tct a—z 2015: a-z: emma bentley, everton campbell, george & joe south & gerald jenningsBack
The City Talking
We loved the results from our first A—Z when we did this in 2014, so helped again by I Like Press, we set out to ask as many people as we could what has got them excited about living in Leeds in 2015.
Whether it’s big city-wide events or personal projects, everyone who replied to us was filled with enthusiasm for something – and reading them all made us pretty enthusiastic too.
We wanted to look further ahead than just this year, though, so our second question asked people to throw their imaginations into the future. A lot of the discussion about whether to bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023 has used the city’s currents of creativity as evidence that Leeds would make a startling job of it, so we put it out there – with an unlimited budget and no constraints, what would you do?
We printed everybody’s answers in our special A—Z issue 21 in February, and over the coming weeks we’re putting all the answers to these two questions online:
01. What are you looking forward to in Leeds in 2015?
02. It’s the future, it’s 2023, and Leeds has won the right to be European Capital of Culture. You’ve been given an unlimited budget to put on an event for the city – what do you do?
EMMA BENTLEY — LEEDS LADIES FC
— 2015 —
I am really looking forward to continuing to help Leeds Ladies to rise from nothing to becoming one of the top women’s sides in the country. We’re going into 2015 on the back of a great run of results and we have a genuine shot at the league title and promotion, and I’m excited about getting stuck in to the business end of the season.
In my teaching I have been working with St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School and their sports hall athletics team, and they have qualified for the Leeds City Final for under-11 sports hall athletics, putting them in the top four schools across the whole city. It has been both exciting and thoroughly rewarding to work with these talented young athletes, and I can’t wait to see just how far they go, both this year and in the future.
— 2023 —
I would love to be able to hold an event where any person connected with a sport who is originally from Leeds, and who has made it professionally or had success, holds workshops and taster days with as many children as possible across the city. I would love to be able to inspire children and allow them to see what opportunities sport gives you. Whether that be through actually competing, or alternatively coaching, managing, analysing, reporting, photographing, and anything else!
EVERTON CAMPBELL — THE HIP STORE
— 2015 —
I’m looking forward to seeing George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic and The P-Funk All Stars at O2 Academy in April. My brothers brought me up on Funkadelic’s music, George Clinton is the Godfather of Funk and most sampled artist in history. He last played Leeds over 25 years ago when the O2 was called The Town and Country Club, but due to travelling at the time I missed the gig.
— 2023 —
If I had an unlimited budget for 2023 I would probably have to expand Leeds Bradford Airport to encourage more international business to the city and immediately stop charging £2 at the drop off point, it’s embarrassing. To celebrate the new airport I would organise a huge party in an aircraft hanger for the over fifties, promoted by all our legendary Leeds club nights. We’ll talk about the good old days and play Disco Bingo.
GEORGE AND JOE — SOUTH PRODUCTS
— 2015 —
We think there are a lot of good food and drink choices in Leeds and it never seems to stop growing. It will be interesting to see what new independent restaurants and coffee shops will pop up in 2015. Also Thought Bubble Festival, obviously!
— 2023 —
With an unlimited budget you could do anything but for us it would be a huge comic / movie / TV /fashion / food / art / popculture collectable explosion of creativity, pretty much what we have today with comic cons and all other kind of conventions, but it would be on an epic scale. We would hope that would be fun for a city like Leeds.
GERALD JENNINGS — LAND SECURITIES / LEEDS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE— 2015 —
There is so much happening in Leeds, it really is an exciting time to be in the city. I hope we will see the new Business Improvement District for Leeds city centre up and running as this has the potential to help raise our game. We need to reinforce what we do well but also not stand still. We must build on our successes and use and connect the jewels we have in the Leeds crown. From April I will be President of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce and I want the Chamber to be relevant to all businesses. I am keen to find out what the business community wants and needs – whatever its size. I also work with The Tetley which is a fantastic contemporary arts gallery on the South Bank, and I can see The Tetley continuing to grow and play a much bigger role in the life of Leeds. 2015 can be a year when we all help to make a difference to ensure we have a city that is inclusive and has something for everyone; that welcomes new visitors; that provides everyone with the ability to prosper and be a part of something better.
— 2023 —
I would put on an event that captures the spirit, vibrancy and diversity of Leeds and reaches out to all its neighbourhoods. I think it would be around light and colour. Every building and public space in the city centre, and on all main roads and along railway lines into and out of the city, could be lit up and be dressed in one or two colours. All property owners, occupiers and businesses would get involved working with community and voluntary groups, schools, colleges, etc. to curate and animate the buildings and public spaces with art and artistic treatments. It would encompass all aspects of Leeds’ culture and cultural heritage; from football to Opera North, rugby league to the museums and galleries.
The City Talking A—Z 2015 was made with help from: