In light of the recent exciting announcement that Leeds is set to continue with plans to have a packed cultural programme in 2023, ConferenceLeeds is celebrating the city’s unique and varied heritage. Offering more than just great venues and facilities, Leeds has a rich, pioneering history and is home to a number of artefacts and attractions that are the first or oldest of their kind, all of which can help to inspire delegates and elevate events.
Leeds has recently unveiled a £35m six-year cultural programme, which will lead up to a year-long celebration of the city’s diverse culture in 2023. The announcement signifies the city’s commitment to continuing the energy and momentum created by the Leeds 2023 bid for European Capital of Culture. Leeds is dedicated to creating a legacy across the city and hopes to retain a strong international focus to celebrate its diverse communities, adding to its already rich heritage.
Leeds, which is a top 10 conferencing city according to the 2017 British Meetings and Events Industry survey (BMEIS), is home to a wealth of unique and cultural attractions that delegates can enjoy when visiting the city. For example, visitors are able to experience the only remaining gas lit cinema in the UK, Hyde Park Picture House, and the world’s first ever commercial railway, Middleton Railway.
Known for its healthcare innovation and facilities, Leeds also boasts a number of pioneering medical firsts. The first UK kidney dialysis treatment happened at Leeds General Infirmary, as well as the first successfully reconstructed heart with a single ventricle. Most recently the UK’s first double hand transplant – the second one ever completed in the world – took place in 2016.
The digital sector also has a strong history in Leeds, with the UK’s first Internet provider, Freeserve, being established in the city. Leeds continued to facilitate the Internet boom with the birth of IXLeeds, the only fully-independent Internet exchange point (IXP) outside of London. IXLeeds is located in the historic Salem Chapel, home of smart telecoms operator aql. The capability has attracted many major brands to store data and base operations here, including NHS Digital.