"On 28 November at the town hall meeting we have signed a consortium with the Creative Cities of the central region," Anabela Graça, who is responsible for Culture in the municipality of Leiria, said during a meeting of the strategic council of Leiria Creative City of Music (LCCM).

According to the mayor, the intention of the new network is to submit "an application to the ITI Urban Networks, as part of the application to the Centre 2030 Programme".

"It's a big step that will be taken with Óbidos, Caldas da Rainha, Idanha-a-Nova, Castelo Branco, Covilhã and Leiria," stressed Anabela Graça, emphasising the prospect of "creative intercity programming, with different areas of action".

The consortium will be presented "by the end of December" and the operating model has already been drawn up.

"It will be a collaborative network that will greatly favour the Creative City of Music project," said the vice-president, announcing this as one of the actions to be presented in Leiria's reapplication plan to become a Creative City of Music for the next four years.

For Anabela Graça, “Leiria is an extraordinary musical ecosystem" that wants "more visibility and internationalisation".

However, “it's very difficult to have more visibility on our own" and that's why "we have to join with others" to “gain size, scale and boost the talents of each territory,” she told the council of Leiria's cultural agents. "It's much easier to achieve this internationalisation together," she added.

Also, according to the mayor, the network of Creative Cities in the centre is coordinated "by Turismo do Centro" and led by Covilhã.

Leiria and Idanha-a-Nova are UNESCO Creative Cities for music, Óbidos is a Creative City for Literature, Covilhã is a Creative City for Design, and Caldas da Rainha and Castelo Branco are Creative Cities for Crafts and Popular Arts.