Our region is at the heart of the UK. Regularly voted among the happiest places to live, with great transport links, seven world class universities and home to over 95,000 businesses, it's a great place for businesses to thrive.
Heart of the North
With a £58 billion regional economy, West Yorkshire is the heart of the UK and an internationally significant region in its own right. Over 2.4 million people live in West Yorkshire, with over 4.5 million within an hour’s drive, and more people aged under 20 than any other area of the North. Our region is regularly voted among the happiest and best places to live in the UK, thanks to the combination of a vibrant cultural programme, award-winning restaurants, three National Parks and a contemporary urban buzz. The region is also home to over 95,000 businesses, including a large number of corporates and headquarters undertaking advanced operations. The region is a great place for businesses to thrive and expand. Bradford was voted the best city to start a business by Barclays, and Leeds is home to the largest number of scale-up businesses outside of London.
The next generation of skills
As a major UK urban centre containing 2 of the UK’s 5 largest cities, West Yorkshire provides the scale needed for businesses requiring access to an extensive pool of talent.
The region is home to two world-class business schools, seven universities producing over 31,000 graduates a year including over 12,750 STEM graduates. Our institutions offer nationally and internationally recognised courses across multiple engineering disciplines and computer sciences including AI and data analytics with the University of Bradford now having the largest cohort of post graduate AI students in the UK. 52% of students educated here stay to live and work after graduation and 58% of students who graduated elsewhere return to live in the region.
West Yorkshire’s location offers unbeatable access to everything the country has to offer. With frequent two-hour train journeys to London Kings Cross, access to Manchester in under an hour, and direct rail connectivity to Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh, the region is well connected across the UK. Leeds Bradford Airport also offers direct connections to over 75 destinations, and onward access to hundreds more via the hub airports of Heathrow and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.