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Yorkshire Bank and Opera North link up recognised with award


A partnership between Yorkshire Bank and Opera North has been recognised with a prestigious arts sponsorship award.

Yorkshire Bank is the largest corporate sponsor of the "Transformation" project - the renovation of Leeds Grand Theatre and the creation of a permanent home for Opera North.

Opera North and Yorkshire Bank were presented with the Unilever Arts & Business Brand Identity Award at this year's Arts & Business Awards in London.  Arts & Business is a national charity dedicated to creating sustainable partnerships between business and the arts.

In addition to its financial support, the judges noted how the bank had sought to actively involve its own staff with Opera North.  They even organised a talent competition - called "Opera-tunity Knocks" - giving employees the chance to appear with Opera North on stage at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Colin Tweedy, chief executive of Arts & Business, said: "This partnership shows how the arts can transform a business environment into a completely different by re-engaging its workforce and galvanising their confidence.  The banking sector can learn a great deal from the work of Yorkshire Bank and how it used the arts to drive its business."

Janet Myers, head of brand at Yorkshire Bank, said: "We are delighted to see our support for this worthwhile project recognised in this way.  Opera North and the Grand Theatre are important not just to Leeds but enhance the artistic life of the whole region."

Richard Mantle, general director at Opera North, said: "Partnerships with organisations such as Yorkshire Bank have been vital in enabling us to deliver this project on time and on budget - at least so far!

"We take great heart from having the support of organisations of Yorkshire Bank's calibre behind us - and even more so when the way in which we can work closely together for our mutual benefit is recognised by awards such as this."

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