Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England.[6] Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015.[5] Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.[7] Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area.[8][9][10] Leeds is served by four universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.[11]

Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, and in the 17th and 18th centuries it became a major centre for the production and trading of wool, and in the Industrial Revolution a major mill town; wool was still the dominant industry, but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing, and other industries were also important.[12] From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century. It now lies within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the United Kingdom's fourth-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.6 million.[13]

Today, Leeds has become the largest legal and financial centre, outside London[5][14] with the financial and insurance services industry worth £13 billion to the city's economy. The finance and business service sector account for 38% of total output[5][15][16] with more than 30 national and international banks located in the city, including an office of the Bank of England.[14] Leeds is also the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city and is worth over £7 billion to the local economy.[15] The largest sub-sectors are engineering, printing and publishing, food and drink, chemicals and medical technology.[17] Other key sectors include retail, leisure and the visitor economy, construction, and the creative and digital industries. The city saw several firsts, including the oldest-surviving film in existence, Roundhay Garden Scene (1888), and the 1767 invention of soda water.[18][19]

Public transport, rail and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds, and the second phase of High Speed 2 will connect it to London via East Midlands Hub and Sheffield Meadowhall. Leeds currently has the third busiest railway station[20] and the tenth busiest airport outside London.[21]

Clockwise from top left: Leeds Town Hall, Trinity Leeds, Bridgewater Place, Leeds Dock, First Direct Arena
Pro rege et lege
(Latin: "For king and the law")
Shown within West Yorkshire
Shown within West Yorkshire
Leeds is located in England
Location within England
Leeds is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Leeds is located in Europe
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 53°47′59″N 1°32′57″W / 53.79972°N 1.54917°WCoordinates: 53°47′59″N 1°32′57″W / 53.79972°N 1.54917°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
City regionLeeds
Ceremonial countyWest Yorkshire
Metropolitan BoroughCity of Leeds
Historic countyYorkshire
Borough charter1207
Municipal charter1626
City status1893
Administrative HQLeeds Civic Hall,
Millennium Square
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • BodyLeeds City Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLabour
 • Lord MayorGraham Latty
 • Council LeaderJudith Blake
 • Chief ExecutiveTom Riordan
 • City213.0 sq mi (551.7 km2)
 • Urban
188.3 sq mi (487.8 km2)
Area rank84th
Highest elevation1,115 ft (340 m)
Lowest elevation33 ft (10 m)
(mid-2017 est.)
 • City784,800
 • Rank2nd
 • Density3,680/sq mi (1,422/km2)
 • Urban
1,901,934 (4th)
 • Urban density9,440/sq mi (3,645/km2)
 • Metro
2,638,127 (4th)
 • Ethnicity
(2011 census)[3]
85% White
5.7% Asian or Asian British
3.5% Black or Black British
2.7% Mixed Race
3.1% Other
Demonym(s)Loiner, Leodensian
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
WF, BD (parts)
Dialling codes0113 (Leeds)
01924 (Wakefield)
01937 (Wetherby)
01943 (Guiseley)
01977 (Pontefract)
ISO 3166 codeGB-LDS
GSS codeE08000035
NUTS 3 codeUKE42
ONS code00DA
OS grid referenceSE296338
Major railway stationsLeeds (A)
International airportsLeeds Bradford (LBA)
GDPUS$ 82.98 billion[4][5]
– Per capitaUS$33,355[4]
GVA (2015)£21.3bn (4th) Increase 14.6%
– Per capita£27,466 (4th) Increase 14.6%
European ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber



The name derives from the old Brythonic word Ladenses meaning "people of the fast-flowing river", in reference to the River Aire that flows through the city.[22] This name originally referred to the forested area covering most of the Brythonic kingdom of Elmet, which existed during the 5th century into the early 7th century.[23]

Bede states in the fourteenth chapter of his Ecclesiastical History, in a discussion of an altar surviving from a church erected by Edwin of Northumbria, that it is located in ...regione quae vocatur Loidis (Latin, "the region which is called Loidis"). An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a Loiner, a word of uncertain origin.[24] The term Leodensian is also used, from the city's Latin name.

The name has also been explained as a derivative of Welsh lloed, meaning simply "a place".[25]

Economic development

Inside the Corn Exchange 2 - Leeds
The Leeds Corn Exchange opened in 1864

Leeds developed as a market town in the Middle Ages as part of the local agricultural economy. Before the Industrial Revolution, it became a co-ordination centre for the manufacture of woollen cloth, and white broadcloth was traded at its White Cloth Hall.[26]

Leeds handled one sixth of England's export trade in 1770.[27] Growth, initially in textiles, was accelerated by the building of the Aire and Calder Navigation in 1699 and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1816.[28] In the late Georgian era, William Lupton, Lord of the Manor of Leeds, was one of a number of central Leeds landowners with the mesne lord title, some of whom, like him, were textile manufacturers. At the time of his death in 1828, Lupton's land in Briggate in central Leeds included a mill, reservoir, manor house and outbuildings.[29][30]

The railway network constructed around Leeds, starting with the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1834, provided improved communications with national markets and, significantly for its development, an east-west connection with Manchester and the ports of Liverpool and Hull giving improved access to international markets.[31] Alongside technological advances and industrial expansion, Leeds retained an interest in trading in agricultural commodities, with the Corn Exchange opening in 1864.

Joseph Rhodes - Leeds from the Meadows
Leeds from the Meadows by Joseph Rhodes, 1825.

Marshall's Mill was one of the first of many factories constructed in Leeds from around 1790 when the most significant were woollen finishing and flax mills.[32] Manufacturing diversified by 1914 to printing, engineering, chemicals and clothing manufacture.[33] Decline in manufacturing during the 1930s was temporarily reversed by a switch to producing military uniforms and munitions during World War II. However, by the 1970s, the clothing industry was in irreversible decline, facing cheap foreign competition.[34] The contemporary economy has been shaped by Leeds City Council's vision of building a '24-hour European city' and 'capital of the north'.[35] The city has developed from the decay of the post-industrial era to become a telephone banking centre, connected to the electronic infrastructure of the modern global economy.[35] There has been growth in the corporate and legal sectors,[36] and increased local affluence has led to an expanding retail sector, including the luxury goods market.[37]

Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone was launched in April 2012 to promote development in four sites along the A63 East Leeds Link Road.[38]

Local government

Leeds (parish) population
1881 160,109
1891 177,523
1901 177,920
1911 259,394
1921 269,665
1931 482,809
1941 war*
1951 505,219
1961 510,676
*no census was held due to war
source: UK census[39]

Leeds was a manor and township in the large ancient parish of Leeds St Peter, in the Skyrack wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire.[40] The Borough of Leeds was created in 1207, when Maurice Paynel, lord of the manor, granted a charter to a small area of the manor, close to the river crossing, in what is now the city centre. Four centuries later, the inhabitants petitioned Charles I for a charter of incorporation, which was granted in 1626. The new charter incorporated the entire parish, including all eleven townships, as the Borough of Leeds and withdrew the earlier charter. Improvement commissioners were set up in 1755 for paving, lighting, and cleansing of the main streets, including Briggate and further powers were added in 1790 to improve the water supply.[41]

Leeds Town Hall, General Election results
A crowd gathers outside Leeds Town Hall during the 1880 general elections.

The borough corporation was reformed under the provisions of Municipal Corporations Act 1835. Leeds Borough Police force was formed in 1836, and Leeds Town Hall was completed by the corporation in 1858. In 1866, Leeds and each of the other townships in the borough became civil parishes. The borough became a county borough in 1889, giving it independence from the newly formed West Riding County Council and it gained city status in 1893. In 1904 the Leeds parish absorbed Beeston, Chapel Allerton, Farnley, Headingley cum Burley and Potternewton from within the borough. In the twentieth century the county borough initiated a series of significant territorial expansions, growing from 21,593 acres (87.38 km2) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (164.35 km2) in 1961.[42] In 1912 the parish and county borough of Leeds absorbed Leeds Rural District, consisting of the parishes of Roundhay and Seacroft; and Shadwell, which had been part of Wetherby Rural District. On 1 April 1925, the parish of Leeds was expanded to cover the whole borough.[40]

The county borough was abolished on 1 April 1974, and its former area was combined with that of the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey; the urban districts of Aireborough, Horsforth, Otley, Garforth and Rothwell; and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wetherby, and Wharfedale.[43] This area formed a metropolitan district in the county of West Yorkshire. It gained both borough and city status and is known as the City of Leeds. Initially, local government services were provided by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire County Council. When the county council was abolished in 1986, the city council absorbed its functions, and some powers passed to organisations such as the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority. From 1988 two run-down and derelict areas close to the city centre were designated for regeneration and became the responsibility of Leeds Development Corporation, outside the planning remit of the city council.[44] Planning powers were restored to the local authority in 1995 when the development corporation was wound up.

Suburban growth

Leeds 1866 by J Bartholemew edited
1866 map of Leeds
James Valentine The Briggate Leeds
19th-century Briggate, Leeds

In 1801, 42% of the population of Leeds lived outside the township, in the wider borough. Cholera outbreaks in 1832 and 1849 caused the authorities to address the problems of drainage, sanitation, and water supply. Water was pumped from the River Wharfe, but by 1860 it was too heavily polluted to be usable. Following the Leeds Waterworks Act of 1867 three reservoirs were built at Lindley Wood, Swinsty, and Fewston in the Washburn Valley north of Leeds.[45]

Residential growth occurred in Holbeck and Hunslet from 1801 to 1851, but, as these townships became industrialised new areas were favoured for middle class housing.[46] Land south of the river was developed primarily for industry and secondarily for back-to-back workers' dwellings. The Leeds Improvement Act 1866 sought to improve the quality of working class housing by restricting the number of homes that could be built in a single terrace.[47]

Holbeck and Leeds formed a continuous built-up area by 1858, with Hunslet nearly meeting them.[48] In the latter half of the nineteenth century, population growth in Hunslet, Armley, and Wortley outstripped that of Leeds. When pollution became a problem, the wealthier residents left the industrial conurbation to live in Headingley, Potternewton and Chapel Allerton which led to a 50% increase in the population of Headingley and Burley from 1851 to 1861. The middle-class flight from the industrial areas led to development beyond the borough at Roundhay and Adel.[48] The introduction of the electric tramway led to intensification of development in Headingley and Potternewton and expansion outside the borough into Roundhay.[49]

Two private gas supply companies were taken over by the corporation in 1870, and the municipal supply provided street lighting and cheaper gas to homes. From the early 1880s, the Yorkshire House-to-House Electricity Company supplied electricity to Leeds until it was purchased by Leeds Corporation and became a municipal supply.[50]

Slum clearance and rebuilding began in Leeds during the interwar period when over 18,000 houses were built by the council on 24 estates in Cross Gates, Middleton, Gipton, Belle Isle and Halton Moor. The slums of Quarry Hill were replaced by the innovative Quarry Hill flats, which were demolished in 1975. Another 36,000 houses were built by private sector builders, creating suburbs in Gledhow, Moortown, Alwoodley, Roundhay, Colton, Whitkirk, Oakwood, Weetwood, and Adel. After 1949 a further 30,000 sub-standard houses were demolished by the council and replaced by 151 medium-rise and high-rise blocks of council flats in estates at Seacroft, Armley Heights, Tinshill, and Brackenwood.[51]

Leeds has seen great expenditure on regenerating the city, attracting in investments and flagship projects,[52] as found in Leeds city centre. Many developments boasting luxurious penthouse apartments have been built close to the city centre.


Leeds in West Yorkshire
Map of Leeds in West Yorkshire
River Aire waterfront, Leeds 001
River Aire in Leeds

Leeds is located 169 miles (272 km) north-northwest of London,[53] on the valley of the River Aire in the eastern foothills of the Pennines. The city centre lies in a narrow section of the Aire Valley at about 206 feet (63 m) above sea level; while the district ranges from 1,115 feet (340 m) in the far west on the slopes of Ilkley Moor to about 33 feet (10 m) where the rivers Aire and Wharfe cross the eastern boundary. The centre of Leeds is part of a continuously built-up area extending to Pudsey, Bramley, Horsforth, Alwoodley, Seacroft, Middleton and Morley.[54]

Leeds has the second-highest population of any local authority district in the UK (after Birmingham), and the second-greatest area of any English metropolitan district (after Doncaster), extending 15 miles (24 km) from east to west, and 13 miles (21 km) from north to south. The northern boundary follows the River Wharfe for several miles, but it crosses the river to include the part of Otley which lies north of the river.

The city centre is less than twenty miles (32 km) from the Yorkshire Dales National Park,[55] which has some of the most spectacular scenery and countryside in the UK.[56] Inner and southern areas of Leeds lie on a layer of coal measure sandstones forming the Yorkshire Coalfield. To the north parts are built on older sandstone and gritstones and to the east it extends into the magnesian limestone belt.[32][57][58] The land use in the central areas of Leeds is overwhelmingly urban.[54]

Attempts to define the exact geographic meaning of Leeds lead to a variety of concepts of its extent, varying by context include the area of the city centre, the urban sprawl, the administrative boundaries, and the functional region.[59]

Leeds is much more a generalised concept place name in inverted commas, it is the city, but it is also the commuter villages and the region as well.

— Brian Thompson, A History of Modern Leeds[59]

Leeds city centre is contained within the Leeds Inner Ring Road, formed from parts of the A58 road, A61 road, A64 road, A643 road and the M621 motorway. Briggate, the principal north-south shopping street, is pedestrianised and Queen Victoria Street, a part of the Victoria Quarter, is enclosed under a glass roof. Millennium Square is a significant urban focal point. The Leeds postcode area covers most of the City of Leeds[60] and is almost entirely made up of the Leeds post town.[61] Otley, Wetherby, Tadcaster, Pudsey and Ilkley are separate post towns within the postcode area.[61] Aside from the built up area of Leeds itself, there are a number of suburbs and exurbs within the district.


Park Square and Leeds Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 183544
Sunny early-June 2006 day at Park Square

Leeds has a climate that is oceanic (Köppen: Cfb), and influenced by the Pennines. Summers are usually mild, with moderate rainfall, while winters are chilly, cloudy with occasional snow and frost. The nearest official weather recording station is at Bingley, some twenty kilometres away at a higher altitude.[62]

July is the warmest month, with a mean temperature of 16 °C (61 °F), while the coldest month is January, with a mean temperature of 3 °C (37 °F). Temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) and below −10 °C (14 °F) are not very common but can happen occasionally. Temperatures at Leeds Bradford Airport fell to −12.6 °C (9.3 °F) in December 2010[63] and reached 31.8 °C (89 °F) at Leeds city centre in August 2003.[64] The record temperature for Leeds is 34.4 °C (94 °F) during the early August 1990 heatwave.

As is typical for many sprawling cities in areas of varying topography, temperatures can change depending on location. Average July and August daytime highs exceed 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) (a value comparable to South East England) in a small area just to the south east of the city centre,[65][66] where the elevation declines to under 20 metres (66 feet). This is 2 degrees milder than the typical summer temperature at Leeds Bradford airport weather station (shown in the chart below), at an elevation of 208 metres (682 feet).

Situated on the eastern side of the Pennines, Leeds is among the driest cities in the United Kingdom, with an annual rainfall of 660 mm (25.98 in).

Though extreme weather in Leeds is relatively rare, thunderstorms, blizzards, gale-force winds and even tornadoes have struck the city. The last reported tornado occurred on 14 September 2006, causing trees to uproot and signal failures at Leeds City railway station.[67]

Green belt

Leeds is within a green belt region that extends into the wider surrounding counties and is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the settlements in the West Yorkshire conurbation from further convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing stricter conditions on permitted building.[70]

Over 60% of the Leeds district is green belt land and it surrounds the settlement, preventing further sprawl towards nearby communities. Larger outlying towns and villages are exempt from the green belt area. However, smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas are 'washed over' by the designation. The green belt was first adopted in 1960,[70] and the size in the borough in 2017 amounted to some 33,970 hectares (339.7 km2; 131.2 sq mi).[71]

A subsidiary aim of the green belt is to encourage recreation and leisure interests,[70] with rural landscape features, greenfield areas and facilities including Temple Newsam Park and House with golf course, Rothwell Country Park, Middleton Park, Kirkstall Abbey ruins and surrounding park, Bedquilts recreation grounds, Waterloo lake, Roundhay castle and park, and Morwick, Cobble and Elmete Halls.


Urban subdivision

Leeds compared
Leeds urban subdivision shown within the West Yorkshire urban area
Leeds urban subdivision within
the West Yorkshire urban area
UK Census
Yorks UA
England (2011)
Population 443,247 715,402 1,499,465 53,012,456
White 88.4% 91.9% 85.5% 85.4%
Asian 6.4% 4.5% 11.2% 7.8%
Black 2.2% 1.4% 1.3% 3.5%
Source: Office for National Statistics[72][73]

At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, the Leeds urban subdivision occupied an area of 109 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and had a population of 443,247; making it the fourth-most populous urban subdivision within England and the fifth largest within the United Kingdom. The population density was 4,066 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,530/sq mi), slightly higher than the rest of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. It accounts for 20% of the area and 62% of the population of the City of Leeds. The population of the urban subdivision had a 100 to 93.1 female–male ratio.[74] Of those over 16 years old, 39.4% were single (never married) and 35.4% married for the first time.[75] The urban subdivision's 188,890 households included 35% one-person, 27.9% married couples living together, 8.8% were co-habiting couples, and 5.7% single parents with their children. Leeds is the largest component of the West Yorkshire Urban Area[54] and is counted by Eurostat as part of the Leeds-Bradford larger urban zone. The Leeds travel to work area in 2001 included all of the City of Leeds, a northern strip of the City of Bradford, the eastern part of Kirklees, and a section of southern North Yorkshire; it occupies 751 square kilometres (290 sq mi).

In 2011, the Leeds USD had a population of 474,632 and had an area of 112 square kilometres (70 square miles) with a population density of 4,238 people per square kilometre and 6,780 per square mile.[76] It is bounded by, and physically attached to, the other towns of Garforth to the east, Morley to the southwest and Pudsey to the west, all being within the wider borough. 63% of the borough's population of 751,485 live in the USD, while it takes up only 21% of its area.

Leeds compared Leeds USD Leeds City
White British 73.9% 81.1%
Asian 10.7% 7.7%
Black 5.2% 3.5%


In 2011, the Leeds USD (Urban Subdivision) had a total 'White' population of 79.1%[76] with this percentage including people from places such as mainland Europe and Ireland. This makes the USD about as multicultural as Salford in Greater Manchester. The USD is what is commonly regarded as being Leeds itself, however it is the wider borough that has been given city status.

Metropolitan district

At the time of the 2011 UK Census, the district had a total population of 751,500, representing a 5% growth since the previous census ten years earlier.[79] According to the 2001 UK Census, there were 301,614 households in Leeds; 33.3% were married couples living together, 31.6% were single-person households, 9.0% were co-habiting couples and 9.8% were single parents, following a similar trend to the rest of England.[80] The population density was 1,967/km2 (5,090/sq mi)[80] and for every 100 females, there were 93.5 males.

Leeds is a diverse city with over 75 ethnic groups, and with ethnic minorities representing just under 11.6% of the total population.[79] According to figures from the 2011 UK Census, 85.0% of the population was White (81.1% White British, 0.9% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 2.9% Other White), 2.7% of mixed race (1.2% White and Black Caribbean, 0.3% White and Black African, 0.7% White and Asian, 0.5% Other Mixed), 7.7% Asian (2.1% Indian, 3.0% Pakistani, 0.6% Bangladeshi, 0.8% Chinese, 1.2% Other Asian), 3.5% Black (2.0% African, 0.9% Caribbean, 0.6% Other Black), 0.5% Arab and 0.6% of other ethnic heritage.[81]

The majority of people in Leeds identify themselves as Christian.[82] The proportion of Muslims (3.0% of the population) is average for the country.[82] Leeds has the third-largest community of Jews in the United Kingdom, after those of London and Manchester. The areas of Alwoodley and Moortown contain sizeable Jewish communities.[83] 16.8% of Leeds residents in the 2001 census declared themselves as having "No Religion", which is broadly in line with the figure for the whole of the UK (also 8.1% "religion not stated"). The crime rate in Leeds is well above the national average, like many other English major cities.[84][85] In July 2006, the think tank Reform calculated rates of crime for different offences and has related this to populations of major urban areas (defined as towns over 100,000 population). Leeds was 11th in this rating (excluding London boroughs, 23rd including London boroughs).[86] Total recorded crime in Leeds fell by 45% between 2002/03 and 2011/12.[79]

The table below details the population of the current area of the district since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data.

Population growth in City of Leeds since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
Population 94,421 108,459 137,476 183,015 222,189 249,992 311,197 372,402 433,607 503,493 552,479 606,250 625,854 646,119 668,667 692,003 715,260 739,401 696,732 716,760 715,404 751,500
% change +14.87 +26.75 +33.13 +21.40 +12.51 +24.48 +19.67 +16.44 +16.12 +9.73 +9.73 +3.23 +3.24 +3.49 +3.49 +3.36 +3.38 −5.77 +2.87 −0.19 +5.05
Source: Vision of Britain[87]


Civic Hall Leeds West Yorkshire
Leeds Civic Hall is the seat of local government.

The City of Leeds is the local government district covering Leeds, and the local authority is Leeds City Council. The council is composed of 99 councillors, three for each of the district's wards. Elections are held three years out of four, on the first Thursday of May. One third of the councillors are elected, for a four-year term, in each election. The council is currently controlled by Labour. West Yorkshire does not have a county council, so Leeds City Council is the primary provider of local government services for the city. The district is in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.

Most of the district is an unparished area. In the unparished area, there is no lower tier of government. Outside the unparished area, there are 31 civil parishes, represented by parish councils. These are the lowest tier of local government[88] and absorb some limited functions from Leeds City Council in their areas.

The district is represented by eight MPs, for the constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative); Leeds Central (Hilary Benn, Labour); Leeds East (Richard Burgon, Labour); Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton, Labour); Leeds North West (Alex Sobel, Labour); Leeds West (Rachel Reeves, Labour); Morley and Outwood (constituency shared with City of Wakefield) (Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative); and Pudsey (Stuart Andrew, Conservative). Leeds is within the Yorkshire and the Humber European constituency, which as of May 2017 is represented by two UKIP, two Labour, and two Conservative Members of the European Parliament.

In addition to other national governmental offices, the city is home to a large Department for Work and Pensions office building located in Quarry Hill, notable for its imposing design.


Infirmary Street, Leeds 2012
Infirmary Street in the heart of Leeds' Financial District
Leeds CBD at night
Central Business District at night.

Leeds has the most diverse economy of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private sector jobs growth of any UK city and has the highest ratio of public to private sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities. The city has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015.[89] 24.7% were in public administration, education and health, 23.9% were in banking, finance and insurance and 21.4% were in distribution, hotels and restaurants. It is in the banking, finance and insurance sectors that Leeds differs most from the financial structure of the region and the nation.[90] In 2011, the financial and services industry in Leeds was worth £2.1 billion, the fifth-largest in the UK, behind London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham.[16] Tertiary industries such as retail, call centres, offices and media have contributed to a high rate of economic growth. The city also hosts the only subsidiary office of the Bank of England in the UK. In 2012 GVA for the city was recorded at £18.8 billion,[91] with the entire Leeds City Region generating a £56 billion economy.[5]

It is the largest centre outside London for financial and business services. Over the next ten years, the economy is forecast to grow by 25% with financial and business services set to generate over half of GVA growth over that period with Finance and business services accounting for 38% of total output. Other key sectors include retail, leisure and the visitor economy, construction, manufacturing and the creative and digital industries.[5]

Leeds has over 30 national and international banks, many of whose northern or regional offices are based in the city. It is the headquarters for First Direct and Yorkshire Bank, and has large Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS Group operations.[92]

The city is also an important centre for equity, venture and risk finance. Founded in Leeds, the venture capital provider, YFM Equity Partners, is now the UK's largest provider of risk capital to small and medium-sized enterprises.[92]

Other major companies based in the city include William Hill, International Personal Finance, Asda, Leeds Building Society and Northern Foods. Capita Group, KPMG, Direct Line, Aviva, Yorkshire Building Society, BT Group, Telefónica Europe (otherwise known as O2) and TD Waterhouse all also have a considerable presence in the city.[92]

There are around 150 law firms operating in Leeds, employing over 6,700 people. According to The UK Legal 500, "Leeds has a sophisticated and highly competitive legal market, second only to London."[93]

Specialist legal expertise to be found in Leeds includes corporate finance, corporate restructuring and insolvency, global project financing, trade and investment, commercial litigation, competition, construction, Private Finance Initiatives and Public Private Partnerships, tax, derivatives, IT, employment, pensions, intellectual property, sport and entertainment.[93]

The establishment of an Administrative Court in Leeds in April 2009 reinforced Leeds' position as one of the UK's key legal centres. The court previously sat only in London.[93]

Leeds is the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre and 50% of the UK's manufacturing base is within a two-hour drive of Leeds. With around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city. The largest sub-sectors are engineering, printing and publishing, food and drink, chemicals and medical technology.[17]

There is also an established creative industry in the city, particularly in the digital gaming sector. A number of large developers have studios in and around the city, including Activision, developers of the mobile versions of the Call of Duty series, and Rockstar Leeds, developers of the Grand Theft Auto series. In 2009 Leeds was the first city outside London to host the Eurogamer Expo.

Park Row - Leeds
Park Row in Leeds' Central Business District

Office developments, also traditionally located in the inner area, have expanded south of the River Aire and total 11,000,000 square feet (1,000,000 m2) of space.[94] In the period from 1999 to 2008 £2.5bn of property development was undertaken in central Leeds; of which £711m has been offices, £265m retail, £389m leisure and £794m housing. Manufacturing and distribution uses accounts for £26m of new property development in the period. There are 130,100 jobs in the city centre, accounting for 31% of all jobs in the wider district. In 2007, 47,500 jobs were in finance and business, 42,300 in public services, and 19,500 in retail and distribution. 43% of finance sector jobs in the district are contained in Leeds city centre and 44% of those employed in the city centre live more than nine kilometres (5.6 miles) away.[94]

Tourism is important to the Leeds economy, in 2009 Leeds was the eighth-most visited city in England by UK visitors.[95] and the 13th-most visited city by overseas visitors.[96] Research by VisitEngland reported that the day visitor market to Leeds attracts 24.9 million people each year, worth over £654 million to the local economy.[97] In the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler survey of readers, Leeds rated 6th among The 15 Best Cities in the UK for visitors.[98]

In 2016, Leeds received 27.29 million leisure tourist visits generating over £1.6bn for the city, according to data from a STEAM survey. That was a 15.9% increase in revenue over 2015. A 9.7% increase in visits had been recorded since 2013.[99] The industry supported over 19,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2016.[100]

In January 2011, Leeds was named as one of five "cities to watch" in a report published by Centre for Cities.[101] The report shows that the average resident in Leeds earns £471 per week,[102] seventeenth nationally and 30.9% of Leeds residents had NVQ4+ high-level qualifications,[103] fifteenth nationally. Employment in Leeds was 68.8% in the period June 2012 to June 2013, which was lower than the national average, whilst unemployment was higher than the national average at 9.6% over the same time period.[104] It also shows that Leeds will be the least affected major city by welfare cuts in 2014/2015, with welfare cuts of £125 per capita predicted, compared to £192 in Liverpool and £175 in Glasgow.[105] Leeds is overall less deprived than other large UK cities and average income is above regional averages.[79]

Public sector

In Leeds, 108,000 people work in the public sector—24% of the workforce. The largest employers are Leeds City Council, with 33,000 staff, and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with 14,000 staff.[106]

Leeds has become a hub of public-sector health bodies. The Department of Health, NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Digital, and Public Health England all have large offices in Leeds. Europe's largest teaching hospital is also based in Leeds, and is home to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, the largest of its kind in Europe.[107]

Key government departments and organisations in Leeds include the Department for Work and Pensions, with over 3,000 staff, the Department of Health, with over 800 staff, HM Revenue and Customs with over 1,200 staff and the British Library with 1,100 staff.[106]


County Arcade Victoria Quarter Leeds
Victoria Quarter, opened in 1900
King Edward Street
Pinnacle, Leeds 16
Trinity Leeds is Leeds' largest shopping centre
Opening day, Victoria Gate, Leeds (20th October 2016) 004
Victoria Gate is Leeds' newest shopping centre

The extensive retail area of Leeds is identified as the principal regional shopping centre for the whole of the Yorkshire and the Humber region with a catchment of 5.5 million people offering a spend of £1.93 billion annually.[108] There are a number of indoor shopping centres in the centre of the city, including the Merrion Centre, St John's Centre, The Core, the Victoria Quarter, The Light, the Corn Exchange, Trinity Leeds, and Victoria Gate.[109] In total there are well over 1,000 retail stores, with a combined floorspace of 3,660,000 square feet (340,000 m2).[94] in Leeds City Centre.

The city centre has a large pedestrian zone. Briggate is the main shopping street where one can find many well-known British High Street stores, including Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Topshop, Costa Coffee and Harvey Nichols. Many companies have several stores within Central Leeds and the wider city. The Victoria Quarter is notable for its high-end luxury retailers and impressive architecture. 70 stores such as Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Diesel and anchor Harvey Nichols are contained within two iron-wrought Victorian arcades, and a new arcade formed by arcading Queen Victoria Street with the largest expanse of stained glass in Britain.[110][111]

In the Churwell area of Leeds is the White Rose Shopping Centre. Opening in 1997, the centre has over 100 high street stores anchored by Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Primark and Sainsbury's. Some stores have their only Leeds presence here and do not trade in Central Leeds, such as the Disney Store and Build-A-Bear workshop. Although the centre is below the average typical size for out of town shopping malls like the Trafford Centre or Meadowhall in nearby Yorkshire city Sheffield, it remains popular with national and international chains. Of the 40,000 people who work in retailing in Leeds 75% work in places which are not located in the city centre. There are additional shopping centres located in the many villages that became part of the county borough and in the towns that were incorporated in the City of Leeds in 1974.[112]

On 21 March 2013, a large shopping and leisure complex called Trinity Leeds opened in the city centre. The modern and interactive retail space covers the old Burton Arcades and the former Leeds Shopping Plaza with its main entrance from Briggate.[113]

On 20 October 2016, the newest shopping destination called Victoria Gate opened its doors to the public. The new shopping mall houses a flagship John Lewis store, the largest outside London. Seventy-five per cent of the stores that opened in Victoria Gate were new to Leeds with many of those stores being the first outside of London.[114]


Kirkstall Abbey at sunset
Kirkstall Abbey. Founded c. 1152

Leeds displays a variety of natural and built landmarks. Natural landmarks include such diverse sites as the gritstone outcrop of Otley Chevin and the Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve. The city's parks at Roundhay and Temple Newsam have long been owned and maintained by the council for the benefit of ratepayers and among the open spaces in the centre of Leeds are Millennium Square, City Square, Park Square and Victoria Gardens. This last is the site of the central city war memorial: there are 42 other war memorials in the suburbs, towns and villages in the district.[115]

The built environment embraces edifices of civic pride like Morley Town Hall and the trio of buildings in Leeds, Leeds Town Hall, Corn Exchange and Leeds City Museum by the architect Cuthbert Brodrick. The two white buildings on the Leeds skyline are the Parkinson building of Leeds University and the Civic Hall, with golden owls adorning the tops of the latter's twin spires.[116]

Armley Mills, Tower Works, with its campanile-inspired towers, and the Egyptian-style Temple Works hark back to the city's industrial past, while the site and ruins of Kirkstall Abbey display the beauty and grandeur of Cistercian architecture. Notable churches are Leeds Minster (formerly Leeds Parish Church), St George's Church and Leeds Cathedral, in the city centre, and the Church of St John the Baptist, Adel and Bardsey Parish Church in quieter locations. Notable non-conformist chapels include the Salem Chapel, dating back to 1791 and notably the birthplace of Leeds United Football Club in 1919.[117][118]

Leeds is one of only a few UK cities outside of London to have a significant number of high-rise buildings, the 112-metre (367 ft) tower of Bridgewater Place, also known as The Dalek, is part of a major office and residential development and the region's tallest building; it can be seen for miles around.[119] Bridgewater Place has been the subject of debate as its erection in 2007 caused significant wind tunnel effects, channeling strong wind currents across Victoria Road. There have been numerous injuries attributed to the inadequate architecture of this building[120] and Water Lane is frequently closed when high winds are expected. Leeds City Council are undertaking construction work in an attempt to deflect the wind from street level and the building owners of Bridgewater Place agreed to pay to cover the public money being spent.[121] Among other Skyscrapers the 37-storey Sky Plaza to the north of the city centre stands on higher ground so that its 106 metres (348 ft) is higher than Bridgewater Place.

Elland Road (football) and Headingley Stadium (cricket and rugby) are well known to sports enthusiasts and the White Rose Centre is a well-known retail outlet.

Leeds city centre, viewed from South Leeds at night


Leeds has been identified as one of the most car-dependent cities in the UK.[122] In one 2012 study of 31 European cities, Leeds-Bradford was rated as the seventh-most grid-locked.[123][124] Drivers spend an average of 80 hours in congestion.[125] Measurements taken on some main roads in Leeds have revealed pollution levels over twice the legal limits.[126]

The main reason for these problems is the fact that unlike other cities in the UK similar in size to Leeds, such as Manchester and Sheffield, Leeds does not have a rapid transport system (such as the Manchester Metrolink or Sheffield Supertram). Therefore, commuters tend to either drive or use buses, which can be delayed when the roads are congested. There were plans for a Leeds Supertram in the 1990s, and £500 million in funding was to be provided; however, due to spiraling costs the plans were cancelled by the Transport Minister Alistair Darling in 2005, even though £40 million had already been spent on the project. Hopes were renewed with the proposal for a £250 million New Generation Transport Trolleybus service in 2007; however, after a long wait and millions of pounds spent on inquiries, the plans were cancelled in May 2016 citing little value for money.[127]

Leeds will introduce a clean air zone from January 2020, which will charge the most polluting buses, coaches HGVs £50 a day to enter the city, while taxis and private hire vehicles which are not clean enough will be charged £12.50 a day. The proposals came after the government ordered the council to come up with ways to lower the air pollution in the city, which causes around 29,000 premature deaths in the UK.[128]


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M621 heading towards Central Leeds

Leeds is the starting point of the A62, A63, A64, A65 and A660 roads, and is also situated on the A58 and A61. The M1 and M62 intersect to its south and the A1(M) passes to the east. Leeds is one of the principal hubs of the northern motorway network. Additionally, there is an urban motorway network; the radial M621 takes traffic into central Leeds from the M62 and M1. There is an Inner Ring Road with part motorway status and an Outer Ring Road. Part of the city centre[129] is pedestrianised, and is encircled by the clockwise-only Loop Road.


Public transport in the Leeds area is coordinated and developed by West Yorkshire Metro,[130] with service information provided by Leeds City Council[131] and West Yorkshire Metro. The primary means of public transport in Leeds are the bus services. The main provider is First Leeds and Arriva Yorkshire serves routes to the south of the city. Leeds City bus station is at Dyer Street and is used by bus services to towns and cities in Yorkshire, plus a small number of local services. Adjacent to it is the coach station for National Express coach services. Buses out of the city are mainly provided by First Leeds and Arriva Yorkshire. Harrogate Bus Company provides a service to Harrogate and Ripon. Keighley Bus Company provides a service to Shipley, Bingley and Keighley. The Yorkshire Coastliner service runs from Leeds to Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough and Whitby via York and Malton. Stagecoach in Hull provides a service to Hull via Goole. Stagecoach Yorkshire provides services to Barnsley.


From Leeds railway station at New Station Street, West Yorkshire Metro trains operated by Northern run to Leeds' suburbs and onwards to all parts of Leeds City Region. The station is one of the busiest in England outside London, with over 900 trains and 50,000 passengers passing through every day.[132] It provides national and international connections as well as services to local and regional destinations. The station itself has 17 platforms, making it the largest in England outside London.[133]

The city and metropolitan borough of Leeds is served by 16 railway stations and there are plans to open several more within the next 20 years.[134]


Leeds Bradford International Airport is located in Yeadon, about 10 miles (16 km) to the north-west of the city centre, and has both charter and scheduled flights to destinations within Europe plus Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and the USA. There is a direct rail service from Leeds to Manchester Airport; however, there isn't one to the nearby Leeds Bradford Airport. Humberside Airport is 70 miles (113 km) east of Leeds.


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Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe
Temple Newsam
The Mansion at Temple Newsam


The Leeds Country Way is a waymarked circular walk of 62 miles (100 km) through the rural outskirts of the city, never more than 7 miles (11 km) from City Square. The Meanwood Valley Trail leads from Woodhouse Moor along Meanwood Beck to Golden Acre Park. The Leeds extension of the Dales Way follows the Meanwood Valley Trail before it branches off to head towards Ilkley and Windermere. Leeds is on the northern section of the Trans Pennine Trail for walkers and cyclists, and the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is another popular walking and cycling route. The White Rose Way walking trail to Scarborough begins at City Square. In addition, there are many parks and public footpaths in both the urban and rural parts of Leeds, and The Ramblers' Association, YHA and other walking organisations offer sociable walks. The Ramblers' Association publish various booklets of walks in and around Leeds.[135]

Parks and open spaces

Leeds has many large parks and open spaces. Roundhay Park is the largest park in the city, and is one of the largest city parks in Europe. The park has more than 700 acres (2.8 km2)[136] of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens which are all owned by Leeds City Council. Other parks in the city include: Beckett Park, Bramley Fall Park, Cross Flatts Park, East End Park, Golden Acre Park, Gotts Park,[137] the gardens and grounds of Harewood House, Horforth Hall Park, Meanwood Park, Middleton Park, Potternewton Park, Pudsey Park,[138] Temple Newsam, Western Flatts Park and Woodhouse Moor. There are many more smaller parks and open spaces scattered around the city, which makes Leeds one of the greenest cities in the United Kingdom in a 2017 survey. Leeds was ranked at number seven, just behind Sheffield, but ahead of Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool.[139]



At the time of the 2001 census Leeds had a population of 183,000 young people aged 0–19 of whom 110,000 were attending local authority schools.[140] In 2008 Education Leeds, a non-profit company owned by Leeds City Council, provided for 220 primary schools, 39 secondary schools and 6 special inclusive learning centres.[141] Under the government Building Schools for the Future initiative, Leeds secured £260m to transform 13 secondary schools into high achieving, e-confident, inclusive schools. The first three of these schools at Allerton High School, Pudsey Grangefield School and Rodillian School were opened in September 2008.[142] The demand for primary school places in Leeds has recently hit a 15-year peak, with an estimated 10,500 new starters this year.[143] The city's oldest and largest private school is the Grammar School at Leeds, which was legally re-created in 2005 following the merger of Leeds Grammar School, established 1552, and Leeds Girls' High School, established 1876. Other independent schools in Leeds include faith schools serving the Jewish[144] and Muslim[145] communities.

Leeds was one of a number of local authorities to try the three-tier system with first, middle and secondary schools. It reverted to the two-tier system in 1992.

Further and higher education

Broadcasting Tower, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Broadcasting Tower at the Leeds Beckett University

Further education in Leeds is provided by Elliott Hudson College, Leeds City College (formed by a merger in 2009 and having over 60,000 students), Leeds College of Building, and Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College.

Institutions providing higher education include:

The University of Leeds has about 31,000 students, of which 21,500 are full-time or sandwich undergraduate degree students,[147] Leeds Beckett University has 25,805[148] students of which 12,000 are full-time or sandwich undergraduate degree students and 2,100 full-time or sandwich HND students.[149] Leeds Trinity University has just under 3,000 students.[150] The city was voted the Best UK University Destination by a survey in The Independent newspaper.[151]



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Henry Moore Statue outside Leeds Art Gallery

Although the city's municipal art gallery did not open until 1888, art practise and collecting has a long history in Leeds. J. M. W. Turner painted numerous scenes in and around the city,[152] and the city was home to one of Britain's largest collections of Pre-Raphaelite Art, owned by Thomas Plint, during the nineteenth century.[153] There was also an early history of holding large-scale public exhibitions in the city, most notably the series of 'Polytechnic Exhibitions' held regularly from 1839.[154]

Leeds produced many notable artists and sculptors, including Kenneth Armitage, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Jacob Kramer, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Edward Wadsworth and Joash Woodrow, and was the centre for a particularly radical strain of British art. Before the First World War Leeds was the home of an unusual modernist arts organisation, called the Leeds Arts Club, founded by Alfred Orage, which lasted from 1903 to 1923. Notable members included Jacob Kramer, Herbert Read, Frank Rutter and Michael Sadler. As well as advocating a radical political agenda, supporting the Suffragettes, the Independent Labour Party and the Fabian Society, and promoting the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, the Leeds Arts Club was almost unique in Britain as being an exponent of German Expressionist ideas about art and culture. As a result, it staged very early British exhibitions of work by European expressionist artists, such as Wassily Kandinsky, showing their work in the city as early as 1913,[155] and produced its own English Expressionist artists, including Jacob Kramer and Bruce Turner.[156]

In the 1920s Leeds College of Art was the starting point for the careers of the sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and in the 1950s, and 1960s it was one of the leading centres for radical art education in Britain under the guidance of artists such as Harry Thubron and Tom Hudson, and the art historian Norbert Lynton. Their attempts to redefine what art education should mean in the post-Second World War period led the artist Patrick Heron to claim in 1971 in The Guardian newspaper that "Leeds is the most influential art school in Europe since the Bauhaus".[157] This willingness to push at the boundaries of acceptable public behaviour from artists was also evident in 1966 when Leeds College of Art staged an exhibition of paintings by the Cypriot artist Stass Paraskos, who taught at the College, which was raided by the police after allegations of obscenity.[158]

This radicalism continued into the 1970s when the higher education component of Leeds College of Art was split from the college to form the nucleus of the new multidisciplinary Leeds Polytechnic, now called Leeds Beckett University. Performance art had been taught earlier at Leeds College of Art, notably by the Fluxus artist Robin Page during his time as a tutor there in the mid-1960s, but in 1977 a performance art work hit the national news headlines when the students Pete Parkin and Derek Wain used an air pistol to shoot a line up of live budgerigars in front of an audience at Leeds Polytechnic.[159]

The University of Leeds was the alma mater of Herbert Read, one of the leading international theorists of modern art from the mid-twentieth century,[160] and also the teaching base for the Marxist art historian Arnold Hauser from 1951 to 1985.[161] Partly due to Herbert Read's connection with the University, from 1950 to 1970 the University was the host of one of the first artist-in-residence schemes in Britain, using funding from the then owner of Lund Humphries books, Peter Gregory. The Gregory Fellowships, as the residencies were known, were given to painters and sculptors for up to two years to allow them to develop their own work and influence the University in any way they saw fit. Amongst those holding the fellowships were Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Dennis Creffield and Terry Frost and others. Parallel Gregory Fellowships also existed in music and poetry at the University.[162]

Leeds was also a centre for radical feminist art, with one of the first galleries in Britain dedicated to showing the work of women photographers, the Pavilion Gallery, opening in the city in 1983, and the University of Leeds School of Fine Art being a well-known centre for the development of feminist art history, under Griselda Pollock, during the 1980s and 1990s. Possibly as a result of the strength of feminist art in Leeds, in November 1984 an exhibition of ceramics by students and staff at Leeds Polytechnic was attacked by a group of feminist activists who destroyed eight sculptures on display which they deemed to be degrading to women.[163] The University of Leeds's School of Fine Art also specialised in Art & Language conceptual art practice, under Terry Atkinson, again in the 1980s and 1990s.[164]

A major sculpture research centre and gallery, the Henry Moore Institute, is located alongside Leeds Art Gallery in the city centre, and in 2013 a new contemporary art centre, called The Tetley, opened on the site of the former Tetley Brewery to the south of the city centre.

In March 2017, The Times voted Leeds as the number one cultural place to live in Britain. This was ahead of London, Birmingham, St Ives, Stratford-upon-Avon and Cheltenham. The citation notes that Leeds has Opera North, the Northern Ballet, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, amongst may other attractions that ranked it at number one.[165]

Carnivals and festivals

7.10.16 Light Night Leeds 088 (30096460721)
Light Night: One of the UK’s largest annual arts and light festivals

Leeds West Indian Carnival is Western Europe's oldest West Indian Carnival, and the UK's third-largest after the Notting Hill and Nottingham Carnival.[166][167] It attracts around 100,000 people over 2 days to the streets of Chapeltown and Harehills. There is a large procession that finishes at Potternewton Park, where there are stalls, entertainment and refreshments. The Leeds Festival, featuring some of the biggest names in rock and indie music, takes place every year in Bramham Park. The Leeds Asian Festival, formerly the Leeds Mela, is held in Roundhay Park.[168] The Otley Folk Festival (patron: Nic Jones),[169] Walking Festival,[170] Carnival[171] and Victorian Christmas Fayre[172] are annual events. Light Night Leeds takes place each October,[173] and many venues in the city are open to the public for Heritage Open Days in September.[174] The Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, established in 1963 by Fanny Waterman and Marion Stein, has been held in the city every three years since 1963 and has launched the careers of many major concert pianists. The Leeds International Concert Season, which includes orchestral and choral concerts in Leeds Town Hall and other events, is the largest local authority music programme in the UK.[175]

The Leeds International Film Festival is the largest film festival in England outside London[176] and shows films from around the world. It incorporates the highly successful Leeds Young People's Film Festival, which features exciting and innovative films made both for and by children and young people.[177] Garforth is host to the fortnight-long festival The Garforth Arts Festival which has been an annual event since 2005. The Chapel Allerton Arts Festival is a week-long music and arts event starting in 1998 and held the week after August Bank Holiday each year.[178] The Leeds Festival Fringe is a week long-music festival created in 2010 to showcase local talent in the week prior to Leeds Festival.

Light Night is a huge fixture on the calendar, taking place in the first week of October, turning the entire city into an art installation, with light shows, projections, installations and lots more.

Other festivals include Transform and Thought Bubble.


In October 1888 Louis Le Prince filmed moving picture sequences Roundhay Garden Scene and a Leeds Bridge street scene using his single-lens camera and Eastman's paper film.[179] These were several years before the work of competing inventors such as Auguste and Louis Lumière and Thomas Edison. Today, Leeds International Film Festival's International Short Film Competition is named after Louis Le Prince.[180] The 2015 documentary film The First Film, which first aired at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, documents Le Prince's pioneering status.[181]

Wordsworth Donisthorpe who was also from Leeds, filmed the second-oldest-surviving film. It is not known if he and Louis Le Prince ever met but they both had a strong connection to the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. Donisthorpe's patent for a camera to capture the moving image pre dated Le Prince's by twelve years.

Leeds has a rich film exhibition culture. In addition to the Leeds International Film Festival and Leeds Young Film Festival, the city hosts numerous independent cinemas and pop-up venues for film screenings.[182] The Cottage Road Cinema and Hyde Park Picture House have continuously been showing films since 1912 and 1914, respectively, which ranks them among the oldest still-running cinemas in the UK.[183]


Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd, owned by Johnston Press plc, is based in the city, and produces a daily morning broadsheet, The Yorkshire Post, and an evening paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP). The YEP has a website which includes a series of community pages which focus on specific areas of the city.[184] The Wetherby News covers mainly areas within the north eastern sector of the district, and the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, published in Ilkley, covers the north west, both appearing weekly. The two largest universities both have student newspapers, the weekly Leeds Student from the University of Leeds and the monthly The Met from Leeds Beckett University. The Leeds Guide was a fortnightly listings magazine, which was established in 1997 and ceased publication in 2012. Free publications include the Leeds Weekly News, produced by Yorkshire Post Newspapers in four geographic versions and distributed to households in the main urban area of the city,[185] and the regional version of Metro which is distributed on buses and at railway stations.

Regional television and radio stations have bases in the city: BBC Television and ITV both have regional studios and broadcasting centres in Leeds, in addition to Channel 4 having recently announced that their national HQ will be located in Leeds.[186] ITV Yorkshire, formerly Yorkshire Television, broadcasts from the Leeds Studios on Kirkstall Road. There are a number of independent film production companies, including the not-for-profit cooperative Leeds Animation Workshop, founded in 1978; community video producers Vera Media and several small commercial production companies. BBC Radio Leeds, Radio Aire, Greatest Hits Radio, Capital Yorkshire, Heart Yorkshire and Yorkshire Radio broadcast from the city. LSRfm.com, is based in Leeds University Union, and regularly hosts outside broadcasts around the city. Many communities within Leeds now have their own local radio stations, such as East Leeds FM and Tempo FM for Wetherby and the surrounding areas.

Made in Leeds is a local television station which launched across the city in 2014.[187] A privately owned television station: Leeds Television is run by volunteers and supported by professionals in the media industry.


Leeds Museum Discovery Centre 2017
Leeds Museum Discovery Centre

A new Leeds City Museum opened in 2008[188] in Millennium Square. Abbey House Museum is housed in the former gatehouse of Kirkstall Abbey, and includes walk-through Victorian streets and galleries describing the history of the abbey, childhood, and Victorian Leeds. Armley Mills Industrial Museum is housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill,[189] and includes industrial machinery and railway locomotives. This museum also shows the first known moving pictures in the world which were taken in the city, by Louis Le Prince, of a Roundhay Garden Scene and of Leeds Bridge in 1888. These short film clips can be found on YouTube.

Thwaite Mills Watermill Museum is a fully restored 1820s water-powered mill on the River Aire to the east of the city centre. The Thackray Museum is a museum of the history of medicine, featuring topics such as Victorian public health, pre-anaesthesia surgery, and safety in childbirth. It is housed in a former workhouse next to St James's Hospital. The Royal Armouries Museum opened in 1996 in a dramatic modern building when this part of the national collection was transferred from the Tower of London. Nearby is the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre (formerly housed at the Leeds Museum Resource Centre in Yeadon),[190] the major storage of items not currently on display in museums, and open to the public by appointment.[190][191]

Leeds Art Gallery houses important collections of traditional and contemporary British art, with the best twentieth century collection outside London and a colourful wall painting for the Victorian staircase by Lothar Götz.[192] Just next door, The Henry Moore Institute is dedicated to celebrating sculpture. In the iconic building, they host a year-round changing programme of historical, modern and contemporary exhibitions presenting sculpture from across the world. Located in the striking art deco headquarters of the former brewery, The Tetley is a centre for contemporary art, centred on creativity, innovation and experimentation.

Smaller museums in Leeds include Otley Museum; Horsforth Village Museum;[193] ULITA, an Archive of International Textiles;[194] and the museum at Fulneck Moravian Settlement.

Music, theatre and dance

Leeds is home to the refurbished Grand Theatre where the only national opera company outside London, Opera North, is based.[195] The City Varieties Music Hall is one of the UK's few remaining music halls, and famously hosted performances by Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini. It was also the venue of the BBC television programme The Good Old Days. The newest theatre, containing two auditoriums, is the Leeds Playhouse, which had formerly been known as the West Yorkshire Playhouse.[196][197][198] Just south of Leeds Bridge once stood The Theatre which hosted Sarah Siddons and Ching Lau Lauro in 1786 and 1834, respectively.[199][200]

Leeds is also home to Phoenix Dance Theatre, who were formed in the Harehills area of the city in 1981, and Northern Ballet Theatre.[201] In autumn 2010 the two companies moved into a purpose-built dance centre which is the largest space for dance outside London. It is also the only space for dance to house a national classical and a national contemporary dance company alongside each another.[202]

The First Direct Arena[203] opened in September 2013. The 13,500-seater stadium is rapidly becoming the city's number one venue for live music, indoor sports and many other events. Concerts are also held at the O2 Academy, Elland Road, which has hosted groups such as Queen and Kaiser Chiefs, among others and at the universities. Roundhay Park in north Leeds has seen some of the world's biggest artists including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Williams.

Popular musical acts originating from Leeds include Soft Cell, Kaiser Chiefs, The Pigeon Detectives, The Wedding Present, The Sunshine Underground, The Sisters of Mercy, Hadouken!, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Pulled Apart by Horses, Gang of Four, Hood, The Rhythm Sisters, Utah Saints, Alt-J and Melanie B of the Spice Girls.[204][205][206][207][208][209]

On Valentine's Day 1970, The Who performed and recorded their album Live at Leeds at the Leeds University refectory. Since its initial reception, Live at Leeds has been cited by several music critics as the best live rock recording of all time.[210][211][212]


Leeds has the fourth largest student population in the country (over 200,000[213]), and is therefore one of the UK's hotspots for night-life. There are a large number of pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants, as well as a multitude of venues for live music. The full range of music tastes is catered for in Leeds. It includes the original home of the famous club nights Back 2 Basics, Speedqueen and Vague.[214] Morley was the location of techno club The Orbit.[215] Leeds has a number of large 'super-clubs' and there is a selection of independent clubs such as Club Mission and Mint Club, which is consistently ranked as one of the world's best clubs by DJ Magazine. Two other Leeds clubs, The Warehouse and The Garage, featured in the Top 100 Clubs list from 2013.[216]

Leeds has a well established LGBT+ nightlife scene, predominantly located in the Freedom Quarter on Lower Briggate.[217] The New Penny is one of the UK’s longest running LGBT+ venues, and Leeds oldest gay bar. Award-winning Viaduct Showbar entertains seven days a week with drag cabaret, live shows and DJs. Other places include The Bridge, Blayds bar, Tunnel Leeds and Queens Court.

Towards Millennium Square is a growing entertainment district providing for both students and weekend visitors. The square has many bars and restaurants and a large outdoor screen. Millennium Square is a venue for large seasonal events such as a Christmas market, gigs and concerts, citywide parties and the Rhythms of the City Festival. It is adjacent to the Mandela Gardens, which were opened by Nelson Mandela in 2001. A number of public art features, fountains, a canal and greenery can be found here.

Yorkshire has a great history of real ale,[218] but several bars near the railway station are fusing traditional beers with a modern bar. Popular bars such as this include The Hop, The Cross Keys and The Brewery Tap.


Elland Road Stadium Leeds
Elland Road Stadium

The city has teams representing all the major national sports. Leeds United FC is the city's main football club, additional clubs include Guiseley AFC and Farsley Celtic. Leeds United was formed in 1919 and plays at the 37,890-capacity Elland Road Stadium in Beeston. The team plays in the Championship after they won promotion to the EFL Championship in 2009/10 by beating Bristol Rovers 2–1. Guiseley was formed in 1909 and plays at the 4,000 capacity Nethermoor Park Stadium in Guiseley. The team plays in the National League North they won promotion to the National League for the first time ever in 2014/15 after beating Chorley 2–3. Farsley Celtic was formed in 1908 and plays in the Northern Premier League and their stadium is Throstle Nest.

Leeds Rhinos vs. Salford Red Devils, Headingley Stadium (21st April 2014) 013
Headingley Stadium, home of the Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos are the most successful rugby league team in Leeds. In 2009 they became first club to be Super League champions three seasons running, giving them their fourth Super League title.[219] They play their home games at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Hunslet, based at the John Charles Centre for Sport, play in the Co-Operative Championship One. East Leeds and Oulton Raiders play in the National Conference League. Bramley Buffaloes (previously Bramley), and Leeds Akkies were members of the Rugby League Conference.

Yorkshire Carnegie are the foremost rugby union team in Leeds and they play at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. They play in the RFU Championship having been relegated from The Guinness Premiership at the end of the 2010–11 season. Otley RUFC are a rugby union club based to the north of the city and compete in National League 2 North, whilst Morley RFC, located in Morley currently play in National Division Three North.

Carnegie Pavilion, Headingley Stadium, Leeds during the second day of the England- Sri Lanka test (21st April 2014) 001
Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley Stadium

Headingley stadium is home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club which is the most successful cricket team in England, with 33 County Championship wins (including one shared). Their main rivals are Lancashire.

Leeds City Athletic Club competes in the British Athletics League and UK Women's League as well as the Northern Athletics League.

Leeds is home to a number of field hockey clubs that compete in the North Hockey League, Yorkshire Hockey Association League and BUCS leagues. These include Leeds Hockey Club, Leeds Adel Carnegie Hockey Club, the University of Leeds Hockey Club and Leeds Beckett University Hockey Club.[220][221][222][223][224] Leeds Hockey Club Men's 1s gained promotion at the end of the 2016/2017 season to become Leeds' first hockey team competing in a National League.[225]

The City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club[226] train at the John Charles Centre for Sport and are represented by swimmers throughout the whole of the North East. The club was founded in 2008 and only compete in National and International Competition.

The city has a wealth of sports facilities including the Elland Road football stadium, a host stadium during the 1996 European Football Championship; the Headingley Carnegie Stadiums, adjacent stadia world-famous for both cricket and rugby league and the John Charles Centre for Sport with an Olympic-sized pool in its Aquatics Centre[227] and includes a multi-use stadium. Other facilities include the Leeds Wall (climbing) and Yeadon Tarn sailing centre. In 1929 the first Ryder Cup of Golf to be held on British soil was competed for at the Moortown Golf club in Leeds and Wetherby has a National Hunt racecourse.[228] In the period 1928 to 1939 speedway racing was staged in Leeds on a track at the greyhound stadium known as Fullerton Park, adjacent to Elland Road. The track entered a team in the 1931 Northern league.

The 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ took place from the Headrow in Leeds city centre on 5 July 2014.

Leeds is well known for its divers and features some of the best diving facilities in the UK. City of Leeds Diving Club who train at the John Charles Centre for Sport has trained many athletes who have competed at international and Olympic level, with Jack Laugher and Chris Mears making history by becoming the first ever divers from Great Britain to win an Olympic gold medal, a feat they accomplished at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Club League Venue Location Established Top flight championships
Leeds Rhinos Super League Headingley Stadium Headingley, Leeds 1870 11
Hunslet League 1 (rugby league) John Charles Centre for Sport Hunslet, Leeds 1883 2
Yorkshire Carnegie RFU Championship Headingley Stadium Headingley, Leeds 1991 0
Yorkshire County Cricket Club County Championship Headingley Stadium Headingley, Leeds 1863 33
Leeds United FC The Football League Championship Elland Road Stadium Beeston, Leeds 1919 3
Guiseley AFC National League North Nethermoor Park Guiseley, Leeds 1909
Farsley Celtic Northern Premier League Premier Division Throstle Nest Stadium Pudsey, Leeds 1908


The majority of people in Leeds identify themselves as Christian.[82] Leeds does not have a Church of England Cathedral: it is in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds (formerly in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds), headed by the Bishop of Leeds, which has cathedrals in Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield although the Bishop's residence has been in Leeds since 2008. The most important Anglican church is Leeds Minster, although St. George's has the largest congregation by far. Leeds has a Roman Catholic Cathedral, the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds. Many other Christian denominations and new religious movements are established in Leeds, including Assemblies of God, Baptist, Christian Scientist, Latter-day Saints ("LDS" or "Mormon"), Community of Christ, Greek Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Army, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Nazarene, Newfrontiers, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Seventh-day Adventist, Society of Friends ("Quakers"), Unitarian, United Reformed, Vineyard, an ecumenical Chinese church, Winners' Chapel and several independent churches.[229][230]

Sikh Temple, Chapeltown Road
Harehills Mosque

The proportion of Muslims in Leeds is slightly above average for the country (5.4% as of 2011).[82] Mosques can be found throughout the city, serving Muslim communities in Chapeltown, Harehills, Hyde Park and parts of Beeston. The largest mosque is Leeds Grand Mosque in Hyde Park.

The Sikh community is represented by gurdwaras (temples) spread across the city, the largest being in Chapeltown. There is also a colourful religious annual procession, called the Nagar Kirtan, into Millennium Square in the city centre on 13–14 April to celebrate Vaisakhi—the Sikh New Year and the birth of the religion. It is estimated that around 3,000 Sikhs in Leeds take part in this annual event.

Leeds' Jewish community is the third-largest in the United Kingdom, after London and Greater Manchester. The areas of Alwoodley and Moortown contain sizeable Jewish populations.[83] There are eight active synagogues in Leeds.[231]

The Hindu community in Leeds has a temple (mandir) at Hyde Park.[232] The temple has all the major Hindu deities and is dedicated to the Lord Mahavira of the Jains.[233]

Various Buddhist traditions are represented in Leeds,[234] including: Soka Gakkai, Theravada, Tibetan, Triratna Buddhist Community and Zen. The Buddhist community (sangha) comes together to celebrate the major festival of Wesak in May.

There is also a community of the Bahá'í Faith in Leeds.[235]

Public services

Water supply and sewerage services in Leeds are provided by Yorkshire Water, part of the Kelda Group. Prior to 1973 it had been provided by the Leeds Corporation. Leeds City Council has a target of 11MW of renewable energy from onshore wind by 2010 and an aspirational target of 75MW by 2020. There are currently no operational wind farms in Leeds, but a planning application by Banks Renewables Ltd for five turbines at Hook Moor near Micklefield was approved in 2011.[236]

Leeds central library 001
Leeds Central Library

The area is policed by the West Yorkshire Police. The force has five policing districts covering the West Yorkshire area, one of which covers Leeds. The Leeds District Headquarters is located at Elland Road in the South of the City. In the North West of the City the main stations are Weetwood and Woodhouse Lane; in the North East the main stations are Stainbeck near Chapel Allerton and Killingbeck; in the South the main stations are Leeds Central located on Park Street in the city centre and the District Headquarters itself. Fire and rescue services are provided by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. The fire stations in Leeds are: Cookridge, Gipton, Hunslet, Stanks, Moortown, Stanningley and the "Leeds" fire station (near city centre, on Kirkstall Road).

Health services are provided by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds Primary Care Trust[237] and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust[238][239] which provides mental health services. Leeds General Infirmary ("LGI") is a listed building with more recent additions and is in the city centre. St James's University Hospital, known locally as "Jimmy's"[240][241] is to the north east of the city centre and is the largest teaching hospital in Europe. Other NHS hospitals are Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfedale Hospital in Otley, and Leeds Dental Institute. The new NHS Leeds Website provides information on NHS services in Leeds.[242]

West Yorkshire Joint Services provides analytical, archaeological, archives, ecology, materials testing and trading standards services in Leeds and the other four districts of West Yorkshire. It was created following the abolition of the county council in 1986 and expanded in 1997, and is funded by the five district councils, pro rata to their population. The Leeds site of the archives service is in the former public library at Sheepscar, Leeds.[243]

Leeds City Council is responsible for over 50 public libraries across the whole city, including 5 mobile libraries. The main Central Library is located on the Headrow in the city centre.

See also

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  • Burt and Grady (1994). The Illustrated History of Leeds. Breedon Books. ISBN 9781873626351.
  • Fraser, Derek (1982). A History of Modern Leeds. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-0781-1.
  • Unsworth and Stillwell (2004). Twenty-First Century Leeds: Geographies of a Regional City. Leeds: Leeds University Press. ISBN 0-85316-242-5.

External links

Betty Brant

Elizabeth Brant is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a personal secretary (and later reporter) working for J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle, and thus acting as both a supporting character and love interest for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. She later becomes the girlfriend of Flash Thompson/Agent Venom.

Since her inception, the character has been featured in various media adaptations, such as feature films, television series and video games. For instance, she has been portrayed by Elizabeth Banks in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, and by Angourie Rice in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

City of Leeds

The City of Leeds ( ) is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Leeds City Council, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. The metropolitan district includes the administrative centre Leeds and the ten towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell, Wetherby and Yeadon. It has a population of 784,800 (mid-2017 est.), making it technically the second largest city in England by population behind Birmingham; it is also the second largest metropolitan district by area behind Doncaster.

The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England. The city is a merger of eleven former local government districts; the unitary City and County Borough of Leeds combined with the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey, the urban districts of Aireborough, Garforth, Horsforth, Otley and Rothwell, and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wharfedale and Wetherby from the West Riding of Yorkshire.

For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with the West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership. The City of Leeds is divided into 31 civil parishes and a single unparished area.

Elland Road

Elland Road is a football stadium in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, which has been the home of Leeds United FC since the club's formation in 1919. The stadium is the 13th largest football stadium in England, and the fourth largest outside the Premier League.

The ground has hosted FA Cup semi-final matches as a neutral venue, and England international fixtures, and was selected as one of eight Euro 96 venues. Elland Road was used by rugby league club Hunslet in the mid-1980s and hosted two matches of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The stadium has hosted concerts, including performances by rock bands Queen, U2, Happy Mondays and the Kaiser Chiefs.Elland Road has four stands – the Don Revie (North) Stand, the East Stand, the South Stand and the John Charles (West) Stand – and a capacity of 37,890. The record attendance of 57,892 was set on 15 March 1967 in an FA Cup 5th round replay against Sunderland. This was before the stadium became an all-seater venue as stipulated by the Taylor Report and the modern record is 40,287 for a Premiership match against Newcastle United on 22 December 2001.

Fabian Delph

Fabian Delph (born 21 November 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder or a left-back for Premier League club Manchester City and the English national team.

He was on the books of Bradford City as a youngster until he moved to Leeds United aged 11. Having played 45 matches for Leeds at League One level and once in the Championship, he transferred to Premier League club Aston Villa in August 2009 for £6 million. In 2012, he returned to Leeds for a short loan spell. Delph had a successful start to the 2012–13 Premier League season, leading Villa manager Paul Lambert to call for his inclusion in the England squad. In July 2015, Delph joined Manchester City for £8 million.

Delph represented England at under-19 and under-21 level and made his senior debut in a friendly against Norway on 3 September 2014.

James Milner

James Philip Milner (born 4 January 1986) is an English professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool. A versatile player, he has been used in many different positions such as on the wing, in midfield and at full back.Milner's talent in football, cricket, and long-distance running was recognised at a very young age. He represented his school in these sports and played football for amateur teams from Rawdon and Horsforth. He supported Leeds United from a young age and was a season ticket holder at the club. In 1996, he joined the Leeds United youth academy. He made his debut for the first team in 2002 aged only 16 and gained prominence as the youngest player to score in the Premier League.

While at Leeds United, he spent time on loan at Swindon Town to gain experience as a first-team player. Following his move to Newcastle United, he was loaned to Aston Villa for a season. He went on to make over 100 appearances for Newcastle, before returning to Aston Villa on a permanent transfer in 2008. After playing an influential role in Aston Villa's run to the 2010 League Cup Final and being named 2009–10 PFA Young Player of the Year, Milner joined Manchester City for a reported £26m transfer fee in 2010, going on to win the 2011–12 and 2013–14 Premier League titles, 2010–11 FA Cup and 2013–14 League Cup. After five seasons with Manchester City, Milner signed for Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015.

Milner made a record 46 appearances for the England national under-21 football team, playing at the 2007 and 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championships. He also played 61 appearances for the full English national team, scoring once against Moldova. He was selected for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup squads, as well as the 2012 and 2016 UEFA Euro Championships. Milner retired from international football in 2016.

Jersey Devil

In New Jersey and Philadelphia folklore, the Jersey Devil (a.k.a. the Leeds Devil) is a legendary creature said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The common description is that of a kangaroo-like or wyvern-like creature with a goat- or horse-like head, leathery bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. It has been reported to move quickly and is often described as emitting a high-pitched "blood-curdling scream".

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University (LBU), formerly known as Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU) and before that as Leeds Polytechnic, is a public university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It has campuses in the city centre and Headingley. The university’s origins can be traced to 1824, with the foundation of the Leeds Mechanics Institute. Leeds Polytechnic was formed in 1970, and was part of the Leeds Local Education Authority until it became an independent Higher Education Corporation on 1 April 1989. In 1992, the institution gained university status. The current name was adopted in September 2014.The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £221.4 million of which £3.4 million was from grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £217.1 million.

Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport (IATA: LBA, ICAO: EGNM) is located at Yeadon, in the City of Leeds Metropolitan District in West Yorkshire, England, about 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Leeds city centre itself, and about 9 miles (14 km) from Bradford city centre. It was opened in October 1931 as Yeadon Aerodrome, and is still often referred to as Yeadon Airport by locals. It serves the cities of Leeds and Bradford, as well as the wider Yorkshire region including the cities of York and Wakefield, and the District of Harrogate, and is the largest airport within Yorkshire. The airport was in public ownership until May 2007, when it was sold for £145.5 million to Bridgepoint Capital.Leeds Bradford has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P800) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers and for flight training. The Airport operates to many domestic and European destinations. The airport is also the highest in England at an elevation of 681 ft (208 m). By the number of passengers handled in 2016, Leeds Bradford was the 15th busiest airport in the UK. It is a base for Eastern Airways, Jet2.com and Ryanair.

Leeds Rhinos

The Leeds Rhinos are a professional rugby league club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Founded in 1870, they compete in the Super League, the top-level rugby league club competition for an English club, and have won the competition a record eight times since its inception in 1996. They play their home matches at Headingley Rugby Stadium, and are the 2017 Super League champions.

The club was known simply as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season. They are also historically known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds.

In 1895, Leeds was one of twenty-two rugby clubs which broke away from the Rugby Football Union and formed what is now the Rugby Football League. The club is owned by the same company that owns Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union team, who also play their home matches at Headingley.

Leeds have won thirteen Challenge Cups, eleven League championships and three World Club Challenge titles.

Leeds United F.C.

Leeds United Football Club (formerly Leeds United A.F.C.) is a professional association football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F.C. by the Football League and took over their Elland Road stadium. They play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.Leeds United have won three English league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Charity/Community Shields and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The club reached the 1975 European Cup Final, losing to Bayern Munich. Leeds also reached the semi-finals of the tournament's successor, the Champions League in 2001. The club were runners-up in the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1973. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s.

Leeds play in all-white kits at home matches. The club's badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram 'LUFC'. The club's anthem is 'Marching on Together'. Leeds share rivalries with Manchester United, Chelsea and Millwall, as well as with local teams such as Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a canal in Northern England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool.

Over a distance of 127 miles (204 km), it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line. It has several small branches, and in the early 21st century a new link was constructed into the Liverpool docks system.

Leeds railway station

Leeds railway station (also known as Leeds City railway station) is the mainline railway station serving the city centre of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is the third-busiest railway station in the UK outside London (as of 2018). It is located on New Station Street to the south of City Square, at the bottom of Park Row, behind the landmark Queens Hotel. It is one of 20 stations managed by Network Rail.Leeds is an important hub on the British rail network. The station is the terminus of the Leeds branch of the East Coast Main Line (on which London North Eastern Railway provides high speed inter-city services to London every half hour from the station) and is an important stop on the Cross Country Route between Scotland, the Midlands and South West England connecting to major cities such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Derby, Nottingham, Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. There are also regular inter-city services to major destinations throughout Northern England including Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield. It is also the terminus for trains running on the scenic Settle to Carlisle Line. Future expansion will link the station to the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) network.

Leeds is a major hub for local and regional destinations across Yorkshire such as to York, Scarborough, Hull, Doncaster and Sheffield. The station lies at the heart of the Metro commuter network for West Yorkshire providing services to Bradford, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Halifax.

With over 31 million passenger entries and exits between April 2017 and March 2018, Leeds is the busiest railway station in the North of England and the third-busiest railway station in the United Kingdom outside London, after Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central.

List of Leeds United F.C. seasons

This is a list of seasons played by Leeds United Football Club in English and European football. It covers the period from the club's inaugural season in 1919, following the demise of Leeds City earlier that year, to the end of the last completed season. It details the club's achievements in all major competitions, together with the top scorers and the average attendances for each season. Details of the abandoned 1939–40 season and unofficial Second World War leagues are not included.

Leeds United were founded in October 1919, taking the place in the Midland League vacated by Leeds City Reserves, and were elected to The Football League for the 1920–21 season. They won the Second Division title four years later to gain promotion to the top tier of English football, but had to wait almost 50 years before winning any major silverware, with success in the 1968 Football League Cup Final accompanied by success in Europe in the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The following season brought league success when Leeds won the First Division championship. Their success continued into the 1970s with victory in the 1971 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, the 1972 FA Cup Final, another league title in the 1973–74 season and runners-up in the 1975 European Cup Final. Leeds won the Second Division title in the 1989–90 season and were promoted back to the First Division. A third league title in the 1991–92 season, a second FA Charity Shield in the 1992 FA Charity Shield and a semi-final appearance in the UEFA Champions League in 2001, preceded a period of turbulence which culminated in relegation to League One in the 2006–07 season. They dropped out of the top two tiers of English football for the first time in their history in a season that saw them deducted ten points for going into administration. In 2010 Leeds United were promoted back into the Championship.

Leeds United have won the League Championship three times, three Second Division titles, the FA Cup once, the League Cup once, the Charity Shield twice and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice. All these honours were won under the management of either Arthur Fairclough, Don Revie or Howard Wilkinson. The club have also been runners-up five times in the League Championship, three times in the FA Cup, once each in the League Cup, the Charity Shield, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the Cup Winners' Cup and the European Cup, and lost the play-off to keep the Inter-City Fairs Cup trophy.

Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera (American Spanish: [maɾˈselo alˈβeɾto ˈβjelsa], nicknamed Loco Bielsa [ˈloko ˈβjelsa], English: Madman Bielsa; born 21 July 1955) is an Argentine football manager who is head coach of English side Leeds United.Bielsa has managed several football clubs and also the national teams of Argentina and Chile. He developed his career as coach of Newell's Old Boys, leading that team to several wins in the early 1990s, then moved to Mexico in 1992, briefly coaching Club Atlas and Club América. Bielsa returned to Argentina in 1997 to manage Vélez Sarsfield. With Chile, he achieved cult status due to the improved results of the national team under his leadership. His personality and gestures during his stint in Chile captured the attention of media and unleashed a series of minor controversies both in sports and politics. He had a two year-spell in Spain at Athletic Bilbao between 2011 and 2013, leading them to domestic and continental cup finals in the first season, though losing both. On 8 August 2015, Bielsa resigned as coach of Marseille after just over a year at the French club.

On 15 June 2018 he was appointed manager of Leeds United.

Reading and Leeds Festivals

The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival is held at Little John's Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading, near the Caversham Bridge (51°27′52″N 0°59′30″W). The Leeds event is held in Bramham Park, near Wetherby, the grounds of a historic house (53°52′04″N 1°23′17″W). Campsites are available at both sites and weekend tickets include camping. Day tickets are also sold.

The Reading Festival, the older of the two festivals, is the world's oldest popular music festival still in existence. Many of the UK's most successful rock and pop bands have played at the festival, including The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Who, Cream, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Genesis, Iron Maiden, The Jam, The Police, Status Quo, The Pogues, Blur, Pulp, Muse, The Cure, Radiohead, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro and Oasis. The festival has also hosted prominent international acts such as Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Metallica, Mika, Slipknot, Guns n' Roses, Eminem, Nirvana, Hole, Foo Fighters, blink-182, The Strokes, Green Day, Faith No More, Twenty One Pilots, My Chemical Romance and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The festival has had various musical phases over the years, but since the current two-site format was adopted in 1999, rock, alternative, indie, punk and metal have been the main genres featured in the line-up.

The festivals are run by Festival Republic, which was divested from Mean Fiddler Music Group. From 1998–2007 the festivals were known as the Carling Weekend: Reading and the Carling Weekend: Leeds for promotional purposes. In November 2007 the sponsored title was abolished after nine years and the Reading Festival reclaimed its original name.

In 2011, the capacity of the Reading site was 87,000, and the Leeds site was 75,000, an increase of several thousand on previous years.

The Yorkshire Post

The Yorkshire Post is a daily broadsheet newspaper, published in Leeds in northern England. It covers the whole of Yorkshire as well as parts of north Derbyshire and Lincolnshire but goes beyond just local news and its masthead carries the slogan "Yorkshire's National Newspaper". Alongside The Scotsman it is one of the flagship titles owned by Johnston Press. Founded in 1754, it is one of the oldest newspapers in the country.

Its focus on international and national news gives it a wider focus than that usually associated with a provincial newspaper; editions are available throughout the United Kingdom. It has satellite offices in Harrogate, Hull, Scarborough, Sheffield and York, as well as correspondents in Westminster and the City of London. The current editor is James Mitchinson.

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine (established 1831) and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College (which became the University of Manchester) and University College Liverpool (which became the University of Liverpool). In 1903 a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.For 2017-18 Leeds is ranked nationally between 10th (Times and Sunday Times) and 14th (The Guardian; The Complete University Guide). The university is ranked as the 31st best in Europe and was ranked 93rd in the QS World University Rankings for 2019. Leeds was ranked in the top three in the UK and the top 20 in the world for graduate employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016), and it was also ranked as the fifth most targeted British university by the UK's top graduate employers in 2016-17. Leeds was ranked 10th in the UK for research power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the best result in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. The university was named the 2017 Sunday Times University of the Year, having been runner-up in 2016.The university has 33,300 students, the fifth largest university in the UK (out of 167). From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked within the top 5 (alongside the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Edinburgh) in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received. Leeds had an income of £706.2 million in 2017/18, of which £137.1 million was from research grants and contracts. The university has financial endowments of £77.2 million (2017–18), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment.Notable alumni include former Secretary of State Jack Straw, former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi, Piers Sellers (NASA astronaut) and six Nobel laureates.

West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs (City of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, City of Leeds and City of Wakefield) and is bordered by the counties of Derbyshire to the south, Greater Manchester to the south-west, Lancashire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north and east, and South Yorkshire to the south and south-east.

Remnants of strong coal, wool and iron ore industries remain in the county, having attracted people over the centuries, and this can be seen in the buildings and architecture. Leeds may become a terminus for a north-east limb of High Speed 2. Major railways and two major motorways traverse the county, which also contains Leeds Bradford International Airport.

West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 so its five districts became effectively unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres (783 sq mi), continues to exist in law, and as a geographic frame of reference. Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, which is the biggest and most built-up urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire.


Yorkshire (; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Due to its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are vast stretches of unspoiled countryside. This can be found in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors and with the open aspect of some of the major cities. Yorkshire has also been named "God's Own County" or "God's Own Country".The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose of the English royal House of York, and the most commonly used flag representative of Yorkshire is the White Rose on a blue background, which after nearly fifty years of use, was recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008. Yorkshire Day, held annually on 1 August, is a celebration of the general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own dialect.Yorkshire is covered by different Government Office Regions. Most of the county falls within Yorkshire and the Humber while the extreme northern part of the county, such as Middlesbrough, Redcar, Holwick and Startforth, falls within North East England. Small areas in the west of the county are covered by the North West England region.

Climate data for Leeds Bradford
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 61
Average precipitation days 17.5 14.2 14.8 13.5 13.7 12.2 11.7 13.2 12.9 15.1 16.5 17.0 172.3
Source: [68][69]
About Leeds
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Areas (List)
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