Economy of Leeds

Economy of Leeds

Leeds, located in West Yorkshire, England, has a diverse economy with the service sector now dominating over the city's manufacturing industries. It has in the past been served well by its canal, and today by its rail network at Leeds station, from where MetroTrains operate to all parts of West Yorkshire and other operators to the rest of the country. With the A1(M), M1 and M62 intersecting at Leeds, it is a hub of the motorway network. Leeds Bradford International Airport is located to the north-west of the city and has scheduled flights to destinations within Europe, Egypt and Turkey, although competition from the newly opened Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield nearby could lead to a reduction in the airport's traffic over a long term period. The city had plans for a tram network, however the government pulled the scheme due to spiralling costs. The strongest theory for this is so funds can be redirected to London,Fact|date=September 2008 although a confirmed reason is still unknown. The refusal to release details as to why Supertram was cancelled called for an inquiry into corruption due to the Freedom of Information act. Leeds remains the largest city in the EU without a mass transit system.Fact|date=February 2007

These good transport links have been a major factor contributing to the growth of Leeds, and have led to the city becoming a major centre for distribution.Fact|date=September 2008 Retail is another major service and employer in the city centre, with a retail economy which has experienced a recent boom resulting in several new shops.Fact|date=September 2008 Briggate is one of Leeds' main shopping streets, with the Victoria Quarter and Harvey Nichols. The city centre also includes the world famous Leeds market, one of the largest city centre markets in the UK,Fact|date=September 2008 and over 8 indoor shopping centres. The Eastgate/Harewood Quarter and Trinity Qtr. will re-establish Leeds as one of the UK's top shopping centres.Fact|date=February 2007

Although, like much of the North of England, Leeds had its fair share of tough economic times during the 1970s and 1980s, it bounced back quickly by investing heavily in communications links in advance of the Internet.Fact|date=September 2008 This helped it become one of the major hubs for call-centres in the late 20th century, particularly for service-oriented companies.Fact|date=September 2008 Many outlying towns formerly relying on mining and heavy industry, found financial salvation in the 'reliable' sounding Yorkshire accent.Fact|date=February 2007 However, many of these large employers are now outsourcing many of these jobs to places like Bangalore in India, where staff costs are considerably lower.

Leeds has one of the UK's strongest local economies,Fact|date=September 2008 with unemployment at a record low.Fact|date=June 2008 Leeds is one of the largest financial centres in the country outside London and is also home to many legal and media firms.Fact|date=February 2007

See also

* List of companies based in Leeds

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