All About Leeds!
Leeds is a true success story. Over the last ten years the city has been transformed from a northern industrial city into one of the most vibrant and successful cities in the UK.
It is the capital of the Yorkshire and Humber region and one of the UK's fastest growing cities. The local economy has gone from strength to strength, with Leeds becoming one of the most successful citites in Europe. More and more businesses, visitors and students are attracted to the city, drawn by it's economic success and the quality of life that Leeds offers.
The recent accolades that the city has received include: The UK's Favourite City (Conde Nast Traveller magazine Reader's Awards), Britain's Best City for Business (OMIS Research), Visitor City of the Year (The Good Britain Guide), Best Place in Britain to Live (Urban Behaviours survey, Henley Management College), Best UK University Destination (The Independent), and Number One City for Clubbing (Mixmag Music Dance Awards).
Excellent nightlife, restaurants, bars, shopping and value for money are amongst the many attractions quoted by readers of The Traveller magazine - the leading, independent travel guide published by Conde Nast - who recently named Leeds as The UK's Favourite City.
Tourism is big business in Leeds, supporting more than 20,000 full time equivalent jobs. On average Leeds attracts 1.4m people per year who stay overnight, plus a further 18.4m who visit on day trips. Visitors to the city bring in nearly £735m into the local economy per annum.Whether it's for business or leisure, the Leeds lifestyle has a lot to offer. It's vibrant and cultural scene are some of the attractions that bring visitors from across the UK and Europe to Leeds. Major national and regional attractions include the Royal Armouries, Henry Moore Sculpture Centre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and award winning Harewood House, voted one of the best large visitor attractions in the Excellence in England Awards for Tourism 2003.
The number of hotel bedrooms in central Leeds has increased dramatically, rising from just over 800 in the early 1990s to well over 4,000. In the Good Hotel Guide 2004, four Leeds hotels were named as top choices for places to stay in the UK.
Leeds is one of the largest retail centres in the UK, employing more than 14,000 people and a further 3,000 in associated services. The city centre has an excellent retail mix of major department stores, shopping centres, high street chains, speciality and prestige shopping attractions, catering for all tastes and ages.
With over 1,000 shops in the city centre, Leeds is the region's prime shopping location. Dubbed the Knightsbridge of the North by the Lonely Planet Guide to Britain, Leeds is also ranked fourth by Experian in their annual survey of the UK's top shopping destinations. The city has more than 4.3 million square feet of retail space, featuring top quality retailers including Harvey Nichols, Vivienne Westwood, Joseph and Space NK. Retail areas include the Victoria Quarter, Corn Exchange, Headrow Centre, Leeds Shopping Plaza and The Light.
The Leeds shopping experience is going to get even better, with the £150m redevelopment of the Trinity Quarter beginning next year, and plans being drawn up for the £400m retail led redevelopment of the Harewood and Eastgate Quaters.
Voted the Best UK University Destination by The Independent, Leeds has two internationally acclaimed universities, the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University. It has become the most popular university choice in the country, with a total student population of over 100,000. In fact, the University of Leeds is the number one student destination in the country, receiving over 52,500 applications for the current academic year - beating every other university by at least 1,000 applicants.
Leeds is the financial capital of the North, has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and has recently been voted Britain's best city for business.
In terms of wealth creation Leeds is the driving force within the regional economy. Total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at over £10 billion per annum, and Cambridge Econometrics projects 30% growth over the next ten years, compared with a UK average of 23%. Over the last ten years £2.3 billion has been invested in large property developmet schemes and a further £3.3 billion is in the pipeline.
Leeds has major strengths in financial and legal services, with over 30 national and international banks based in the city, and several law firms which now rank amongst the top ten firms in the UK. The retail and media sectors are also very strong and the city is the UK's third major manufacturing centre. It is the largest employment centre in the region. A key strength of the local economy is its diversity. Leeds has the most diverse economy across the full range of economic sectors of the UK's top 15 employment centres.
In the last 20 years, more jobs have been created in Leeds than in any other UK city outside London, and over the next 10 years Leeds is expected to generate a third of the region's total employment growth - some 30,000 jobs.
Recent research shows that residents are extremely proud of Leeds and aware of the city's many benefits as a place to live. Residents rate living in Leeds highly, with 91% of people stating that the city provides a great quality of life. Leeds has exceptional parks and green spaces, as well as great sports venues.
A separate national survey has crowned Leeds as the Best Place in Britain to Live. The Urban Behaviours study revealed that 65% of 15 - 35 year olds living in the city have rated public transport, amenitites, cleanliness and entertainment as excellent.
Leeds has also been voted the UK's Number One city for Clubbing and this is not surprising given the city's vibrant entertainment and cultural scene. With over 100 bars, 75 restaurants and over 25 nightclubs in the city centre alone, Leeds is renowned for its buzzing nightlife.
The city is home to the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition and top international performing companies such as Opera North, Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre. Major national and regional attractions located in Leeds will shortly be joined by The Carriageworks - Leeds' new theatre and conference venue. A £26m city museum is also scheduled for completion in 2007.
Visit our website 'Leeds City Guide'