Leeds is a thriving environment for business. A diverse and robust economy, vibrant cultural and leisure hotspot, excellent connectivity, outstanding value and a world leading approach in emerging and high growth sectors, Leeds is the economic centre of the Leeds City Region and a compelling proposition for stable, long-term growth.
The Leeds economy is worth £18 billion, a growth rate of almost 40% in the last decade. It's home to over 25,000 businesses and has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all major UK cities.
Leeds’ economy is extremely diverse, with new tertiary industries including retail, call centres, office and media contributing significant growth. As the second centre for banking services, the city employs over 14,000 people in banking and 46,000 across professional services as a whole. The financial and professional services sector in the city is highly skilled and set for significant growth (50% by 2022) thanks to an increasingly international focus and a highly skilled workforce.
Over 30 national and international banks are based here or in the wider region, and many firms have national/global headquarter operations, including first direct, KPMG, HSBC, DLA Piper, Direct Line Insurance Group, Halifax Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Bank and Leeds Building Society.
As well as financial and professional services, Leeds is also the UK’s health and innovation city with a unique and influential health eco-system that is unrivalled globally. Four out of five NHS national offices are based here, including NHS England, the largest single health commissioner in the world.
The city has seen significant development over recent years. In 2013 the £350 million Trinity Leeds opened, the only major shopping centre development in Western Europe, to welcome over 22million visitors in the first year. The £60m first direct arena, Europe’s first purpose built state of the art ‘super-theatre’, has transformed the leisure and entertainment offer in the city and now attracts global talent to perform here. In 2016, Hammerson will open its £150m Victoria Gate development featuring John Lewis’ flagship northern store and high end designer and luxury brands.
At the heart of the UK and the city region, connectivity is a significant benefit for businesses based in Leeds. The eastern leg of HS2 will see a state of the art station in the city centre which will kick-start a significant regeneration across the south bank of the city in what will be one of the biggest changes in the city centre for 150 years.
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, launched in April 2012, located two miles east of Leeds city centre presents an unprecedented opportunity for business relocation and expansion in Leeds City Region. Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, it is one of three enterprise zones in the City Region. Fully developed, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is poised to deliver up to 7,000 new jobs and stimulate development of the wider Aire Valley Leeds. Companies locating in the enterprise zone can benefit from a package of initiatives designed the attract investment into Leeds. For more information please click here
Leeds offers excellent digital connectivity too, with its own high capacity internet exchange (IXLeeds) right in the heart of the city and 100 Megabit and Gigabit broadband services available at low cost. This connectivity is helping to drive a pioneering approach to the hoisting and interpretation of data, both in health and consumer data. The Leeds Data Mill, the Leeds Open Data Institute (ODI) and the University of Leeds Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) provide unique access to some of the largest databases, leading academics and researchers globally. Leeds is also home to the largest healthcare data platforms in the world – NHS Spine, NHS database, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), EMIS and TPP
This innovative approach to data analytics and data science is already largely supported and utilised by companies such as Asda-Walmart, Telefonica, TomTom, Marks & Spencers, Yorkshire Water and market researchers such as Acxiom, Call Credit and CACI to name just a few.
Over 35% of the working population is educated to degree level in Leeds and the University of Leeds features in both world and European rankings.
Leeds is where people come to succeed. It already has a track record of significant economic progress and is the perfect location for businesses who demand outstanding talent, quality of life and connectivity and want to take advantage of a global city with a clear sense of purpose.
How Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership can help you
At Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership we have access to the hard statistics, convincing case studies and incentives you need to influence stakeholders. Our dedicated team of industry experts offer practical help with your proposal, and present compelling reasons to senior decision-makers about why you should locate in the Leeds City Region.