The 10th largest city in England has a GVA of £19 billion and counting
Leicester is a city in the East Midlands, that makes up part of the county of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and sits at the edge of The National Forest. It is one of the oldest cities in England
In the 2011 census, the population of the Leicester unitary authority was 330,000, making it the largest unitary authority in the East Midlands region. 509,000 people were recorded as living in the wider Leicester Urban Area, making Leicester the tenth largest city in England and the 11th largest urban area. Property in Leicester is currently 36% lower than Leicestershire county as a whole & 44% lower than the England and Wales average (Land Registry, February 2015). Leicester has the largest economy in the East Midlands with an estimated GVA of £19 billion. Companies with their head office in the area include Dunelm Mill, Next, Jessops, Shoe Zone Goldsmiths. British Gas, Caterpillar, Topps Tiles and DHL all have sites here too.
With its central position and good transport links, Leicester has established itself as a major distribution centre and the south-western area of the city has also attracted new service and manufacturing businesses. Leicester is home to Walker’s crisps brand, which makes 10 million bags of crisps per day at the two factories nearby and is the UK’s largest grocery brand. The Beaumont Leys manufacturing plant is the largest crisp factory in the world. That means Leicester property investment is right for you if you’re looking for a property in a major city.
Economy & Employment
Leicester is a large employer in the financial sector with many banking institutions based there.
Financial and business service companies are major employers in Leicestershire. These include Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda and HSBC. All of the major accounting firms have offices in Leicester and one of Aviva’s seven UK administrative hubs is also based in the city.
Leicestershire has the largest economy in the East Midlands, estimated to be worth £19 billion. It has a workforce of over 1 million within a 45-minute radius and over 2.4 million economically active people living within an hour’s drive. The student population stands at around 55,000 studying at Leicestershire’s three leading universities.
Leicester has over £100 million LLEP grants for major improvements over the next 6 years. The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) was formed in May 2011 to lead economic growth across the Leicestershire region. Their objective was 45,000 additional private sector jobs, attract £2 billion private sector investment and Increase (GVA) by £4 billion to £23 billion.
In July 2014, £80 million was allocated to ten projects over six years. The projects include major road improvements, Skills Training Centre (MIRA Enterprise Zone), Leicester Waterside, Leicester College, Great Central Railway, Sustainable Transport Fund, Leicester Leicestershire Broadband, Leicester Strategic Flood Risk Management and the North City Centre Access Investment Programme. In January 2015, a further £20.3 million was allocated to the LLEP to fund further projects.
Air: East Midlands Airport is in north-west Leicestershire. It’s served by low-cost international airlines like Ryanair. Birmingham Airport is only a 45-minute drive and Luton is just over an hour away.
Rail: The Midland Main Line heads south to Bedford, Luton and London; and north to Lincoln, Sheffield, Leeds and York. Trains also head east to Cambridge, Stansted Airport and Norwich; and west to Nuneaton and Birmingham. The fastest trains to London take 1 hour and 7 minutes. Journeys to Sheffield and Birmingham are also around 1 hour.
Bus: Leicester has two main bus stations: St Margaret’s and Haymarket with buses operating every 15 minutes.
Road: Leicester is close to the heart of the M1 motorway at Junction 21. The M69 starts at Junction 21 and runs to the M6 and joins with Coventry’s eastern bypass.
National Cycle Network: National Cycle Network Route 6 passes through Leicestershire along with other secondary routes. Leicester Bike Park is located in Town Hall Square.
The city of Leicester is a major centre of learning: with 71 primary schools, 17 secondary schools, 9 independent schools and 5 special schools. 14 schools in the area are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.
Further Education: There are 4 Colleges, Leicester College, Gateway College, Regent College and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College.
Higher Education: The University of Leicester is famous for the quality of its teaching and research; De Montfort University is very well regarded in many of its specialist fields.
It is also home to the National Space Centre located off Abbey Lane, due in part to the University of Leicester being one of the few universities in the UK to specialise in space sciences.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping: There are two main centres. The Haymarket Shopping Centre was opened in 1974. Highcross Leicester opened in 2008 at a cost of £350 million (creating 120 stores, 15 restaurants, a cinema, 110,000 m of shopping space). Smaller shopping centres include St Martin’s Square. The Leicester Lanes area has numerous designer and specialist shops. Leicester Market is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe selling a wide variety of goods.
Dining & Culture: There are lots of restaurants, bars and pubs in Leicester which offer great food. The Golden Mile is the name given to a stretch of Belgrave Road where you can visit contemporary restaurants serving a fusion of Indo-Chinese delicacies or head to a more traditional curry house serving the best in Indian cuisine. It is also host to sari shops, and jewellers; the Diwali celebrations in Leicester are focused on this area and are the largest outside India.