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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.

arts@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.​

Leeds 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

What 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

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and of other genocides.  2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia.   

The 2015 Civic Remembrance Event took place on Sunday 25 January, 2pm at Leeds Town Hall The Headrow Leeds, LS1 3AD 

The Lord Mayor of Leeds and hundreds of local people spent an afternoon of commemoration in response to the international Holocaust Memorial Day theme of Keep the Memory Alive. 

This year’s event included an exhibition from Pyramid of Arts, a theatre performance by young people, a keynote speech from Adam Strickson (Teaching Fellow, University of Leeds and Trustee of 6 million +), candle lighting, and a traditional Hebrew memorial prayer sung by the Chairman of Bradford Synagogue, Rudi Leavor. 

Information about the 2016 event will be posted later in the year.

Light 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 will take 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

Leeds 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. 

October – Monday 26 2.30pm, Saturday 31 10.30am
November – Saturday 28 10.30am, Monday 30 2.30pm
December Christmas Lights evening tours – Wednesday 2, Wednesday 9, Wednesday 16; all at 4.30pm

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.

Lunchtime Talks

The next talk is on Wednesday 7 October 12.30 to 1.30pm in partnership with Leeds Beckett University hosted at Leeds City Museum.

It's not all Sequins and Bikinis? Power, Performance and Play in the Leeds and Trinidad Carnival Today
The traditional Midnight Robber is rarely found in the carnival procession. Dr Emily Marshall is going to be asking to what extent contemporary Caribbean carnival practices in Leeds and Trinidad continue to provide a challenge to officialdom – or do they, paradoxically, reinstate the rules?

'Leeds Cultural Conversations' are a series of monthly talks programmes by the Centre for Culture & the Arts at Leeds Beckett University. For more information on the series please visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/LCC.

Lunchtime Talks

Political activism and religious tolerance: Menasseh ben Israel, rabbi, printer and diplomat at the time of the Cromwellian Revolution 

Leeds Town Hall on Friday 16 October 1 to 2pm.

Born in 1604, Menasseh ben Israel bridged the Jewish and the Christian worlds: he was a rabbi, a scholar and a publisher, authoring and printing works in Latin, Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew, collaborating with Rembrandt, who etched his portrait. Join Eva Frojmovic to explore an exceptional collection of his original and rare imprints. This talk by Dr Eva Frojmovic, lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, and director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, will introduce to some of its riches, and explain how it came to Leeds. *European Day of Jewish Culture & Heritage*

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.

This year we have two special talks given by Senior Curators from Royal Armouries which will coincide with the Battle of Waterloo new displays at the museum in November and the Easter Tournament of jousting.


During October to coincide with Light Night and the British Art Show we will have a showcase of contemporary photography from student at Leeds College of Art.

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

Arts 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.​

Breeze 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

Heritage 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. 

For 2015, due to the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition taking place across the Heritage Open Day weekend, Leeds Town Hall will be unable to open its doors to the public. For more information about our year round guided Town Hall tours please see Leeds Town Hall Tours section. For more information about the buildings that are open across the 2015 weekend please visit their website. ​​

Heritage Open Days website

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