The UK city of Leeds has big plans on the horizon, with businesses from around the UK and further afield choosing to base operations there. There are a number of different reasons why Leeds is attracting so much new business, from plans for massive regeneration to the high volume of banks and financial institutions. Many major UK businesses have headquarters or major operations in Leeds including Asda, Burberry, Sky, Jet2, Yorkshire Bank, First Direct and GHD, with a number of new businesses set to join them.
1) Huge Workforce
Leeds has a huge workforce, and is one of the UK’s largest economic areas. The Leeds region has a combined workforce of 1.37 million and a population of 3 million. There are also 7 million people within one hours drive of Leeds, meaning access to a large workforce is guaranteed in Leeds. Leeds also saw the fastest rate of private sector jobs growth out of any UK core city with over 32,000 VAT registered businesses bolstering employment figures. Access to such a huge potential workforce has led to an increasing number of companies choosing Leeds as an ideal location to invest in their business.
2) Financial Services
Another reason that many businesses are investing in Leeds is because of its exceptional reputation for financial and business services. Leeds has the largest financial sector outside of London, home to over 100,000 companies and 30 national and international banks. It is also home to three of the five largest building societies in the country. Aside from London, Leeds also produces the largest GVA contribution in financial and professional services. Businesses choosing to invest in Leeds have quick and easy access to a wide range of services like banking, insurance, technology and legal services.
3) Future Plans
The future of Leeds is also a great reason to invest now. The planned Leeds South Bank regeneration project aims to double the size of Leeds city centre, bringing new workspaces, offices, and houses which will vastly improve the region. Property investment companies like RW Invest are recognising the potential of Leeds, and creating lucrative investment opportunities in the city. With a growing population, the demand for Leeds rental property has never been higher, and this is proving to be a great investment strategy.
4) Value for Money
Leeds continues to be great value for money compared to other cities, which makes it incredibly attractive to businesses looking to expand. In a recent study, Leeds was named as one of the best cities in Europe to locate a business in and ranked in the top three for value for money of office space, only beaten by Warsaw and Berlin. The cost of staff in Leeds is also highly affordable, allowing businesses to grow their team. Incentives like the Assisted Area Enhanced Capital Allowance, Employment and Sills Fund and the Business Growth Fund also offer increased financial reasons for businesses to invest in Leeds.
5) Skilled Employees
Leeds is also planning for the future with its investment into creating a skilled workforce through programmes like the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Skills service. The region has some of the UK’s best universities, colleges and institutions, and a high percentage of the population are educated to degree level. This means that businesses don’t have to look far to acquire talented and highly skilled workers when the choose to invest in Leeds.