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Leeds Office Space Guide

A guide to serviced offices and flexible workspace in Leeds as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.

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Overview

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001, Leeds’ main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247 while the entire city had a population of 770,800 (2008 est.). Leeds is the cultural and commercial heart of the wider West Yorkshire Urban Area, which at the 2001 census had a population of 1.5 million and the Leeds city region, an economic area with Leeds at its core, had a population of 2.9 million.

 

 

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Leeds became a major centre for the production and trading of wool. During the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major industrial centre; wool was still the dominant industry but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing and other industries were also important.

The diverse array of landmarks, which includes rural open spaces and impressive historical buildings, reflects both its industrial past and its many current roles. The multicultural nature of the city is evidenced in the range of religious buildings and cultural festivals present.

The city is a major centre of higher education, being the seat of the internationally acclaimed University of Leeds as well as Leeds Metropolitan University, and Leeds Trinity University College.

The student population has stimulated the growth of the nightlife in the city and there are ample facilities for sporting and cultural activities, including classical and popular music festivals, and a varied collection of museums.

Economy

Leeds has been described as one of the UK’s most successful cities and has the second largest level of employment total outside London.

Locate in Leeds advise that Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK’s main employment centres. The city is a major centre for manufacturing and commerce, with an estimated 443,600 people employed in the local economy.

With a workforce of 116,500 employed in the sector, Leeds is the UK’s largest centre for professional and financial services outside of London, and an integral part of the UK’s financial services industry.

Leeds is home to the UK’s third biggest manufacturing sector. Within the sector, the city is the UK’s largest provincial printing centre. It is also one of the largest centres for the communications and media industries.

The city is one of the country’s top shopping destinations, with shoppers from across the UK drawn to Leeds by leading fashion retailers including Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton, and Vivienne Westwood.

The tourism industry supports over 14,000 jobs in Leeds. Major attractions include the Henry Moore Institute, Royal Armouries, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Harewood House, and Leeds Castle.

The city is a major employment provider for the region as a whole, with over 100,000 people commuting to work in Leeds from outside the district every day.

As the regional capital, Leeds is the main centre for utility providers and government departments in the region. There are over 27,000 businesses in Leeds registered for VAT and/or PAYE. Two hundred and ninety organisations based in the city employ at least two hundred people each, representing 39% of employment but only 1.1% of all organisations.

2017 saw 4.1m passengers travel through the Leeds Bradford Airport, which has now seen three years of positive year on year growth. It is projected that that number will reach 7 million per annum by 2030.

Over the next decade, the economy is forecast to grow by over 20% with financial and business services set to generate over half of GVA growth over that period.

Office Space to Rent in Leeds

2017 was a record year in terms of office space take-up for Leeds – city centre office take-up reaching over 1m sqft, the highest ever recorded.

2018 started positively too, steady demand meant that Q1 levels were 10% above the 5-year quarterly average due to 191,000 sqft being transacted over 28 deals.

The two largest deals in the first quarter were Walker Morris LLP taking 76,000 sqft at 33 Wellington Street, and Dart Group taking 48,000 sqft at the Mint.

The average deal size for Q1 was just under 7,000 sqft and approximately 70% of all deals fell into the sub-3,000 sqft size bracket.

In the first quarter, most demand came from the legal sector, followed by travel, and finally financial services.

Aside from 3 Wellington Place, all other new Grade A leasehold buildings are more than 65% let and with little Grade A space available and even less Grade A space in the pipeline, Grade A vacancy now stands at 3% across the whole market.

Last year saw headline leasehold rents in Leeds reach a new high of £30.00 per sqft. With continued strong levels of occupier demand and lack of Grade A supply, it is expected that headline rents will be pushed up further which may encourage occupier to look at flexible workspace options.

There is an increasing volume of flexible workspace square footage available in Leeds including serviced offices, managed office spaces, and co-working space shared space providing hot desks, dedicated desks and private offices.

Transport

Leeds train station is located in the centre of Leeds and links with all major UK cities with a travel time to London of approximately 2hrs 20 minutes.

The centre of Leeds is served with a bus service and the centre is linked to both the M62 and M1 motorways with the M1 just minutes away.

Leeds Bradford airport is 7 miles from the centre of Leeds and has a regular domestic and international flight timetable with the flight time to London being approximately 30 minutes.

Landmarks and Tourism

Leeds is a thriving city, rich in culture and heritage, by night, Leeds comes alive with restaurants, bars, clubs and other entertainment. There is a broad range of cultural attractions, including renowned theatre, opera and ballet companies, with something to appeal to every taste.

The fast-paced, city centre is complemented by stunning local countryside, which lies within easy reach. For residents and visitors alike, the city has much to offer, from the award-winning Royal Armouries, Leeds Castle, and Leeds’ finest stately home, Harewood House.

Sport remains important to Leeds life, especially with the successes of the Leeds Rhinos in Rugby League and Leeds Tykes in Rugby Union. The teams share their home at Headingley Carnegie Stadium with Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Leeds boasts 21 golf courses, ranging from exclusive clubs to pay and play courses. Xscape, located of the M62, is home to one of the country’s largest indoor ski-slopes.



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