Leeds becoming ‘majorly significant’ city for tech businesses

Leeds City Centre Birds Eye View

CBRE has revealed Leeds ranks among the ‘top cities’ in the UK for tech businesses.

The global real estate advisor has released the latest figures from its Creative Regions study, revealing Leeds is a ‘major regional hub for creative industries in Yorkshire’ outside of London.

It is also said to be a major UK tech sector destination and has risen four places, from tenth to sixth position in the new CBRE UK Top 25 rankings.

But what does this mean for Leeds? Alex Hailey, director of CBRE’s Office Agency team in Leeds, explained: “It’s fantastic to see Leeds recognised as a major regional hub… Take up from the tech sector has grown year-on-year in Leeds since the end of the financial crisis and we envisage this growth to continue.

“With 38,900 graduates annually and home to two world class business schools, nine universities and 14 further education colleges, Leeds has the emerging workforce to continue to fuel this growth.

“We’re also seeing changes in building design with a greater emphasis on collaborative working, flexibility and wellbeing to provide the perfect working environments for these tech businesses to flourish.”

The new report provides a fresh update of CBRE’s top 25 UK destinations beyond London for tech businesses.

The new updated ranking shows the ‘significance’ of Leeds as a creative and tech sector location in comparison to other UK cities.

Emma Jackson, associate director of UK Research, concluded: “Evidence shows that, beyond London, a number of regional centres also contain a critical mass of talent necessary to compete successfully in this sector.

“There are many other tempting reasons to draw creative industries businesses to the UK regions such as attractive quality of life and favourable cost of living.

“Indeed, given the growing cost of higher education, and the cost of living in the capital, the large regional centres are increasingly proving a compelling proposition for graduates and employers alike.”

(c) Bdaily, April 2019

Expansion work begins at Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds has largest regional economy outside London/South East

Work has begun on a terminal extension project at Leeds Bradford Airport designed to improve passenger experience.

Providing larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, the construction of the extension also aims to improve departure gate facilities, shopping units and food outlets.

The beginning of construction was marked by a visit from Aviation Minister Liz Sugg, who commented: “The development at Leeds Bradford Airport will not only further strengthen it as an important global gateway to Yorkshire, but will also provide passengers with an exceptional travelling experience to and from the region.”

Construction on the airport coincides with government investment of £170m into wider public transport improvements, a new runway for London’s Heathrow airport and the announcement of a high speed rail hub in Leeds.

Liz explained: “Improvements for local communities as well as major infrastructure projects like investment at Leeds station, Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 and Heathrow expansion will continue to bring our country closer together, helping people move around more quickly and easily than ever before.”

Full steam ahead for Leeds high speed rail hub

leeds property investment

The University of Leeds has acquired a 10-acre plot as the home for a brand new Institute of High Speed Rail and System Integration.

Based on the ‘North plot’ of the Gateway 45 Leeds development, the institute will be an engineering hub allowing the university to collaborate with industry on research initiatives for high speed rail service HS2.

Professor Lisa Roberts, University of Leeds deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation, explained: “The new advanced testing facilities as part of the University’s Institute, alongside HS2’s new rolling stock depot, are a significant step forward for UK high speed rail capability.

“They position Leeds City Region as a global centre for high speed rail research and development, so we’re working closely with HS2 to ensure our facilities align with its needs and those of industry, so all sides can deliver for the country.”

Building on HS2’s commitment to create 30,000 new jobs and 2,000 apprentices during the life of the project, the institute is expected to attract inward investment and jobs to the region, including 125 jobs at the planned HS2 rolling stock depot.

Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd, added: “HS2 is driving investment and growth up and down the country, and I’m delighted to see that Leeds is harnessing every opportunity that the project brings.

“We have always said that HS2 is much more than just a railway and this is another great example of the role it will play in rebalancing Britain’s economy and creating a highly skilled workforce for the future.”

(c) Bdaily, April 2019

Rents increase quicker than the rate of inflation in the UK

Liverpool property investment Aspen Woolf

The cost of renting a home in the UK is rising quicker than the rate of inflation, with the average monthly cost up 3.8% in the 12 months to February, according to the HomeLet Index.

The data, based on new lets agreed by landlords and agents using the firm’s referencing service, reveals that the average rent in the UK is now £940 per month. When London is excluded, growth, in percentage terms, was actually a lower rate of 3.2% year-on-year, with the average rent in the UK, without the capital, currently £782pm.

Once again, rents in London remain the most expensive in the UK, at an average of £1,599pm, which is up 4% on last year. But the region with the largest year-on-year increase is the South West, showing a 7.7% rise between January 2018 and January 2019.

Rents in February increased in all 12 regions monitored by HomeLet. Rents continue to rise in response to all of the extra costs landlords have experienced over the last few years, while prices are also being pushed up by strong demand from people struggling to get on the property ladder.

Leeds boasts opportunities for housing and investment growth

Leeds properties

With room for 20,000 more homes in the city centre, a recent report by Leeds City Council suggested the number of houses in Leeds could nearly double in the coming years.

Currently, about 25,000 people live in the centre of Leeds, and the majority of residents are in the private rental sector. A revival in the housing market and property investment has transformed Leeds, especially in the last 10 years, yet the city still has room for further growth.

On average, only 395 houses have been built per year, despite approximately 8,000 planning approvals for new homes in the city centre. As demand continues to rise in Leeds, the centre is an ideal location for more homes and flats to be built.

The report by Leeds City Council stated: “It is one of the most sustainable locations for new housing, close to jobs and major transport connections and providing for the reuse of previously developed land at a higher density than is achievable in less central locations.”

A bid for 10,000 new homes in Leeds

The Leeds City Council is prepping to make a bid for £85m from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to help deliver 10,000 new homes by 2033. If the council is successful with the bid, infrastructure works is expected to start by the end of 2019.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, commented: “We know more and more people are now wanting to live in city centres with all key amenities within easy reach. This investment would allow us to deliver even more positive growth in the city centre, with a vibrant mixed community and new facilities for everybody to benefit from.

“By enabling much improved connections with neighbourhoods adjoining the city centre we can ensure greater opportunities for residents to access jobs and learning opportunities as well as facilities and services.”

(c) Buy Association, March 2019

Channel 4 announces which jobs are coming to Leeds in huge restructure

A whole raft of Channel 4 departments will up sticks and move to Leeds later this year, including presenters and off-screen staff who work in the channel’s comedy, drama, entertainment and sport branches.

Reports have suggested that the broadcaster will make Majestic its national headquarters – although a spokesperson has told LeedsLive that they are not in a position to ‘comment further on speculation’.

No matter where they end up in the city, around 200 Channel 4 employees will work in Leeds across a number of platforms.

We’ve only had a vague idea about which jobs will come to Leeds until now, but Channel 4 has recently confirmed the roles that will operate from its new national HQ in Leeds.

New teams

A raft of supporting roles will move to Leeds, including staff in the following teams:

– Advertising Sales Operations

– Audience Research & Insight

– Business Affairs

– Corporate Relations

– Data Science

– Finance

– Human Resources

– Information & Archives

– Press & Publicity

– Production Finance

– Systems Delivery

– Technology

– Workspace

Digital Creative Unit

This brand new department will commission and produce digital content purely for a social media and digital audience. They’ll work with departments across the organisation and independent producers to support new digital talent and Channel 4’s investment in young-focussed content and audiences.  Members of the ITN team, who produce Channel 4 News, will also move to Leeds.

(c) Leeds Live, March 2019