Every day as a northern business brings a reason to celebrate, being based within Gods' own county. "Prove it!" we hear you say. Well how many other counties have their own day? On the 1st August each year is Yorkshire Day, a day to celebrate everything Yorkshire, but specifically the integrity and the pride that binds the county together.
The whole of Yorkshire has experienced growth and in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down, especially with the Northern Power House scheme driving development for the foreseeable future. Like many new companies we chose to open an office in the vibrant city of Leeds, one of the UK’s centers for fast growing firms, behind only London and Cambridge. One of the UK’s fastest growing cities, boasting a £66.5 billion economy, a population of 3 million and workforce of 1.37 million.
Leeds is currently home to 119,000 companies that generate 5% of England’s total economic output, making Leeds an emerging economic powerhouse. In fact, despite a global recession, the Leeds City Region economy has grown by 40% in the last decade. The next 10 years? Its is predicted that the Region will see a further 21% growth, with financial and business services forecast to generate over half of the growth for this period.
The financial and business services is Leeds core sector, accounting for 38% of total output and worth £13 billion. Other growth sectors include healthcare, retail and creative/digital industries. With this wide range of rapidly developing sectors in Leeds, also comes the infrastructure and support that businesses require to maintain growth, with consultants such as Whitecap Consulting & WYG both based in Leeds.
In fact, there are now 1,350 digital companies in Leeds, with a combined workforce of around 10,000. Again, only beaten statistically by London for the total quantity of ‘scale up’ digital businesses. Employees in the digital and tech sector are amongst the highest paid in the UK, with drastically lower costs of living than the capital, the move up north for many in these growth sectors is a no brainer. One of the many reasons one of our partners Dubit located there head office in the Leeds City region.
Over the last 10 years, over £3.9 billion has been invested in large development projects. But it doesn’t stop there, a further £7.3 billion is either in the pipeline or already funding projects under construction.
Leeds is already located at the intersection of the UK’s motorway network, with easy access to the M62 and M1. Also, home to the UK’s fasted growing airport, Leeds Bradford, flying to Heathrow Terminal 5, five times a day taking under an hour. Currently there is a high-speed rail line, however the new HS2 rail project will improve the links between Leeds, Birmingham and London dramatically. Reducing the journey time from Leeds to London to only 82 minutes, forecasted to deliver 19,700 new jobs and create a single economic corridor that is predicted to boost the Leeds City Region economy by £7.8 billion every year.
Leeds is home to nine worlds class universities, producing over 38,900 graduates every year. Of which an impressive 47% of graduates come from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math’s) subjects, resulting in Leeds becoming the largest producer of STEM graduates in the North.
It’s not all business and meetings in Leeds, it’s homes to large selection of entertainment venues for all ages. With thousands of places to eat and drink, Leeds is famous for its night life, bars and restaurants like The Banyan and The Box are sure to whet your appetite and get your night started. Looking to work up a sweat? Leeds is home to many successful sports clubs including Leeds United F.C, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Golf Centre and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Whether it be for personal or business reasons, Leeds is becoming increasingly attractive, named as one of the best European cities to locate to by global commercial property consultants Cushman & Wakefield. Ranked in the top 3 cities for value of office space in a recent report analysing 35 competing cities. Alternatively the trend of co-working space is booming in Leeds, allowing start-ups of all sizes to gain access to office space, such as Work Space Hub. The housing market is in a similar strong position, worth around £59 billion the Leeds housing marketing is up a whopping 4.2% on 2017 prices. With estate agents Savills anticipating that house prices in Yorkshire will accelerate to 17.6% compound growth over the next 5 years, with 14.2% being the national average. Not to mention the thriving tourism industry and the development of accommodation, for example local Leeds business Roomzzz, catering for the wide variety of visitors Leeds now hosts.
The region also has access to a large selection of funding and growth incentives such as the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Scheme, Assisted Area Enhanced Capital Allowance, Employment and Skills Fund and the Business Growth Fund, so support is already in place for businesses who locate here.