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Celebrating the next phase of the Priestley Centre


Just over 8 years ago the Priestley Centre opened its doors, with an aim to bring together climate experts from across the University of Leeds to work collaboratively and deliver a wide variety of research and innovation projects.

Since then, we have grown from a team of 3 to a team of 12, with over 450 members, made up of University staff and students committed to climate research and tackling climate change. We have informed national and global climate policy, supported businesses to take steps towards a net zero future, and supported the next generation of climate researchers. And in June 2024, we celebrated becoming first of the University of Leeds’ Futures Institutes – the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures. 

Today marks the beginning of an exciting new era for impactful action by the University and its stakeholders on climate change.


University of Leeds’ Futures Institutes have been developed with a focus on delivering research and education to address some of the most pressing global challenges. At Priestley, we bridge the gap between researchers, businesses, policymakers and other civil society to transform the groundbreaking climate research at Leeds into real-world impact.

Our celebration event gathered together the climate community from the University of Leeds and beyond and  showcased some of this world-changing research. From Business to Computing, Politics to Environment, colleagues brought their research to life through demonstrations, models, and interactive games.


Outside the doors of the Refectory, our guests were greeted by a spectacular 9ft puppet created by Bev Adams, one of our Priestley Climate Scholars in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. After checking in, and making sure to pick up a few plant-based refreshments, our guests were then free to wander around the exhibition.

During his speech, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor, said “For climate, today marks the beginning of an exciting new era for impactful action by the University and its stakeholders on climate change.”

He went on to add “The importance of collaboration and research led action is evident, not only in global initiatives we engage with such as the United Nations Climate Change negotiations, but also much closer to home, in the important role that the Priestley Centre has taken in advising the development and reviewing the progress of the University’s sector-leading Climate Plan.” 

This celebration, which served to highlight the breadth of climate expertise and extent of collaboration taking place across the University of Leeds and beyond was a living demonstration of the new Priestley Centre. Connecting experts with those requiring expertise, brokering relationships, and amplifying climate initiatives from across the University of Leeds, we are striving to tackle climate change, together.

Showcase gallery

Below is a snapshot of our celebration showcase. You can also find links and more information about all of the projects and initiatives in our event programme.