Our partnerships

Collaboration is key to enhancing our research, boosting our cultural engagement and creating new opportunities for students.

We enable and support partnerships between researchers at the University of Leeds and professionals in the sector.

We have core relationships with cultural organisations and are always looking at ways we can work with new partners. If you are interested in partnering with us or if you simply want to receive updates on what we are doing, please get in touch.

Key collaborations


DARE is a unique partnership between the University of Leeds and Opera North, leading cultural thought, learning and practice.

It includes:

  • The DARE Academy, where practice-based learning is devised to develop skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • DARE Connect, which promotes lectures, conferences and debates that challenge perceptions, including the annual Liberty Lecture series.
  • DARE Create, which instigates new work, research and publications that inspire, inform and engage.

Through DARE, we are managing Culture Forum North, an Arts Council-funded open network of partnerships between higher education and cultural organisations across the North.

The annual Pettman Dare Fellowship provides early career professionals in music engagement with the opportunity to undertake an intensive year of practice-led research before progressing to the next stage in their career.

Inaugurated in 2011, the DARE Liberty Lectures explore some of the most significant topics at the heart of contemporary society.

Find out more about DARE.

Marks & Spencer Company Archive

The University of Leeds’ partnership with Marks & Spencer (M&S) was cemented by the relocation of the M&S Company Archive to a permanent home on campus in 2012. It offers opportunities for student placements, careers support and skills development, academic research, consultancy and continued professional development. The partnership has enabled M&S to harness academic expertise to inform business decisions in a variety of different areas. The archive contains more than 70,000 items dating from 1884, when M&S was established in Leeds market, to the present day. Find out more about the M&S Company Archive.

Core partners

We welcome approaches from all organisations. Our core partners include:

  • East Street Arts
  • The Henry Moore Institute
  • The Hepworth Wakefield
  • Leeds West Indian Carnival
  • Leeds International Film Festival
  • Leeds International Piano Competition
  • Leeds Museums & Galleries
  • Leeds Participation, Culture and Value Network
  • National Media Museum
  • The National Trust
  • Northern Ballet
  • Phoenix Dance Theatre
  • Royal Armouries Museum
  • South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk)
  • South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation
  • The Tetley
  • Thackray Medical Museum
  • Leeds Playhouse (formerly the West Yorkshire Playhouse)
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Yorkshire Dance

Staff profile: Sue Hayton 

It is our aim to find areas of mutual benefit in our partnerships and in that way create the long-term, sustainable relationships with the cultural and creative sector that we seek.