Leeds is the UK’s fastest growing city. It’s also the third largest centre for financial services attracting over £1.6 billion pounds worth of investment in the last 8 years. A further £1.8bn of investment is proposed in new buildings and infrastructure.
Direct rail links with London give you a journey time of only 2 hours and the city even has its own rapidly expanding international airport. Leeds has a designated green belt in excess of 65% of its total area equivalent to 140 square miles, the city centre itself is less than 20 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has less rainfall than either Paris or Milan!
With over 2 miles of traffic free shopping and over 1000 shops in the city centre, shopaholics can rest easy. Victoria Leeds, dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”, is home to star names like designer Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, upmarket shops like Jigsaw, Episode and Hobbs and we’ve even got our own Harvey Nichols – the only branch outside London offering high fashion Prada, Gucci and Versace.
The Corn Exchange focuses on the young with independent fashion boutiques serving the needs of clubbers, the up and coming and more refined dressers with brands like Nicholas Deakin, Ark, Harry Ford and Mambo.
Granary Wharf, a shopping experience built under railway arches next to the city’s waterfront, offers an alternative to high street shopping, with crafts and specialist products from around the world.
Nightlife isn’t a problem with well over 100 bars and restaurants packed into the city centre ranging from acclaimed restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain to award winning bars such as Normans to Victorian pubs and fashionable wine bars. Couple this to some of the best clubs in the country and you’ve got no excuse to go to bed.
Sport and Leisure
Leeds also has an excellent pedigree of sporting excellence, with football at Elland Road, international cricket and rugby league at Headingley and horse racing at Wetherby. There are also 22 public leisure centres and a wide range of private facilities such as Virgin Active and the David Lloyd’s Tennis Centre. If golf’s your game than Leeds has 21 golf courses ranging from exclusive clubs to municipal pay and play courses. The City is also a great base to explore Yorkshire with easy access to the Dales and the many rivers that run through the region providing an excellent resource to anglers and hikers alike.
There are botanical gardens, acres of parkland and wildlife for example the Chevin Forest Park in Otley, which provides rock-climbing, orienteering trails and mountain biking. There are Cistercian abbeys and many museums including the Royal Armouries as well as subsidised and free visitor attractions such as Tropical World in Roundhay Park.
Leeds is the home of Opera North, the Northern Ballet Theatre, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse which stages more productions than any other theatre outside of London. Leeds also plays host to frequent outdoor events such as “Opera in the Park” as well as being the venue for numerous pop concerts with the likes of such artists as Robbie Williams, Madonna and U2 to name but a few. There are many cinemas and galleries – the most notable being the City Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute which was described by the Times as “probably the best 20th Century art collection outside of London”.