Yorkshire gave the world Hockney, Moore and Hepworth; Bennett, Priestley and Godber. It is the home of the Northern Ballet, Opera North, the Crucible and Hull Truck theatres.
As a country, this region would have come 12th in the medal table at the London 2012 Olympics , is home to the Rugby League Challenge Cup holders, last year hosted the world’s biggest cycle race and is a centre of excellence in sports science.
This region welcomes millions of visitors every year, both to the stunning countryside offered the Dales, North York Moors and Peak District but also the stunning coastline and its vibrant cities.
The next Government must take steps to help Yorkshire to continue to excel in these areas.
The Yorkshire Post revealed last year the huge disparity in funding for the arts between the capital and Yorkshire.
According to the most recent figure available, Arts Council England spends around £41 per head in London compared to £13 in Yorkshire.
The pool of talent in Yorkshire and Humber is, as anyone who’s ever worked up there knows, as vibrant as anything in London.Michael Palin, April 2014
Ministers insist that is because of the number of cultural organisations which are based in the capital but have activities across the country.
But the answer to that is not to pour millions into London, but to incentivise cultural organisations to headquarter themselves across the country.
When it was suggested in 2013 that either the National Media Museum in Bradford or the National Railway Museum in York might have to close because of funding cuts there was horror in Yorkshire, and barely a murmor of concern anywhere else.
That the axe could hang over two of the region’s hugely important institutions without creating a storm reflects the highly London-centric view of culture in the UK.
But a vibrant cultural life is just as an important ingredient to well-being in Yorkshire as more and better-paid jobs.
The collections housed in London’s publicly funded museums and galleries belong to the nation, not the capital and the next Government should examine ways to incentivise these organisations to stage more exhibitions in regions like Yorkshire.
The hosting of the Tour de France was a huge success. But the road to securing the event for this region was a bumpy one and at times saw Yorkshire and Whitehall pulling in opposite directions. That the Government eventually backed the event was almost entirely down to the personal determination of Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity.
In the aftermath of the event, politicians have been falling over themselves to congratulate the region and offer their support for its successor, May’s Tour de Yorkshire.
The next Government must learn the lessons and work with national sporting bodies, Yorkshire councils and Welcome to Yorkshire to develop a plan to secure more major sporting events in the coming years.
It is also time for a greater share of the public money used to promote the UK overseas to be spent on highlighting destinations outside the capital.
And in 2017, the UK will be invited to take a fresh look at Hull. This will be a once in a generation opportunity for Hull to change outdated perceptions of the city still widely held outside the region.
A successful staging of the City of Culture will go a long way to helping attract the wider investment in the Humber economy that is desperately needed, which is why the next Government should ensure that it works with local partners to maximise the benefits of what promises to be a remarkable year.
IN FULL: OUR YORKSHIRE MANIFESTO...