Strategically placed in (almost) the heart of the North of England, Leeds is also at the centre of the region’s economy. The city’s economy has expanded by almost 40% over the last 10 years which contributes to a wider regional economy worth over £50billion per annum.
Having grown out of its traditional mill town heritage, the city boasts a diverse range of industries. It’s known as financial hub in the UK, with many tops banks and venture firms based in the city. It also has a growing reputation as a creative and digital centre of excellence. But one of its leading industries is tourism. Over 10 million people visit Leeds every year and bring in nearly £735million to the local economy. This massive influx of visitors supports approximately 20,000 full-time jobs in the city.
Tourists have plenty to enjoy in Leeds, from the culture of the Leeds City Arts Gallery, to star-studded line-ups at the annual Leeds Music Festival and Leeds Film Festival, to the breath-taking beauty of the Pennines and the nearby Yorkshire Dales.
But Leeds is probably best known for its shopping. With a wide array of shopping centres, luxury retailers and high street brands, people come from across the region to partake in a little retail therapy in the city.
Attracted by the culture, nightlife and a buoyant, varied job market, young people make up a large sector of the population. Students flock to the city to attend the top level universities and higher education institutions found there, particularly the prominent art school, the Leeds College of Art.
The strategic nature of Leeds’ location is further shown in its transport connections. With key roads including the M1 and M62 motorways providing routes from north to south and east to west, respectively. Trains also connect Leeds to major towns and cities across the country, whilst the prospect of the HS2 high speed rail link will further improve travel to and from the city. Airline travel is also catered for via the Leeds Bradford airport, which serves destinations across the UK and Europe, with connecting flights taking passengers across the globe.
Its northern location also gives the city an advantage in the property market. With house prices generally lower than national averages in the North of England, Leeds is an attractive prospect for both buy-to-let investors and potential home-owners.
This combination of factors has made Leeds a magnet for investment in recent years. From the development of the city’s Enterprise Zone, helping to build and grow local businesses to the £350 million development of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, Leeds has undergone quite the transformation. And it continues to do so, with the proposed £350million regeneration of the city’s South Bank area into a mixed use development featuring commercial and residential property.
If you want to learn more about investing in Leeds then why not read Why Invest in Leeds.