What is the future of Leeds?

Date: Wednesday 23 February 2011, 6:45pm (for a 7pm start) — 8:45pm

Venue: Congreve Room, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP

Speakers: Irena Bauman, Neil Owen, Martin Dean and Rachael Unsworth


After two decades of growth and change, Leeds is now at something of a crossroads, in search of direction and identity. While other northern cities have had massive investment and public attention as ‘cities of culture’, hosting international athletic events, and the building or renovation of iconic buildings as national cultural venues, Leeds seems to have been left behind. Development and regeneration seemed to have stuttered even before the recession hit.

So where does Leeds go now, and how does it move forward? Does Leeds have anything unique to offer? Is the answer more of what it does already: attracting financial services and promoting itself as Yorkshire’s premier shopping destination? Or could Leeds be the economic hub driving the future success of a huge city-region and attracting new and innovative industries? And what about the arts and culture? Does Leeds have the facilities and resources to attract cultural entrepreneurs, creators and innovators? And how does Leeds keep and promote its own creative talent?

What will, or how will, Leeds define itself as a city in the 21st century? How could it be the great regional capital it aspires to be? And, ultimately, what makes and defines a city?



Cultural Report on Leeds: C minus, could do better ... discuss, by Neil Owen, Culture Vulture, 20 July 2010

Setting the Vision for Leeds in post-boom context, by Rachael Unsworth, March 2009

The Happy Architect, Martin Wainwright talking to Irene Bauman, The Guardian, 19 November 2008

Leeds Strategic Plan 2008-11 Executive Summary

What if Leeds...? A Public Consultation

For the Vision for Leeds 2004 to 2020 and other related documents, go here


Contact us to let us know if you're planning to attend.


Leeds Salon on Facebook

Follow theleedssalon on Twitter

Sign up to our mailing list


The Leeds Salon is a judging partner of the sixth form Debating Matters competition

The Tetley and The Leeds Salon are partners in school debate for central and south Leeds

The HFoI and The Leeds Salon are partners in school debate for north Leeds


Leeds Salon is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Programme. When you follow this link, we receive a small percentage of anything you spend in that visit. It costs you no extra but is a big help to us!

Leeds Debate Links

Arts Society Leeds

Café Psychologique

Café Scientifique (Chapel Allerton)

Café Scientifique (Headingley)

FORUM 2000

Headingley Festival of Ideas

Headingley LitFest

Leeds Library Salon

Leeds Phil & Lit Society

Leeds Pint of Science

Taking Soundings

Talking Allowed In Leeds: PiPs

Think Headingley: PiPs


National Debate Links

Salon Aberystwyth

Birmingham Salon

East Midlands Salon

Exeter Salon

Liverpool Salon

London Legal Salon

Manchester Salon

Academy of Ideas

Debating Matters

Manifesto Club


The Great Debate



Global Debate Links

Berlin Salon

Dublin Salon

Zurich Salon


Donations gratefully received