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30 Sep 2014

Leeds and Partners, the organisation responsible for driving job creation and economic growth through inward investment and the Leeds visitor economy, has today unveiled the creation of over 1,000 jobs and a significant investment pipeline at its Annual Stakeholder Meeting earlier today.

  • Over 1,000 jobs created 18 months ahead of schedule through inward investment
  • 200 additional jobs created in the visitor economy
  • £10m additional visitor spend
  • Overhauled investment pipeline with potential for 3,000+ jobs

Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, the former Minister for State and Security and Counter Terrorism and a member of the National Security Strategy, led by setting out a vision for the digital and knowledge economy during a keynote speech on technology and finance.

Lurene Joseph, CEO of Leeds and Partners, said; “Our absolute focus has been the delivery of a transformational investment approach to maximise the potential of Leeds and the wider region as a northern powerhouse with global reach. The foundations we have put in place and this early achievement shows our strategic alignment is starting to pay dividends with real and sustainable jobs. We’re now building on this work to embed our differentiated sector propositions and build on the significant assets that make Leeds City Region such an attractive location for investors.”

Details of the city region’s investment pipeline were set out to show that it is stronger than ever; with over 100 projects added, 30 per cent of which are from outside the UK. Active enquiries total more than 3,000 potential new jobs, with significant requirement across retail, manufacturing, health and financial and professional services.

“Leeds and Partners is very good at positioning Leeds City Region to leverage the national offer by providing UKTI with the detail needed to articulate and evidence a really powerful pitch to investors in overseas markets."

MARIAN SUDBURY, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL OPERATIONS AT UK TRADE & INVESTMENT

Echoing comments made by Cllr Box and Councillor Wakefield, Andy Clarke, Chair of Leeds and Partners , said, “In the last 18 months Leeds and Partners has laid significant foundations to drive inward investment and grow the visitor economy, with some outstanding early successes. As the emphasis on Leeds City Region’s role in economic development continues with pace and as more and more powers are devolved from central government to the regions, it is right that we should respond to this and build closer alignment and to cement our ambitions for growth.”

In conferencing, 200 additional jobs have been generated and a move towards a conferencing city proposition, establishing clear links between core inward investment sectors and a pro-active international sales approach, has built a pipeline of over £1m, with two significant residential conferences of 500 delegates each confirmed in the last few days. 

James Berresford, Chief Executive of Visit England, said “What makes people visit and businesses invest in Leeds are broadly similar.  Leeds and Partners have taken absolutely the right approach to join that together and share what’s special, unique and different about the place. The value of tourism to England is £85bn per annum of which £19bn is generated by overseas visitors. The lion’s share of that is spent in London. We are pleased to be working with our regional partners and airports to increase international market share for England. Clearly the activities of Leeds and Partners will assist greatly in that.

As well as highlighting the success achieved to date, the meeting laid out priorities for the future, which recognised the increasing importance of city regions and the opportunities that could be derived from a more formal regional structure for inward investment and the visitor economy.

The city region’s intent to be a global fintech hub was also set out; as the potential of its banking and technology sectors, along with the confirmation of the first fintech accelator outside of London were cited as a prime opportunity to attract fintech businesses to locate and grow here.

Keynote speaker, Baroness Pauline-Neville Jones, the former Minister of State for Security and Counter Terrorism and member of the national Security Strategy, demystified digital resilience; “The digital and information economy offers Leeds City Region a promise of great prosperity, but it has to be based on sound development and the capacity and connectivity being carefully built. Leeds hosts the largest healthcare data platform in the world and is already showing how it can be bigger, better and stronger than other UK cities. With a strong academic base it is a great place for start-ups and has the potential to be the go-to place for fintech and data analytics.”