Properties for sale in Leeds, West Yorkshire

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Leeds Area Guide

Leeds Town Hall Image courtesy of Flickr user Karen V Bryan

The capital of West Yorkshire, Leeds has the second largest business, legal, and financial services sectors in the UK. It initially began to grow in the Middle Ages, when it became a centre for the manufacturing of cloth. It continued to hold its position as a centre for cloth all the way up to the 20th century, when manufacturing in the city began to shift towards printing, chemical manufacturing, engineering and the manufacture of clothes (instead of just the cloth). This continued for several decades, until the end of the Second World War led to a decline in manufacturing in general.

Since then, the city has been determined to avoid the decline suffered by many post-industrial towns and cities. It has become a hub for telephone banking services, leading to an expansion in its retail and service sectors.

Demographics

The city of Leeds has a population of around 798,800, and Leeds-Bradford Metropolitan Area has a population of around 2.3 million.

The ethnic makeup of the city is quite diverse: about 85% of the population is white. Although this is similar to the national proportion, it is lower than in areas with similarly sized populations, like the Greater Manchester and the Greater Glasgow Urban Areas. Of the other ethnic heritages, almost 3% are mixed race, about 8% are Asian, 3.5% are Black and just over 1% are Arab or other ethnic heritages.

Education

Primary schools given an outstanding rating by Ofsted include St Peter's Church of England Primary School, Leeds and Ebor Gardens Primary School. There is not a large selection of secondary schools in the area, but Mount St Mary's Catholic High School and John Jamieson School are amongst the best. Sixth form college Leeds City College is a member of the 157 Group, an organisation of 28 colleges that aims to promote and maintain academic excellence.

Leeds is home to three universities: the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds Trinity University.

Transport

Leeds is where many roads, like the A62, A63, A64, A65 and A660, start, and the M1 and M62 intersect just south of the city. This is largely because Leeds is one of the key hubs of the northern road network. There are several ring roads in and around the city, especially as part of the inner city is pedestrianised.

Most public transport-based commuting is done by bus, as the network covers the Leeds-Bradford Metropolitan Area pretty comprehensively. Leeds City station is the main terminal.

Commuter and national trains also run through the Leeds City station. One of the busiest stations outside of London, the station sees some 900 trains and 50,000 passengers every day.

Leeds Airport is technically 10 miles outside of the city, in Yeadon. It has scheduled and chartered services to European, American, African, Asian destinations. Leeds residents can also take a train to Manchester Airport, giving them even more options.

Amenities and Shopping

Leeds has a little bit of everything, but its student population, economic buoyancy and history of music means it has a great selection of bars, clubs and festivals.

Museums and galleries

The museums of Leeds explore several facets of the city's history. The Leeds City Museum has a notable natural history gallery. One of its most notorious exhibits is the Leeds Tiger, a relic that demonstrates the often slapdash nature of Victorian taxidermy as it was built from several tiger pelts, preserved with arsenic and stuffed with straw, causing it to sag in the middle. The Abbey House Museum lets visitors experience life in Victorian Leeds, and the Thackeray Museum explores the history of medicine. The Leeds Art Gallery has undergone extensive regeneration to befit its extensive collection of British art.

Music, theatre and nightlife

Leeds has a thriving music scene which has given rise to acts like Soft Cell, Kaiser Chiefs and Corinne Bailey Rae. It is also the home of Opera North, which is based in the Grand Theatre. The Phoenix Dance Theatre and Northern Ballet Theatre are both based in the city, and they share the purpose built Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre.

The large student population means there is always something happening in Leeds after dark. The city centre hosts a number of pubs that serve a large selection of specially brewed real ales. Wine bars and bistros can be found throughout the financial and legal districts. Leed's renowned nightclubs can be found scattered throughout the city and surrounding areas, though most are concentrated in the city centre.

Headingley is where most of the city's students hang out, and most of the student pubs and bars are in and around the Skyrack Corner area.

Festivals

The Leeds Festival, held concurrently with the Reading Festival, hosts international music acts from every genre, from dance to punk. The Leeds Carnival is the UK's largest West Indian carnival outside of the Notting Hill Carnival, and it is the oldest such celebration in Western Europe. Other annual festivals include the Leeds Asian Festival, the Otley Folk Festival, the Victorian Christmas Fayre and the Leeds International Concert Season, the UK's largest music programme put on by a local authority. Every three years the city hosts the world famous Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.

Sport

Fans of every major national sport are catered for in Leeds. Leeds United A.F.C. is the professional football club, Leeds Rhinos play rugby league and Leeds Carnegie are the rugby union team. The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is based in the city as well.

Leeds also has some less mainstream sport on offer. The City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club competes nationally and internationally. Wall climbing and sailing are available at the Leeds Wall and the Yeardon Tarn respectively. There is also a golf course, a horse racing course, a greyhound racking track nearby.

Shopping

The strong economy of the city has seen it become the heart of shopping in Yorkshire. Amongst its many indoor shopping centres are the Victoria Quarter, the Corn Exchange and The Light and the Trinity Leeds, set to open in the spring of 2013.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.