‘Leeds is about to happen – it has immense power’
The Government is “north-shoring” too, housing 6,000 HMRC staff in Wellington Place, the new urban quarter of Leeds that is also home to the expanded UK base of Sky Bet. Fashion brand Burberry has just moved in nearby. West Yorkshire’s lively metropolis is also home to Opera North, Northern Ballet and the Leeds Playhouse. A European City of Culture 2023 bid was dashed by Brexit.
“Leeds has a great ecosystem of media and broadcast journalism,” says Emma Rice, former station manager of Leeds Student Radio, the country’s largest student radio station. “There are so many exciting things happening here, such as MAP Charity, which uses funds from club nights to help young people get into the creative industries – club culture being another thing Leeds is famed for.”
Now home to 800,000-plus people, the former wool trading town is the largest economic centre in the UK after London, and the third largest city. Access to and around Leeds is also set to improve. As well as the controversial HS2 – the high-speed route that will reduce the London-to-Leeds journey time to one hour 21 minutes by 2033 – there is the East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR), which by 2021 will make crossing the city much easier.
It will create 5,000 homes, and connect north Leeds with the motorway network to the east of the city and Thorpe Park, the mixed-use complex in east Leeds. New homes are desperately needed for Leeds to catch up with Manchester, says Matthew Jones of Savills. “The rentals market is very strong but there is a big shortage of stock. We are now seeing some buildto-rent (BTR) and private rental sector (PRS) schemes moving into Yorkshire, which will be vital to retaining the large student population.” He points to “key schemes” such as the redevelopment of the old Yorkshire Post site by Grainger, providing 242 apartments; L&G’s Mustard Wharf BTR scheme with 250 homes; 744 PRS apartments at Dandara Living’s Leodis Square and
A five-bedroom home near the airport, left and main, is £1.05m with Carter Jonas