Be More Leeds

On the 13th July we kicked off Be More Creative, a multi-year celebration of the innovators, the mavericks and the pioneers across the English regions, with a fantastic event in Leeds

The room was packed out with business leaders, brands, local government, council and creatives to hear industry leading speakers, including Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, co-chair of the Creative Industries Council and VP EMEA of Facebook, Iain Smith OBE, Chair of the British Film Commission, Sally Joynson, CEO Screen Yorkshire and Leeds-born BFI Chief Executive Amanda Nevill CBE.

  • We celebrated the authentic, diverse and distinct stories of the various, borderless regions and their pioneers, showcasing how they are all unique and brilliant in their own ways, shining a light on cities and connecting these creative communities together
  • We highlighted the power of the creative industries to drive productivity and rebalance the economy across the country
  • We gave a platform to inspiring regional talent to showcase the innovative work in Leeds which is driving the country’s economic growth
  • We explored the intersection of creativity and tech across film, TV, games and tech


The day was all about celebrating creativity in Leeds and the wider region and our speakers, exhibitors and presenters sure delivered! A few moments stood out from the day... 

  • Phoenix Dance Theatre opened the event with a moving performance of Innocence, a beautiful duet which saw the performers take to the stage to demonstrate the creative and artistic expressions of the area
  • We welcomed renowned Leeds' University alumna and VP of Facebook EMEA, as well as the Chair of the Creative Industries Council Nicola Mendelsohn OBE, who identified the importance of supporting the creative industries, and stressed how the growth of the creative industries means more high quality, future focused jobs across the country
  • Caroline Norbury MBE, Creative England's CEO, delivered the first keynote of the day to highlight the strength of the creative economy in the Leeds city region, which houses 2700 creative businesses contributing to the £87 billion a year the nation's creative industries generates. She also stressed the continued effort required to combat social mobility and disparity not just in Leeds, but across the regions
  • Leeds born Amanda Nevill CBE, the BFI's CEO, joined Caroline Norbury on stage to discuss why culture is important in building economic growth, and how the BFI is working to ensure that film remains relevant in both our cultural and economic lives
  • Four SMEs from across the Leeds City Region, ADI Healthcare, BetaJester, Production Park and MyKnowledgeMap, presented to our audience to showcase their innovative work across tech, healthcare and live events
  • An illustrious film panel, comprising Iain Smith OBE, Chair British Film Commission, Sally Joynson, CEO of Screen Yorkshire, Yvonne Francas, Rollem Pictures, Bekki Wray Rogers, Managing Director Duck Soup Films, and Chris Hordley, Production Liaison Manager Creative England, discussed the growing value that the film industry in Yorkshire contributes to the economy, and how that trend can be supported by strengthening the film industry's infrastructure across the North
  • The day was closed by Cluny Macpherson, Chief Officer for Culture and Sport at Leeds City Council, who talked about Leeds' bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023, encouraging everyone to offer contributions to take the city to the next level
  • The day ended with cross-sector networking and an exhibition of Creative England supported Leeds-based SMEs, including speakers BetaJester, MyKnowledgeMap and Production Park, Ocean Spark, D M Media, Studio 12, Provision, Mojo, and SME funder and supporter Ad:Venture.

  • Be More Creative
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  • Be More Leeds