An alternative guide to Leeds: a city with an independent spirit

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A book club in a disused petrol station, an electronic music hub in an old bus garage … Yorkshire’s largest city is a hotbed of grassroots creativity

‘Leeds has an independent, thriving arts scene,” says Emma Beverley, the director of programmes at last year’s cultural showcase, Leeds 2023. “A lot of that is grounded in an artist-led movement that is pretty pioneering.”

In 2017, Leeds had put in a bid to become European capital of culture, with £1m already invested, which hit the buffers when Brexit automatically ruled any British cities out of contention. In typically stubborn Yorkshire fashion, the city pressed ahead with its own year-long celebration of culture.

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