A new headquarters for poetry in the UK

A visionary project

The National Poetry Centre will be based in Leeds and reaching out to the world – bringing people together from every community in every corner of the UK.

Poetry is the most accessible and democratic of art forms – common to all languages and cultures. A national centre will elevate the position of poetry in national life, becoming the spiritual home for poetry as it is written, read, spoken and performed – up and down the country.

The National Poetry Centre is the flagship project of my laureateship. I want Yorkshire to offer a home to poetry and to host a venue of international significance, a national poetry HQ that will be the pride of the region.

Simon Armitage
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom

A spiritual Home for Poetry

From 2027 the National Poetry Centre will inhabit a landmark heritage building – breathing life back into the historic Trinity St David’s, creating a vibrant public space in celebration of poetry around the UK. The National Poetry Centre will house an auditorium, cafés, performances areas, exhibitions, archives, libraries, shared work spaces and much more.

It will be at the heart of a major national programme of literacy and emotional wellbeing for children and young people, focussed on poetry.

A PLATFORM FOR VOICES IN EVERY community in every corner of the UK

is everything

We can only deliver this transformational project by working in partnership with a wide range of people and organisations across the UK. We are delighted that significant major partners have already come together to help make the National Poetry Centre a reality including Leeds City Council, University of Leeds and Arts Council England.

In coming months we will be announcing further significant partners working with us to connect with people and communities across Leeds, West Yorkshire and the UK.

We want to hear from you too. To find out more or to discuss partnerships please do contact us:


The National Poetry Centre is proudly working together with:

Bernadine EvaristoBloodaxe BooksCarcanet PressDame Carol Ann Duffy – former UK Poet LaureateDr Jessica Gardner- University Librarian & Director of Library Services, Cambridge University Forward Arts FoundationGillian Clarke – former National Poet of WalesGuy GarveyJackie KayJarvis CockerJoan BakewellKathleen Jamie – Scottish Makar, National Poet of ScotlandMelvyn BraggNick Laird – Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry at Queen’s University, BelfastPoetry LiveRichard Ovenden OBE – Bodley’s Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, University of OxfordSir Andrew MotionSir Antony GormleySir Tim SmitThe Eden ProjectThe Estate of Seamus HeaneyThe Keats Shelley House, RomeThe Keats Shelley Memorial AssociationThe Lost Gardens of HeliganThe Poetry ArchiveThe Poetry SchoolThe Royal Society of LiteratureThe Seamus Heaney HomePlaceThe T.S. Eliot FoundationThe Wordsworth TrustYorkshire Sculpture ParkZadie Smith 


The National Poetry Centre is delighted to be participating in a number of poetry and spoken word events  including the BBC Contains Strong Language festival in Leeds and the West Yorkshire Young Poet Laureate competition with the Mayor of West Yorkshire and the National Literacy Trust. Check back here or join the mailing list for future updates.


Ruth Pitt

Ruth is a specialist in film and TV production growth outside London. She is Director of the Creative Cities Convention and Managing Director of Under The Moon Ltd, developing creative diversity in the screen sector.

Simon Armitage

Simon is current national Poet Laureate and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. He has written extensively for television and theatre and has was won numerous awards including the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry.

Pervinder Kaur

Pervinder is a partner of law firm Addleshaw Goddard, leading their Private Capital Group, and is Head of their Leeds office. 

Prof. Frank Finlay

Frank is Emeritus Professor of German Literature and Dean of Cultural Engagement at the University of Leeds. He is a trustee of Leeds 2023 and Chair of the Tetley Gallery.

Matthew Pepler 
Development Director

Matthew is a specialist in cultural capital projects with a background in fundraising, strategy and senior leadership of museums and social impact organisations.

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