Leeds is a prime location for business investment and expansion. The city combines great access to regional and national markets, great quality and excellent value for money office space with a university offer that attracts high calibre students from across the world.
The scale and diversity of the Leeds economy – centering on financial, legal and professional business services, a vibrant visitor and leisure economy, plus expertise in healthcare technologies and high value manufacturing – are key strengths.
The Leeds economy
Leeds sits at the heart of a wider city region with an economy worth over £62.5 billion per annum and the city’s economy has grown almost 40% over the last decade. Since 2011, employment has risen by 11,000 and Leeds now has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all major cities outside London.
Private sector investment
2013 saw the opening of the £350 million Trinity Leeds retail and leisure development, the largest of its kind anywhere in Europe, and the 13,500 capacity first direct Arena. In 2014, work started on the £600 million Victoria Gate retail development, which opened in October 2016, bringing a flagship John Lewis store to the city.
Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone
The pace of development is also accelerating fast in the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, where Leeds City Council is working with developers and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to deliver new industrial space for modern manufacturing companies and create thousands of new jobs. A range of incentives is available, including reduced business rates, enhanced capital allowances and grants form £10,000 to £250,000 to support companies looking to invest and expand their operations in the Enterprise Zone.
Revolving Investment Fund
The Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund (RIF) offers short term loans of over £1 million to support commercially viable private sector led infrastructure and construction projects. The fund is designed to support projects that are ready to proceed where conventional sources of funding are insufficient or unavailable. Investments are on commercial terms and compliant with State Aid restrictions.
More information can be found in the related pages section. You can also contact us on 0113 378 5930 or email Investmentfund@leeds.gov.uk.
Improved connectivity through investment in physical transport links will be essential for Leeds to maintain its competitiveness as a business location. Proposals for the new HS2 station, linked to ambitious plans for the regeneration of Leeds South Bank, will bring major investment opportunities and greatly enhance the attraction of Leeds as a business location. The city is also investing heavily in broadband infrastructure to deliver superfast broadband speeds for business and residents and extend wifi network coverage to public transport and public buildings.
Partnership between the public and private sector is at the heart of Leeds’ approach to major regeneration and development programmes. It can also be seen at work in smaller scale initiatives focused on reinvigorating town and district centres across Leeds. It plays an important part in initiatives such as the Education Business Partnership, investing in the next generation and equipping young people with the skills they need for the world of work. It has a key role to play in realising our ambition to become the best city in the UK by 2030.