Working in Leeds
Leeds is sometimes seen as the northern version of London. Although the city is estimated to have a population of anywhere between 750,000 and 800,000, the Leeds City area is believed to have almost 3 million residents. As a result, the area is a thriving economic one with the region generating £46 billion in revenue per annum, £16 billion of which comes from the city of Leeds. The region is known for having a fairly even distribution of jobs in the public, finance and service sectors. Not having a reliance on one single sector has served the city well.
Interestingly, the retail industry in Leeds seems to be most prominent outside the city with 30,000 retail jobs available in the Leeds region away from the centre of the city. The city has also benefited from billions of pounds worth of property development in the last decade. Housing and office buildings comprise almost £800 million of this development each. The city centre itself is estimated to play host to 130,000 employees with almost 90,000 of these people involved in finance or public services. Even the welfare situation looks good in comparison to other cities. Although the government is planning welfare cuts, Leeds will be one of the least affected cities in the UK.
It would be fabrication to suggest that there aren’t deprived areas in Leeds. Like all major cities, there are poor areas such as Middleton, Gipton and Bramley but the council is working hard to deal with the situation. This is a legacy of the trouble all northern cities had in the 1980s. Leeds has been in a boom time since then with a huge number of improvements taking place all over the city. The city has worked hard to forge a 24 hour economy with retail jobs increasing as the city’s cosmopolitan clientele look to indulge in high levels of shopping. With so many qualified candidates living in Leeds, there are a host of high paid jobs for those who can impress the right people.
If you elect to work in the city centre, don’t be surprised if you’re caught in heavy traffic when you’re commuting because you will be following the lead of 110,000 others. This is why you should take advantage of the Park & Ride scheme in the city which prevents you from getting traffic tickets. In terms of public transport, the main bus station can be found at the back of Kirkgate market. Arriva Yorkshire West and First Leeds are the main companies who run buses throughout the city. You should also take advantage of the free shuttle buses that take you in and out of the city centre.
The M1 and M62 are the motorways that serve Leeds. The A58 inner ring road was brought in to reduce the level of traffic congestion and it has succeeded. There are a number of public and private car parks in the city centre but these fill up quickly in the morning.
You can’t beat the city centre if you’re interested in nightlife and large crowds. The centre of Leeds has everything you could ask for in terms of amenities though you should expect to pay a high price for city centre accommodation. Woodhouse is another popular area for wealthy young professionals who enjoy mingling with their peers. Headingly is yet another area for younger people and is also the home of the North’s finest Test Match cricket venue.
Hyde Park is a great place to live if you still love to indulge in the student lifestyle. It is teeming with life and there are late bars and takeaways aplenty to help you alleviate your thirst and late night hunger cravings. If you’re on a budget, Burley is the place for you. The area offers a value for money experience with a reasonable quality of life available for an affordable price.
If you’re living in Leeds, remember that you’re in arguably the North’s most vibrant city. It offers 24 hour living or peace and quiet depending on where you live. The city is a healthy mix of ethnicities, cultures and age groups and this makes for a very interesting place to live. Live large in Leeds and enjoy your experience there!