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SOME MIGHT SAY IT’S BOLD BUT LEEDS HAS A VISION
TO BECOME THE BEST CITY IN THE UK BY 2030 AND
WITH AN ECONOMY WORTH £53
BILLION AND A HOST OF WORLD-
LEADING BUSINESSES CALLING IT
HOME ALREADY, THE CITY LOOKS
SET TO MEET ITS TARGET. LEEDS
IS, OF COURSE, A BIG DIVERSE
CITY WITH A LONG HISTORY IN
TRADITIONAL SECTORS SUCH AS
MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL. BUT,
OUTSIDE OF LONDON IT’S THE UK’S
LARGEST CENTRE FOR FINANCIAL
AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND
ITS MOST IMPORTANT LEGAL CENTRE.
Couple this with swiftly developing new sectors, including health
and medical technology, advanced manufacturing, low carbon industries
and the creative, cultural and digital industries and the business community
seems to be thriving.
Already, leading businesses in the city include manufacturers such
as Kelda, which is pioneering low carbon products and capturing new
markets, DePuy International, Brandon Medical, Schneider Electric and
Ginetta Cars (page 112) as well as printing companies, Agfa, Kodak and
Communisis and food producers, Arla foods, Britvic and Symmingtons.
Sector diversity has certainly stood the city in good stead and despite
the recession, it is home to 106,000 companies. In short, the city’s recipe
for success appears to be resilience plus brilliance.
Leeds, say respected economists and business leaders, including Neil
McLean, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, has the potential to
be a world leading economy (page 108). It has been ranked as number
one in Europe for ofce space for the third year running by Cushman &
Wakefeld and was cited as one of the top fve cities to watch in the UK by
Centre for Cities.
As you might expect, though, plans are afoot to attract yet more
business and further boost the economy. Tese include creating a health
hub partnership with businesses, universities, the NHS and the city council.
High speed rail developments will also enhance the connectivity of the city,
which already has the busiest rail terminal outside London.With a journey
time of just under two hours from the capital, the path is set for Leeds to
become the most dynamic business city in the country.
102–103