Leeds is one of the best places in Europe to locate a business.
£4.4 billion has been invested in commercial property development in Leeds over the last ten years and a further £5.9 billion of projects are under construction or in the pipeline (2012 forecast).
Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK’s main employment centres, which has enabled it to survive and recover from economic recessions much better than many other European cities.
Leeds is one of five UK cities best placed to enjoy a private sector-led recovery (Centre for Cities – Cities Outlook 2011). The value of the city’s economy is estimated at £15.9 billion (2012) and is projected to grow by over a quarter in the next ten years.
Leeds is the UK’s second largest centre for financial and business services outside London with over 30 national and international banks based in the city.
Leeds is recognised as the top legal centre in the UK outside London.
Over 180,000 people are employed in knowledge-intensive occupations, making Leeds the second largest centre for knowledge-based industries outside London.
Leeds has the UK’s third largest manufacturing sector. Within this sector, the city is the UK’s largest printing centre outside London.
Leeds is the major employment centre in the region. Over 445,000 people work in Leeds and the city is expected to generate over a quarter of employment growth in the region over the next ten years. More than 100,000 people commute to work in Leeds from outside the district every day.
The city is already one of the country’s top shopping destinations, but the retail offer has been transformed by the £350 million Trinity Leeds scheme, and will be further enhanced by the £650 million Victoria Gate, which is planned to open in 2016.
Leeds city centre has 957 shops and is the region’s prime shopping destination. According to the Rough Guide to Britain it is: “Yorkshire’s top destination for a day or two of conspicuous consumption and indulgence.”
There are over 60,000 degree students at Leeds’ two internationally acclaimed universities.
Leeds is linked by rail to London Kings Cross, with a journey time of just over two hours, and to major European business and holiday destinations via Leeds Bradford International Airport.
The tourism industry supports over 44,000 full time equivalent jobs in Leeds and contributes an estimated £1.4 billion to the economy. Major attractions include the Royal Armouries, Henry Moore Institute, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Harewood House.