Leeds has so much to offer any business and with the romance of Valentine’s Day now over and done, we thought now was the perfect time to share our top 10 reasons to love Leeds as a the business destination for 2016.
1. Excellent Transport Links
Leeds saw improvements across the rail and flight networks in 2015 with the opening of the new southern entrance to the city rail station and increased flights from Leeds Bradford International Airport. Leeds railway station is currently the second busiest outside London with 100,000 daily visitors and the new entrance will service one-fifth of those, linking the station with the recently redeveloped southern area of the city. Additionally, increased flights to Amsterdam and the arrival of two new airlines at Leeds Bradford Airport means that Leeds is becoming the natural choice for businesses operating nationally or internationally.
2. Retail and Leisure Propositions
Leeds is one of the UK’s top five cities for shopping and leisure with the 120 store Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre opening in 2013, which last year receiving the ‘Best of the Best’ Shopping Centre in the world for Design and Innovation. In addition, Leeds has attracted many upmarket retailers, centred around the historic Victoria Quarter shopping arcade, leading it being dubbed ‘Knightsbridge of the North’ by Veronica Garbutt of Lonely Planet. The new 1,100,000 Victoria Gate Shopping arcade is set to open in autumn in 2016 with John Lewis as its anchor tenant.
3. Worldwide Events
Each year Leeds showcases a full calendar of sporting and cultural events that attract worldwide attention. Most notable in recent years is the launch of the Tour de Yorkshire bike tournament which showcases the City as a location perfectly equipped to host major worldwide sporting events. Last year also saw the introduction of the Big Leeds Sleepover events which attracts over 150 corporate buyers. Over two days buyers sample Leeds’ hotels, venues, food, beverages, arts and culture illustrating all that Leeds has to offer for business and leisure tourism.
Leeds is well known for its culture in the fields of art, architecture music and sport, as well as film and television. Leeds’ 128 year old art gallery houses pieces of various ages including works by Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Edward Armitage. The city also benefits from several museums including one national museum – the Royal Armouries. Leeds has sports teams representing all major national sports including football, cricket, rugby league and rugby union. Additionally, the north of the city hosts one of the UK’s largest music festival annually, as well as an annual West Indian carnival.
With over 75,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across its three main universities, Leeds is a hub of world-class academic and creative talent. The city has more students studying languages and physical sciences than anywhere else in the UK and the University of Leeds has developed expertise in a range of distinctive specialist areas. Areas include Colour Chemistry, Fire Science, Nanotechnology and Aviation Technology with Pilot studies. Leeds University has also been ranked in the top 10 for research power in the Research Excellence Framework.
6. Northern Powerhouse
The concept of the Northern Powerhouse aims to readdress the North-South economic imbalance and to attract investment into northern cities and towns. Most recently the government have outlined plans to showcase Leeds as the next ideal investment destination to international firms; with the government’s international business development department set to launch Yorkshire as part of the Financial Centres of Excellence initiative. John Tracy, CEO, TD Bank Group and Head of TD Wealth International, said:
“Choosing Leeds as the location for our European HQ enables us to grow our business in Europe while also delivering value for money. In this region we have access to a large pool of talent, at a lower cost base than London, with the unique mix of digital and financial skills we require.“
7. High Standard of Living
In 2015, Leeds was voted the best big city to live in off the back of MoneySupermarket’s 2015 Quality of Living Index. The report showcased the city’s affordable cost of living and low unemployment rate, as well as affordable house prices. Leeds city council leader Judith Blakes said the announcement was “a massive endorsement for everyone who works so hard each day to make Leeds such a vibrant and successful place.” Adding, “We have some incredibly exciting things to look forward to as well, like next year’s Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, the opening of the landmark Victoria Gate development and our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023, so we’re confident that Leeds is going to get even better.”
8. The People
Yorkshire’s reputation for being a friendly place is only confirmed by the wide range of business networking groups the county and Leeds, in particular, benefit from. The most prolific of these groups is the Yorkshire Mafia – a free group established in 2008 whose self-proclaimed definition is: “A tightly knit group of diverse industry executives who share a homogenous interest in the advancement of the Yorkshire region.” The ultimate aim of the group, as with many others, is to bring together executives and stakeholders from the Yorkshire business community to meet, network, share experience and build relationships. The group also hold a range of events each year across the county covering a wide range of business-oriented topics.
9. A Bright Future
Leeds’ as a business destination is only set to become more appealing. The city benefits from the Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) which has three key aims; to raise standards, raise awareness and add value by doing more things better for the benefit of all the businesses in the BID area. Thier plans expand over at least the next three years with them stating: “We hope to deliver more than just a return of investment to those that have backed the BID and invested in the business community.
“Working collaboratively, there is no reason why Leeds can’t continue to grow and become a real gem of the Northern Powerhouse.”
10. White Rose Office Park
With its unrivalled amenities, including an on-site nursery, restaurant, Starbucks Coffee Lounge and conference facilities, combined with excellent local, national and international transport links and high specification available office space, White Rose Office Park is certainly a reason businesses should love Leeds. Combining the nine aforementioned reasons, with the high retention rates and satisfaction levels of our tenants staff, 24-hour multi-level security and dedicated on-site community, The Hive, there really is every reason to relocate to Leeds, or just like us – continue loving it.
If you feel Leeds and White Rose Office Park could fit the needs of your business or someone you know, please click here to see our current availability and contact one of our agents to discuss things further and arrange a visit.
JLL – 0113 261 6236
Cushman & Wakefield – 0113 233 8866
CBRE – 0113 394 8820