McCann Leeds Invites Young People to Give City a Voice

Published on May 11, 2020

McCann Leeds is inviting the Region's young people to come up with an advert to welcome people back to the City following lockdown.

The Welcome Back Project has been created by McCann Leeds in collaboration with the Ahead Partnership, with support from Leeds City Council, Channel 4 and the University of Leeds to channel the creativity of the region’s young people into a project that will give the city a voice following the events of this Spring.

Open to those aged 11 to 19, the competition invites entrants to come up with an idea for an advert – a poster, poem, or video – which welcomes people back to the city. The winning work will be displayed around Leeds City Centre for visitors to see over the Summer months.

Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director at McCann Leeds and head judge of the Welcome Back Project said: “We’re firm believers in creativity as a catalyst for change and believe this is an opportunity to give young people a voice as well as bring people back together.

“One of things we set out to achieve when we opened our office in the City last year was to help to nurture the creativity of the next generation – and the current crisis we find ourselves in provides inspiration like no other. The last two months have been tough, no doubt. But we have all witnessed the kindness, optimism and steely spirit of the City’s people. And it’s this positivity that we want to see celebrated in the winning work.

“Our brief is therefore simple – we’re looking for people to design an advert welcoming people back into the city of Leeds when lockdown is lifted. This could be a poster, a painting, a poem or even a video. It should be as if you are the city speaking to the people who are returning back to work or school after this is over. It should be positive and welcoming. Most importantly it should make people smile and celebrate togetherness and unity.”

The competition has been launched in association with the Ahead Partnership – an organisation that works to connect businesses with education to help drive social and economic change and enhance the employability of young people.

The competition will be judged by:

  • Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director, McCann Leeds
  • Coral Cranmer, Head of Strategy and Planning, McCann Leeds
  • Megan Lipp, Head of Business Development, Ahead Partnership
  • Councillor Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council
  • Plus guest judges from University of Leeds and Channel 4 (to be revealed in due course)

The competition is now open for entries and closes on 5th June.

Full details can be found at