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    What is LEEDS 2023?

    LEEDS 2023 is an event that will take place this year, in different regions of Leeds. This is a result of the Leeds European City of Culture 2023, which was eventually shelved due to Brexit, as the title is only available to members of the EU. The team behind the bid and the city council both saw the huge economic growth available to them had they been able to go ahead with the event. Therefore, LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture was spawned, making use of all the research and planned events.

    Although this is no longer funded by the EU, a mixture of funding from other avenues has brought the plans to fruition. Finally, LEEDS 2023 were able to reach its funding goals, which will result in a huge economic boost. Additionally, the project will aid in the creation of plenty of new jobs for residents.

    Key Event

    The project aims to deliver some eye-catching and newsworthy events, in a bid to raise the international profile of Leeds. Additionally, Leeds City Council is looking to celebrate the 175 nationalities of residents in the city. This will create a huge boost for tourism and therefore, the economy of Leeds. For the property market, this could attract overseas investors to Leeds. As a result, house prices could further rise in the city, which is already experiencing a property price boom.

    Key events have been highlighted, whilst multiple additional events will take place across the city. This includes;

    • A mobile observatory providing tours of the city.
    • 1001 real stories from over 60s across the city, creating art exhibitions to showcase the stories.
    • A 9-day ‘Day of the Dead’-inspired festival with the people of Yorkshire.
    • Making a Stand, which is a new public art piece that will be displayed in the city.
    • The Magician, a dystopian film starring trained actors and residents of Leeds.
    • Volunteers will build the Women of the World barn on Cinder Moor. This will act as an event space.


    The total investment for LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture is £25 million, which has been funded by various event partners, Leeds City Council, and the National Lottery Fund. However, the project is forecasted to increase the city’s economy by an impressive £115 million during 2023 alone. Furthermore, the boost in tourism will continue beyond 2023, with an estimated 4% rise in footfall annually. The result of this is expected to raise an additional £140 million by 2030.

    The expansion of creative activity within the city will likely generate 1,130 new jobs in 2023 alone. However, once the infrastructure for creatives is in place, LEEDS 2023 forecasts this figure will rise to around 1,600 new jobs by 2030. Furthermore, Leeds United FC, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club are all at the top level of their sports. This means people travel around the country to see their teams play in Leeds. The combined capacity of the stadiums is around 80,000 seats. LEEDS 2023, will take advantage of these venues to hold events, with ticketed events.


    To coincide with the Year of Culture event, Leeds has begun work on the City Square and transportation regeneration project. The aim of this project is to improve the local infrastructure to accommodate the rising levels of tourism in the city. Levels of tourism levels are forecasted to double by 2050. The project will create 35,000 new jobs and around 8,000 new homes.

    Furthermore, the project aims to improve connectivity around the city by reducing congestion. Leeds has recently penned plans to introduce their own version of the 15-minute cities scheme with their very own 20-minute neighbourhoods. This will create the infrastructure needed for heightened levels of tourism as connectivity will be improved.

    Short-term Rentals

    The rise in footfall in Leeds will have a great effect on short-term rentals across the city. In many cases, events will have a hugely positive effect on short-term rentals, as all forms of accommodation can charge a premium fee for their services. Short-term rental properties are often able to charge a premium, as the tenant is not restricted to a long-term tenancy agreement, meaning they can leave at any time.

    For investors, short-term rentals will see a boost in prices and demand as international visitors stay in Leeds. Additionally, there will be an increase in event workers, who will need quality accommodation for the duration of their contract. As the events aim to create 1,600 jobs, some of which could be shorter contracts, the demand for short-term accommodation will be incredibly high in prime event areas.

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