Leeds City Guide - The Essential Guide to Bars, Pubs, Clubs, Hotels and Restaurants in Leeds
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Leeds is the UK's fastest growing city, with the second largest employment total outside London, and over 110,000 people commuting to work in Leeds from outside the district every day.
Leeds City Skyline & Developments
Leeds is recognised as the regional capital of the Yorkshire and Humber region, an area with a population of over 5 million, similar to that of Scotland or Denmark.

The Leeds City Region has a workforce of 1.9 million and a business base of over 106,000 companies generating 5% of England's total economic output worth almost £56 billion per year. In fact, the Leeds City Region economy alone is larger than that of nine European countries.

Leeds is the UK's largest centre for financial and business services outside London, with the sector employing over 124,000 people. Leeds is also recognised as the UK's most important legal centre outside London, with over 180 law firms operating within Leeds.

Leeds was named ‘One of Europe's Top 25 Cities for Business’ (Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor 2009).

There are over 200 accountancy firms operating in Leeds, including the majority of the 20 largest UK practices, and over 300 recruitment agencies now operate in Leeds.

Around 463,700 people are employed in the Leeds economy. 2 million people live within 30 minutes drive of Leeds City Centre, and for the last 5 years Leeds has ranked within the top 5 UK cities with the lowest unemployment.

HSBC, the World's largest bank, chose Leeds to launch the UK's first ever telephone banking system, and over 30 national and international banks are based in the city. The Bank of England also has a major presence in the city through its Leeds cash centre, which is responsible for bulk note handling for the North of England.

Leeds was voted the top European city in terms of value for money of office space in both 2008 and 2009. Cushman and Wakefield's European Cities Monitor 2010 also named Leeds the UK's best ranked city for cost of staff.

50% of all UK manufacturing takes place within a 2-hour drive of Leeds, and Leeds is the UK's third largest centre for manufacturing accounting for around 152,000 jobs in advanced engineering, medical technology, food and drink, chemicals and printing.

Average morning peak travel times to work in Leeds are just 26 minutes, compared to 44 minutes in London.

In the last decade £617 million has been invested in Leeds City Centre to further enhance its excellent shopping and leisure facilities, with a further £6 billion in progress or proposed, including the £350 million Trinity Leeds, opened in March 2013, the state of the art Leeds Arena, and the £650 million Victoria Gate retail development.

Described by the Lonely Planet guide to Britain as the 'Knightsbridge of the North', Leeds has consistently been ranked as one of the UK's top five retail destinations, with a total shopping catchment population of nearly 3.2 million people regionally.

Harvey Nichols chose Leeds as the location for its first store outside London.

Named the best shopping destination in the UK by the Rough Guide to Britain, Leeds city centre has over 1,000 shops and one of the UK's newest out-of-town shopping centres. There is over 1 mile of indoor shopping in the city centre.

Kirkgate Market, part of which is a Grade I listed building dating from 1875, is the largest covered market in Europe.

Leeds was named ‘The Best Place in Britain to Live’ by Henley Management College's 'Urban Behaviours' study.

Leeds has been voted the top UK city in terms of freedom from pollution in both 2008 and 2009.

Leeds has one of the driest summer climates among major British cities, which is one of the key factors behind the success of its shopping, pavement cafes and outdoor events.

Leeds was recently crowned the UK's most female friendly city (Future Laboratories 'Tigra Town' Research 2006).

Leeds is the only English city outside London with its own repertory theatre, opera house and ballet companies. The West Yorkshire Playhouse stages more productions each year than any other theatre outside London.

There are more listed buildings in Leeds than in any other English city outside London, with highlights including the Victoria Quarter, Leeds Corn Exchange and Harewood House.

Leeds City Art Gallery has "the best collection of 20th century British art outside London" (The Times).

Leeds Carnival began in 1967, making it the oldest Caribbean-style carnival in Europe.

Leeds International Concert Season is the largest concert season of its kind in the UK, with over 200 events from September to May each year.

Leeds City Station is the busiest in the UK outside of central London, with over 900 trains and 100,000 passengers per day. Sitting on the East Coast mainline, the train line that runs from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh, Leeds to London travel times are from just 2hrs 6mins.

Leeds Bradford International Airport is one of the fastest growing regional UK airports, with a 75% growth over the last five years. More than 450 weekly flights take over 2.8 million travellers to 70 major international business and holiday destinations.

Leeds attracts more visitors per annum than traditional UK holiday destinations such as Brighton and Torquay (VisitBritain).

Leeds is the home of the ‘Best Tall Building in the World’ (Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Awards 2010). Broadcasting Place, on Woodhouse Lane, which houses Leeds Metropolitan University's Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology won the accolade after previously being voted the ‘Best Tall Building in Europe’.

Leeds is the fastest growing media and new media centre in the UK, and is the largest centre for print, packaging and publishing outside London.

Over 120,000 people are employed in knowledge-intensive occupations in the city, making Leeds the largest centre for knowledge-based industries outside London.

£4.4 billion has been invested in commercial property development in Leeds over the last 10 years and a further £7.3 billion of projects are under construction or in the pipeline.

Over 35% of the UK's internet traffic is hosted in Leeds, and Leeds is home to Europe's biggest internet server farm, alongside the highest concentration of internet service and telecommunications providers in the UK. Leeds also has more ISDN lines per head of population than any other major city.

The University of Leeds receives more student applications than any other university in the country. There are almost 75,000 degree students at Leeds' two internationally acclaimed universities, and 10% of all UK graduates were educated in Leeds. The Independent called Leeds the ‘Best University Destination in the UK’.

The University of Leeds came second only to Cambridge University in a 1999 survey to establish the favourite recruitment ground of the UK's top 200 employers.

Over two-thirds of the Leeds District is open space, public parks, gardens and green belt land, and the city centre is less than 20 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Leeds has more public green space per child than any other city in the UK (The Children's Society 2008).

Leeds Health Authority is the second largest in the country and is home to Europe's largest teaching hospital, which houses the landmark £220 million Yorkshire Cancer Centre, opened in 2008, the largest of its kind in Europe.

The Leeds Arena, which is due to open in 2013, is estimated to bring in an additional one million visitors to the city. It will be a unique 'super theatre' with a fan shape design that guarantees every seat in the house perfect sight-lines of the centre stage. The arena will include 12,500 seats, a 1,000 capacity standing area, private boxes and restaurants, and is estimated to boost the city's economy by £26m a year.
Millennium Square, Leeds
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