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Up the Leeds – it’s the place to be

(Warning: this post may be subject to bias)

As the rightful capital of gods own country, the city of Leeds has seen a mighty transformation over the past decade. Once defined by its industrial past the city stands proud as a confident, creative and cultural hub of the North.

Here, at Straco HQ we love Leeds as much as the next die-hard Leeds United FC fan, so we’ve put together a few of the main reasons why you should swap your overpriced skinny latte for the iconic Yorkshire brew.

Culture

Thanks to an increase in urban regeneration, the cultural scene in Leeds has flourished. As popularised by the flow of 65,000 students each year, more and more outsiders are taking the plunge and moving to Yorkshire. Its long list of festivals, growing street food culture and craft beer reputation earned Leeds it’s 5th place in Lonely Planet’s top destinations for travel in summer 2017. One of the biggest things to happen this year was the 50year celebration of Leeds West Indian Carnival, that has been running longer than the famous Notting Hill Carnival. The creative experiences that contribute to Leed’s unique culture doesn’t end there, entertainment at its finest ranging from critically acclaimed Northern Ballet performances to side-splitting comedy found at the city’s many live venues. Art and Education also contribute to a huge part of the culture of Leeds, with leading prestigious institutions Leeds Arts University and the spectacular Leeds Art Gallery.

City Life

One of the city’s most attractive qualities is its ultimate retail experience. The new Trinity Centre and recent £150m development Victoria Gate make the city a paradise for shopping addicts, attracting shoppers from all over the country and offering a less stressful alternative to London’s Westfield Centre’s. If you’re looking for a more bespoke item, Leeds can provide that too. It’s designer shopping arcade and array of vintage boutique’s help to make Leeds a city that’s full of surprises. The thriving night-life further attracts a generation of young professional’s and students looking to fill a Jager bomb shaped hole in their Friday nights. The city is home to a handful of roof top terrace bar’s shaping the future of Leeds’ cocktail culture, whilst the raw passion for beer is reflected in its eclectic range of bars and pubs. The North Bar is certainly not short of options, housing over 150 craft beers to satisfy your beer tasting buds.

Music

Home to Reading’s better half, Leeds Festival helped to put Leeds on the map. This major event held in Bramham Park has seen the likes of some of the world’s most-loved artist’s like Eminem, The Cure and Foo Fighters as well as homegrown artists like Kaiser Chiefs and alt-J. In addition to this, the city is a host to Slam Dunk and Live at Leeds, both showcasing an impressive line-up of upcoming and established acts. The student population has also helped Leeds to establish itself a diverse music scene, with hundreds of events each year held across the city’s best independent venues (Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen – our top pick) exposing new talent and underground artists. The MOBO awards made its return to Leeds for 2017, recognised as one of the most influential and important awards ceremony celebrating an excellence in urban music, events like this really have helped to magnify the city’s contribution to cultural diversity.

Business Opportunity

Another amazing reason why Leeds is becoming an attractive alternative to the capital is due to its rising number of city improvements both economically and visually. Not only is it generating 5% of England’s Total Economic output, the Yorkshire hotspot it is showing no sign of slowing down! This year it was revealed there are 1,500 vacancies on offer for the Christmas period, 550 of them alone available at the Trinity Centre, helping to indicate the sheer inflation of the city. Aside from the retail expansion, the First Direct Arena has been shaking up the competition as an incredible Northern venue. The preconception that nothing exists outside of London is certainly a distant memory as Burberry sets out to open their Business Services Centre, creating a further 300 inner city jobs. Leeds is also home to the digital gambling giant Sky Betting and Gaming, who have recently committed to investing £11 million in the Yorkshire city. This boom in digital business has encouraged the growth of 3,500 companies in this sector as well as a new commercial and software academy in attempt to keep talent in the region.

Need more convincing? There’s no better way to fall in love with the city than through exploring the city yourself. Luckily the city is so well connected it ticks all the boxes for a perfect day out.

If you are thinking of relocating up to Leeds and are looking for work in the exhibitions sector, take a look at our latest opportunities, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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