Growth this strong demands investor attention
When it comes to business, Leeds packs an impressive punch. With a £53 billion economy Leeds generates 5% of the UK’s Gross Value Added. That means it has an economy bigger than 8 EU countries. Not bad for an area the size of Munich.
And that’s not the only way that Leeds is powering ahead of its counterparts. Leeds ranks as one of the top 5 UK cities for growth. It has one of the fastest rates of population growth of any major UK city and its business services sector is set to grow by 51% by 2022.
In the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the population of Leeds grew by 5.05%.
Leeds is the third largest city in the UK and is considered the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. The reasons for this are self-evident as the economic and artistic significance of Leeds has been historically strong and continues to grow year after year.
The perfect mix of business, education and lifestyle has made Leeds into an incredibly desirable city for a wide cross-section of society. Of course, with such fast population growth comes a demand for property, and as the city is only going to get bigger, we can safely expect that property prices are going to follow. That means Leeds property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a property in a major city.
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Economy & Employment
Leeds is leading the way in several business sectors
After London, Leeds is the biggest legal centre in the UK. In 2011 its financial and insurance services industry was worth £2.1 billion, the 5th largest in the UK.
Over 30 national and international banks located in the city. Over 30 call centres employ 20,000 people.
There are over 100,000 businesses, 1.3 million workers and 95% work and live in the city.
Leeds is also a hub of public sector health bodies. The Department of Health, NHS England, Care Quality Commission, the Health and Social Care Information Centre and Public Health England have large offices there. Leeds also has the largest teaching hospital in Europe and is home to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Freeserve, the UK’s first Internet Service Provider was founded in Leeds and the city is still home to major telecoms brands such as O2, BT & Cable and Wireless. Leeds will deliver £100 million of investment in digital infrastructure in the next 3 years.
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Thousands of new jobs, thousands of new homes, thousands of reasons to invest!
Of the £15 billion of Government investment to boost regional economic growth Leeds has the largest share. The city will receive £627.5 million from the Growth Deal from 2015-2021. This money will be used to fund housing and regeneration projects, offer business grants, establish innovation and enterprise centres and launch a decentralized energy programme.
It’s estimated the Deal will build around 2,000 new homes, create 10,000 new jobs and generate £640 million more in private and public investment.
The West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund has a £1-billion pot to improve transport links and create better infrastructure. That’s £30 million a year ringfenced for improvements. In addition, there’s the HS project. HS2 is a £40.6 billion high-speed railway development, which will connect London and the Midlands to Sheffield on the way to Leeds.
This will include the creation of a new station in the Leeds Waterfront area called Leeds New Lane. It’s estimated this station could support between 13,200 and 19,700 jobs and 1,700-2,400 houses.
When finished, the journey time to London will be 1h 23m, 57 minutes to Birmingham and 29 minutes to East Midlands.
Air: Leeds Bradford Airport handles upwards of 3 million passengers a year and offers convenient flights to many destinations across Europe. For long-haul destinations, Manchester Airport can be easily reached by train.
Rail: Currently trains run directly to Manchester in 49 minutes and to London in around 2 hours.
Bus: Leeds has an expansive bus network which serves the city centre and the outlying region. Plans are underway to reinvent the Trolleybus system which was created in Leeds in 1911. The modern incarnation will function with a park and ride system.
Cycle: Leeds is developing a comprehensive cycle network including resurfaced towpaths and a Cycle Superhighway to Bradford. Leeds Interchange hosts one of the UK’s first cycle hubs designed to encourage visitors to view the city using pedal power
That means Leeds property investment is right for you if you’re looking for a property in a major city to add to your portfolio.
There are 14 further education colleges, 9 higher education institutions and specialist art and music colleges.
Three universities can be found in Leeds: The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.
A large number of state and private primary and secondary schools can be found in Leeds, with multiple faith schools serving the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.
Notable schools include:
The Grammar School at Leeds – The largest private school in Leeds with a history dating back to 1552
The Rodillian Academy – A mixed secondary and sixth form academy established in 1933 with a specialist arts college
Shops & Leisure
Leeds city centre has nearly 1000 shopping outlets and the 7th highest retail spend in the UK. Trinity Leeds, the city’s largest shopping and leisure complex opened in March 2013 and there is more development underway.
The Victoria Gate scheme will regenerate the Eastgate Quarters area to provide an upmarket shopping experience for affluent residents. Leeds is already home to Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood. Victoria Gate will add a John Lewis, and 42,000 square metres of retail, leisure space and high-end retailers by 2016.
Leeds is the birthplace of artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney and Damien Hirst. It’s also home to the UK’s leading open-air gallery: Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
In terms of fine dining Leeds is well catered for. The county of Yorkshire, which Leeds is in, has more Michelin starred restaurants than anywhere in the country
The £60 million First Direct Arena is Europe’s first ‘super-theatre’ arena. Opened in September 2013 it has already hosted global celebrities such as Prince and Elton John.
There are 17 leisure centres with 11 gyms, 14 swimming pools and over 400 fitness classes. For outdoor pursuits Leeds is within an hour’s drive of three national parks (Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and The Peak District).