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Went To Leeds 01.02.2012


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#1 hotairmail

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

Last time I went into Leeds it seemed really quiet. It had had a fantastic boom decade or so preceding the crash of 2007/2008. But when the crash happened everything went very quiet. Indeed, I supposed that Leeds would be worse affected than many places because of the amount of financial services business in the city.

Anyway, went there today for the first time for about 9 months and was amazed at the amount of activity going on. New arena, shopping centres etc etc.

I've always had this theory about Leeds - it has never had the sheer amount of public money that places like Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester have had (particularly by Labour). But it has always had a more mixed economy than these others i.e. with more commercial than 'old style' manufacturing. Consequently its population has risen steadily as opposed to falling off a cliff as it has in other northern centres over the last 3 decades and the private sector has probably been less crowded out than in these other places .

The other theory I have is that Leeds somehow benefits from the way the city boundaries have been drawn. Unlike places like Manchester, the city boundary encompasses large semi rural but prosperous areas from Otley to Wetherby along the Wharfe valley. So when the statistics are published, this tends to boost average earnings, average house prices etc. And when retailers etc. are poring over their spreadsheets to determine where to invest their capital, Leeds often gets thrown up as one of the first...like good ole' Harvey Nicks. I always remember the leader of Nottingham trying valiantly to finger Leeds as the 'gun crime capital of the country' rather than Nottingham, complaining of the fact that his city boundary was much tighter. Of course he couldn't change perception could he, too much to cut through :lol:.

Edited by !EURO!, 01 February 2012 - 09:41 PM.

"The chicken is radiating disorder out into the wider universe."


#2 stu531

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

I think you're absolutely right in a lot of this. Leeds is very much more mixed, having been the northern centre for banking over the last 30 years or so. And yes, because it is a large authority (West Yorkshire was split into 5, not more, local council areas), it has the advantage of taking 'better demographics' into account.

Leeds is short of a number of items it shouldn't be; a rapid transport system, large concert venues, two football teams, high quality athletics stuff. In the end these things will arrive, though. It's like the Lumiere building; this was due to be built a couple of years ago, but wasn't because of the recession. It will get there, but a bit slower. We'll have to see how the financial meltdown affects the city in the longer term.

#3 Si1

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

I think you're absolutely right in a lot of this. Leeds is very much more mixed, having been the northern centre for banking over the last 30 years or so. And yes, because it is a large authority (West Yorkshire was split into 5, not more, local council areas), it has the advantage of taking 'better demographics' into account.

Leeds is short of a number of items it shouldn't be; a rapid transport system, large concert venues, two football teams, high quality athletics stuff. In the end these things will arrive, though. It's like the Lumiere building; this was due to be built a couple of years ago, but wasn't because of the recession. It will get there, but a bit slower. We'll have to see how the financial meltdown affects the city in the longer term.


interesting

Leeds has an increasingly superb managed bus-way system, this is a rapid transit system by any reasonable definition, and appropriate for a city of its size (smaller than brum / manchester), and already possessing a good standard rail network, and a well regarded well run and friendly regional airport that is a feeder internationally via Schipol 4 times a day, whilst being 2 hours from London Kings cross by rail.

Also home to the North's only (I think) professional opera company, world class rugby (league and union) and cricket teams and stadia, and various other national standing facilities; clearly more regional feel than Manchester by comparison.

It has head offices of organisations other than banking, which is why it seems to be weathering the downturn well - Asda, Morrisons, regional offices of major consultancies and big law firms. Also house prices have fallen off a cliff, which conversely i consider GOOD for the economy. If someone comes here with professional skills they can afford a reasonable house for their salary, whilst having a 30 minute commute.

I have noticed the number of enthusiastic energetic youngsters from elsewhere in UK and europe in Leeds, this must create jobs in itself.

We had a tory-libdem city council for years who lost control of the council's finances, and now a Labour-Green council, who don't seem to be offending me, so I don't know how that works.




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