The Leeds economy is worth £21 billion and has grown by 34% in the last decade. Leeds is home to over 25,000 businesses and has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all major UK cities.
As the UK’s leading centre for banking services outside of London, Leeds’ financial and professional services sector is set to grow significantly thanks to an increasingly international focus and a highly-skilled workforce, where over 35% of the working population is educated to degree level.
Over 30 national and international banks are based here or in the wider region. Firms including first direct, KPMG, HSBC, DLA Piper, Direct Line Insurance Group, Halifax Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Bank and Leeds Building Society have national or global headquarter operations in the Leeds area.
Leeds is also the UK’s health and innovation city with an unrivalled health eco-system. Four out of five NHS national offices are based here, while Leeds is also home to the world’s largest healthcare data platforms.
A connected city, looking to the future
Physical and IT connectivity puts Leeds at the heart of the UK, with direct road links to London and Edinburgh via the M1 and A1(M), and east and west coast ports via the M62. Central London is just over two hours away by train, while Leeds Bradford Airport services destinations across Europe, North America and Asia.
The eastern leg of HS2 will see the construction of a state-of-the-art station and will form a central part of a significant regeneration programme across the south bank of the city, in what will be one of the biggest changes in the city centre for 150 years.
Leeds’ own high capacity internet exchange (IXLeeds) in the heart of the city offers low cost 100 Megabit and Gigabit broadband services. This connectivity is helping to drive a pioneering approach to the hosting and interpretation of data, with Leeds City Region being a leader in Big Data.
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, launched in April 2012 and located two miles east of Leeds city centre, presents an unprecedented opportunity for business relocation and expansion in Leeds City Region. Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, it is one of three enterprise zones in the City Region. Companies locating in the enterprise zone can benefit from a package of initiatives designed the attract investment into Leeds.
Quality of life
Leeds also offers excellent quality of life, with national parks within easy reach, affordable homes and a vibrant cultural and leisure sector.
The Leeds City Region is now a major destination for recreation. Shopping centres like the £350 million Trinity Leeds complex and Hammerson’s £150m Victoria Gate offer national, international and designer brands, while the 13,500 capacity First Direct Arena attracts global talent, and the city boasts vibrant bars and restaurants.
Leeds is where people come to succeed. It has a track record of significant economic progress and is the perfect location for businesses who demand outstanding talent, quality of life and connectivity, and want to take advantage of a global city with a clear sense of purpose.