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The Business Mecca

2017-01-11 03:31:12

Is too much made of London? The importance of the capital to the UK cannot be understated but it does give for an unnatural weighting, meaning other cities are too often overlooked. For example, the northern city of Leeds is an idyllic location for business.

There are numerous reasons for the Yorkshire capital being a business hotspot but none more so than the cost of commercial property in the city. The Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor, released in 2010, ranked Leeds as the number one city in Europe in regards to office space and value for money, and seventh in Europe for the availability of office space. Current offices to let in Leeds with Goodmans include Valley Park the largest commercial letting that the city has seen in nearly 10 years. So unlike London, where office space is scarce, and as such more expensive, Leeds has it in the abundance, which any economist will be able to tell you keeps costs down, and lower costs equal greater profits.

Any employer would be attracted by the skilled workforce in Leeds. After London it is the largest legal centre in the UK and with 122,000 people employed in the financial sector it is the second largest financial employer outside of London. Again, in the Cushman & Wakefield report, Leeds ranked as the 4th best city in the UK for qualified staff and 1st in the UK for cost of staff. That should be music to the ears of any business. A highly concentrated population of skilled workers is one thing but having the cheapest skilled workers in the country is something else. You can reduce costs without having to sacrifice the quality of staff, which in turn can lead to economies of scale.

From a logistic standpoint the city is very viable. Served by two motorways and an A-road, it is easily accessible, while it also has an airport and a principle railway station, which in the upcoming years will be a stop on the High Speed 2 rail line. The city was also at the forefront of the internet revolution, being the first in the UK to have full broadband and digital coverage, meaning it has a solid internet network.

The council also make the city very attractive. They are aiming to make the city the best in the UK by 2030, they cannot do that without attracting business to the area, and that is why they are removing the red tape that too often restricts business. Any city with a business friendly local council is always a good thing. More often than not, areas with councils like that see both the city and businesses located within flourish.
From an individual perspective Leeds is very much an attractive proposition. The aforementioned financial sector offers competitive salaries and like London it has a certain gravitas. While of the 12 largest UK cities it comes in at a very respectful 5th.

For those involved in the world of business, you shouldn't be too quick to look to London. Leeds does exactly what it says on the tin and it does it good.




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