOTE partnership working within the arts and cultural sector.

Click to expandarts@leeds grant scheme

The arts@leeds grant scheme is a longer term funding option. It is administered on a three year cycle.  Applications for the 2015 to 2018 cycle opened on the 14 August 2014 and closed at midnight on Monday 13th October 2014. For an example application form and guidance notes please see the documents section.​

Click to expandLeeds Inspired grant scheme

The Leeds Inspired grant scheme has been launched to support new projects or create new work for the city’s vibrant cultural programme. All events are featured on the Leeds Inspired website, which is fast becoming the go-to guide for planning your free time in Leeds. You can download information about how to apply from the Leeds Inspired website (see external links section). There are a variety of grants offered on a rolling system, with up to £15,000 available. Please see the website for application deadlines.

Leeds Inspired

Click to expandWhat other funding is available?

The Arts Development team have a database of funding sources for cultural and community projects. Please see the Documents section on this page

Click to expandBreeze Arts Festival

The Breeze Arts Festival will take place from Sat 23 to Sat 30 July,2016 and will be packed full of workshops, performances, exhibitions and much more for young people aged 11-19.

The festival will be planned, programmed and organised with help from the Breeze Arts Festival management team, a group of young people aged 11-16.

Open call for Breeze Arts Festival targeted projects. The deadline for applications Wednesday 27 January. Further information and an application form is available on Curator Space.

Breeze Arts Festival website

Click to expandHolocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 – Don’t Stand By A programme of events in Leeds to commemorate The Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The full programme of events is available in the documents section on this page.

Sunday 24 January 2pm – Leeds Town Hall
Civic Remembrance Event
Join the Lord Mayor and hundreds of local people for an afternoon of commemoration.  The keynote speaker will be Nick Winton, son of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved the lives of 669 children through arranging Kindertransports from Czechoslovakia in the lead up to the Second World War. 

The Academy of Northern Ballet presents students from their Centre for Advanced Training who will be performing Small Steps, moving interpretation of the inspirational stories of bravery and upstanding in the face of extreme adversity, choreographed by Cara O’Shea.

The event will also include music performed by members of The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, reading of the seven commitments with candle lighting and a traditional Hebrew memorial prayer sung by Rudi Leavor.

Free and open to all. 

Sunday 24 January 4pm –
Leeds Town Hall
Q&A with Nick Winton
Following on from the civic remembrance event, Nick Winton will take part in a Q&A session with the public. This is your opportunity to ask him questions about his father’s life and work.  Free and open to all, booking via eventbrite is essential. 

January – March 2016
Heroes by Pyramid of Arts Young Adults Group
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm Pyramid of Arts are a collective of around 150 artists with and without learning disabilities who work together to explore and develop their creativity and to make great art for a wide public. This exhibition is inspired by the Holocaust Memorial Day theme for 2016, 'Don't Stand By'.  It is also a reaction to the Nazi propaganda poster promoting ActionT4 - the programme to euthanise people with disabilities. ​​

Film Screening
The Book Thief 12A
Tuesday 26 January, 7.30pm at Seven Arts, 31A Harrogate Rd, Leeds LS7 3PD
While subjected to the horrors of World War 2, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents. Based on the novel by Markus Zusak.

Free and open to all.

Click to expandLight Night

A spectacular city-wide event featuring performance, installations, music and dance. For one evening, Leeds’ artists pool their talents in the city centre, exhibiting and performing their work on the streets and squares and in venues not usually open to the public.

The 2015 Light Night event took place on Friday 9th October
, you can download the full brochure from the documents section. 

If you would like to be added to our Light Night mailing list, please use the Contact us form on this page.  ​​​​

Light Night Leeds

Click to expandLeeds Town Hall Tours

Town Hall Tours take place on the last Saturday and Monday of each month, where you can see Victoria Hall, the old courtroom, prison cells and the view from the top of the Clock Tower. Tickets must be booked in advance on 0113 224 3801.  

Public tours available on the last Saturday and Monday of the month. 

January – Monday 25 2.30pm, Saturday 30 10.30am

February – Saturday 27 10.30am, Monday 29 2.30pm

March – Saturday 26 10.30am (no Monday tour due to Bank Holiday)

April – Monday 25 2.30pm, Saturday 30 10.30am

May – Saturday 28 10.30am (no Monday tour due to Bank Holiday)

June – Saturday 25 10.30am, Monday 27 2.30pm

July – Monday 25 2.30pm, Saturday 30 10.30am

Tickets: £4.50 advance booking essential, call 0113 224 3801 or visit the Carriageworks Theatre Box Office in Millennium Square.

We are also able to offer private tours for groups at a date/time to suit you. Tours are £115 and can take up to 25 people. Please call the Arts Development office on 0113 247 6419 for more information and to book.

Please note: for those unable to ascend the clock tower stairs an audio visual presentation will be available on advance request. Access to the clock tower and outside the clock tower is subject to weather conditions, if the weather is particularly bad we retain the right to remove this part of the tour for safety reasons.


Please see the Documents section for an e-flyer for our Behind the Lions activity, including listings for all talks, tours and exhibitions.

More information is available in the Behind the Lions Brochure.​

Behind the Lions flyer (opens as a PDF)

Click to expandLunchtime Talks

Lunchtime Talks are free lunchtime cultural heritage talks delivered in partnership with Leeds University’s Brotherton Library, Leeds Central Library and Arts Development. The talks, given by people who work with the special collections, will reveal some of the remarkable objects that form our cultural heritage which the Brotherton collects and makes accessible, for both the university and the public.


Friday 5: The Experience of Resistance; Conscientious Objectors to the First World War – Leeds Town Hall

Wednesday 10: Pride of Place; LGBTQ Histories and Heritage – Leeds Town Hall


Wednesday 2: The Tournament – Leeds Town Hall

Friday 4: Visiting Venice; from pilgrims to pleasure seekers – Leeds Central Library

Wednesday 9: Women, Visibility and Playful Acts with a talk/performance) – Leeds Town Hall


Wednesday 13: Cooking without a Clock; Women, Domesticity and Timekeeping in Nineteenth Century Europe – Leeds City Museum

Thursday 14: The Heart, The Border; poetry and exchange – Leeds Central Library


Wednesday 11: Eastern European ‘Show Trails’ of the 1950’s; the Slansky Case – Leeds Town Hall

Please click here to view an online version of the Behind the Lions brochure.  


Click to expandExhibitions

Coming up: My Leeds in Focus
January to March 2016

An exciting photography exhibition showcasing the images and stories of the amazing buildings, places, people and activities that define our city. Curated by Leeds Community Foundation, a charity dedicated to bringing about positive change in local communities, the exhibition includes a collection of shortlisted entries from their My Leeds in focus photography competition.

The exhibitions are on display during Town Hall opening hours 10am  to 4pm Monday to Saturday.

​​​​​​​​​Please click here to view the Behind the Lions Brochure​​

Behind the Lions flyer

Click to expandArts Development Newsletter

The Arts Development newsletter is sent quarterly via email. It contains information on funding and training opportunities and is a good source of information about the Leeds cultural scene. To subscribe to our newsletter and receive arts sector updates please use the Contact us form. For the latest edition, please see the Documents section on this page.​

Click to expandBreeze Culture Network

Do you work with children, young people and/or families in Leeds?

Register online at and join a huge network of cultural organisations and artists, sports bodies and coaches, schools and colleges, voluntary and community groups and local authority departments all with one thing in common - they all work positively with children/young people/families in Leeds. There's a huge directory, an active targeted messaging system constantly circulating information about events, activities, opportunities and news for children and young people AND the people who work (and volunteer) with them, plus a direct link to Breezeleeds.org which means you can promote what you do directly to children and young people in Leeds on their events diary, news and facebook. Everyone on BCN has provided basic safeguarding and quality of provision criteria to guarantee you are networking with people in the know, working directly with your target audience - big or small. ​​​​

Breeze Culture Network

Click to expandHeritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life. 

Heritage Open Days website

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