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Y21 Socio-Cultural Regeneration in Yorkshire City Regions

Project Partners

Bradford FC

Leeds 2023


Zesh Rehman

Y21 Twitter Feed

Leeds cityscape.
Y21 Research Cluster

The Y21 research cluster examines the potential of socio-cultural regeneration in twenty-first century Yorkshire City Regions across inter-disciplinary fields including:

  • writing regeneration in former coalfields;
  • communities, heritage and the construction of city regions through tourism;
  • engaging black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities with socio-cultural inclusion through sport & the arts;
  • social disadvantage, cultural strategy & the European Capital of Culture bid 2023 (Leeds 2023).

To support its work the cluster will be developing partnerships a range of organisations such as:

  • National Coal Mining Museum for England
  • New Wortley Community Centre
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Leeds City Council
  • Bradford Football Club
  • Zesh Rehman Foundation
Programme of Activities

Culture has the potential to change not only the fortunes of a society, but also to shape the lives of the individuals living in a City Region

(Belfiore 2002; Bianchini 1997; Parkinson 1993; Bristow 1999).

Against this background, the research approach for this cluster is underpinned by the ethos of uniting individuals to engender positive change through socio-cultural interventions within communities.

The cluster aims to critically examine top-down approaches to policy formation and implementation, instead foregrounding community-led regeneration based on the recovery and valorisation of local culture.

Testing this approach of socio-cultural regenerational hybridity, the cluster will enable interventions to follow a more progressive, yet still locally embedded. The aim is to enable marginalised groups a contribution of cultural activity to their regeneration and exploring culture as a mechanism of social development.

To support the approach of this cluster a programme of activities will host a series of impact workshops between cluster academic staff, cluster partners and members of post-industrial Yorkshire communities.

Impact Workshops
  • Writing Regeneration with New Wortley Community Centre - February 2016
    Dr Katy Shaw
    This one day event explores the capacity of writing to examine the realities of a City Region, & imagine possibilities for changing it. Examining writing as a form of ‘consultation’ & its potential in creating new understandings of regeneration the workshop generated new research for the creation of community mural and a community writing regeneration research project.
    (Read the Workshop Blog here.)
  • Engaging BME Communities In Sport - February 2016
    Jason Arday
    This workshop examined potential challenges with engaging BME individuals in community sport. It developed a set of practices which promote and endorse ‘cultural awareness’. The workshop was designed to incorporate problem-solving and collective discussion, in addition to disseminating good practice and recommendations for engaging targeted demographics in participatory activities.
    (Read the Workshop Blog here.)
  • From The Roots Up: Heritage and Regeneration with the National Coal Mining Museum For England - April 2016
    Dr Simon Woodward
    This event will draw on that experience & that of other organisations working in the area of community heritage, to identify best practice & to draw up a suite of guidelines that can be disseminated more broadly across communities of place and of interest.
  • Socio-Cultural Inclusion with Bradford City FC & Zesh Rehman Foundation - April 2016
    Dr Daniel Kilvington
    Bradford’s South Asian communities have traditionally been under represented in the local amateur game, in the stands & at professional level. This workshop seeks to bring together gatekeepers from institutional bodies as well as grass-roots football clubs & supporter networks to generate a local FA policy to aid integration. A coach education day will be held at Bradford City and will involve local grassroots managers/coaches, former players, anti-racist organisations and professional coaches. Bradford’s inner city communities will be targeted and invited to attend the free event whereby they learn about volunteering opportunities in Bradford, begin to understand pathways into the game, gain coaching advice and knowledge from established coaches, and listen to the stories of former footballers who reside from Bradford.
  • Leeds Council and Y21 Capital of Culture 2023 - June 2016
    Dr Katy Shaw
    Working with European partners and Leeds City Council, this workshop will consider the ways in which other cities have developed innovative projects which contribute to the culture. Each city will present projects that have been used to overcome challenges.
    (Read the Workshop Blog here.)
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