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Culture and Diversity

Culture and diversity runs through the DNA of Leeds City Region and is inextricably linked to the people who live here and what they do.

The region’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated at nationally important centres like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Hepworth Gallery, Henry Moore Institute and the soon to open David Hockney Gallery.

There are plenty of events and festivals to enjoy, including the legendary Leeds West Indian Carnival, which this year celebrates it's 50 year anniversary.  The national and international opera and ballet companies, Opera North and Northern Ballet, create a year round programme of award-winning productions. The compelling cultural atmosphere is why Leeds is bidding to be European Capital of Culture 2023.

The rich cultural heritage reflects the region’s diversity. Home to over 140 ethnic minorities speaking over 140 different languages, one in six people identify with being an ethnic minority, with 10 per cent of the population of Asian heritage.  It’s a young region too – the number of under-21s is growing at three times the national average, and Bradford has more under-15s than any other city.

The variety of opportunity and lifestyle makes the region attractive to newcomers, 56 per cent of students stay on after graduation.  People also like to return - 70% of graduates originally born in the City Region work in the region after studying here.  There is an increasing trend of career oriented professionals returning home from a period of working in London, to take advantage of the great quality of life and variety of affordable housing.

The region is fortunate to be characterised by contrasts. Incredible countryside surrounds us. The Yorkshire Dales National Park and North Yorkshire Moors are only a short distance from the cities and towns - a refreshing juxtaposition to urban life.