Our partnerships

At the Cultural Institute, we work to enable and support partnerships between our researchers and professionals in the sector. 

Collaboration is essential to enhance research, strengthen cultural engagement, and create new opportunities for students. 

With our partners, we lead on initiatives such Leeds Creative Labs, Cross-Innovation Disciplinary Fund, student internship offers, researched inspired cultural programming and more.  


The University of Leeds has two ongoing institutional partnerships with Opera North through the DARE programme and with the Leeds Piano Competition.  

The Cultural Institute, in addition to this, is actively developing partnerships with other organisations such as LEEDS2023 and the National Poetry Centre. 

We’re currently researching how we can best shape partnerships working with the many brilliant small, medium and large arts and cultural organisations through our programme – CAKE.  

Creative Artistic Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) 

The first edition of Creative Artistic Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) brings together local cultural industry leaders with University of Leeds researchers in dialogue, with the aim to find out how we can collaborate and help the cultural sector thrive. 

We are investing in these organisations, creating time and space to think about how research and student engagement could impact their work with local audiences and communities. 

This year we are working with: 

Commonwealth, Leeds Playhouse, MAFWA Theatre, Mind the Gap, Music:Leeds, Northern Ballet, South Asian Arts UK, Space 2, The Tetley, Transform, Yorkshire Dance and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.