As the focal point of a city region which has an output of £66.5 billion, Leeds is the driving force behind a powerhouse with unrivalled economic potential.
Key to that potential is the region’s young, dynamic and digitally skilled talent pool, with almost a quarter of the Leeds population aged between 18 and 29 years old and acting as the heartbeat of a flourishing start-up culture. Many of those young entrepreneurs are setting up business in the Leeds City Region after coming to study at one of its nine universities or 14 further education colleges.
Leeds alone is home to more than 60,000 students and the University of Leeds has an established, international reputation for producing world leading research and hosting one of the planet’s top 10 bioengineering research institutes. Opportunities for graduates in modern, digital jobs are huge and varied, with a graduate workforce of more than 40,000 finding jobs in the Leeds City region each year and half of all jobs in Leeds in knowledge intensive businesses.
And in a game-changing development for the city, last year national broadcaster Channel 4 announced that their new national HQ will be in Leeds, a move which could create 1,200 jobs and have an economic impact of more than £1bn over the next decade across the region. To capitalise on what is sure to be one of the most exciting periods of growth in the city’s recent history Leeds has set out a five year Inclusive Growth Strategy and will continue to host the Leeds Digital Festival, one of the largest tech festivals in the North with over 20,000 people attending.
To harness Leeds ambitions on how to best deliver growth, We have identified twelve big ideas to shape our city by boosting our long term productivity, competitiveness and social inclusion within our Inclusive Growth Strategy. There is a lot of good work already taking place in Leeds but there remains an opportunity for this to have renewed focus, a clearer strategic context and stronger commitment from businesses and others in the city.