11 Facts About Leeds
Leeds is one of our favourite cities in the UK and a place we actively keep our investment eye on. Situated in the middle of the United Kingdom, with a diverse population of 751,500, Leeds is the third largest and one of the fastest growing, greenest cities in the UK.
From shiny new shopping centres to green spaces we love to graze in, part of Leeds’ charm is in its variety.
Over recent years it has become the finest city in the north, and with these awesome places, some old, some new, it’s not hard to see how. We wanted to take a moment to list just a few of the many surprising facts we’re sure you didn’t know about our city of the month, Leeds!
1. Leeds was named ‘One of Europe’s Top 25 Cities for Business’(Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor 2009).
2. Leeds is recognised as the regional capital of the Yorkshire and Humber region, an area with a population of over 5 million, similar to that of Scotland or Denmark! (Leeds City Guide, 2002)
3. Leeds attracts more annual visitors than traditional holiday destinations including Brighton and Torquay! (VisitBritain, 2008)
4. It was named ‘The Best Place in Britain to Live’ (Henley Management College’s ‘Urban Behaviours’ study, 2003).
5. Leeds City Station is the busiest in the UK outside of central London, with over 900 trains and 100,000 passengers per day (networkrail.co.uk, 2014). Leeds to London travel times starts from just 2hrs 6mins.
6. Leeds is the UK’s fastest growing city (Annual Business Inquiry, 2001), with the second largest employment total outside London, and over 110,000 people commuting to work.
7. Named the best shopping destination in the UK, Leeds city centre has 3.5 million sq ft of retail floor space, five miles of shopping streets and one of the country’s largest pedestrianised shopping areas (Liverpool City Centre Main Retail Area Review, 2014).
8. The average house price in Leeds 10 years ago stood at £84,550. Today it’s £172,850. That’s basically a 105% increase (Land Registry, 2015)!
9. The Leeds City Region has a workforce of 1.9 million and a business base of over 106,000 companies that generate 5% of England’s total economic output (LEP, 2013). That’s worth almost £56 billion per year. In fact, the Leeds City Region economy alone is larger than that of NINE European countries!
10. Leeds is ranked sixth in the list of Britain’s ‘greenest’ cities based on environmental performance and quality of life (City Mayors Environment, 2010).
11. The Independent called Leeds the ‘Best University Destination in the UK’ (The Independent, 2005). In fact, the University of Leeds receives more student applications than any other university in the country. There are almost 75,000 degree students at Leeds’ two internationally acclaimed universities, and 10% of all UK graduates were educated there!
Leeds has so much going for it; we initially had a list almost 3 times the current size and found it difficult to pick our favourite 11!
It’s central with easy access to travel to anywhere in the UK (basically better placed than anywhere currently) with Leeds University being one of the most sought after Uni’s around. In a nut shell, the city has access, easy transport, location, culture, leisure, retail, entertainment, nightlife and fantastic buildings to live and work in.
All who experience Leeds – its diversity, lifestyle, warmth, people and quality of life, share the same belief: if you spend time in the city, you’ll grow to love it. Hmm… maybe we just might have to write up a second post about Leeds 😉
Bonus: A very hot property market indeed
With house prices generally lower than national averages in the North of England, Leeds property is an attractive prospect for both buy-to-let investors and potential home-owners. Leeds is a magnet for investment in recent years.