Over the last decade the city of Leeds has established itself as a hub of digital and creative innovation. Outside of London, often instead of London, big brands and start-ups alike are choosing Leeds based digital agencies to establish their new online presence – what has Leeds got to offer that makes it so appealing?
Leeds is blessed with four universities - the University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) and the University of Law giving it the fourth largest student population in the UK with over 65,000 students studying at Universities in the city each year. With the exception of the University of Law, the other universities all have established digital and new media degree courses which means that each year a fresh batch of creatives enter the job market. Leeds is well renowned for its student friendly ambiance and nights out, but it is not just the partying that keeps many graduates in the city.
The University of Leeds has recently been named as the University of the Year 2017 by The Times and The Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. The University was also ranked in the top 20 UK universities in the Guardian University Guide 2017 league table.
Leeds boasts the fourth largest urban economy in the UK and has the fourth largest financial and insurance sector (with over 30 national and internal banks located in the city centre). Leeds is the largest legal services city behind London and its technology sector is growing at an impressive rate. Companies reliant on technology including SkyBet and William Hill have headquartered here and Google have a well-established base in the City.
More cost effective
The North of England is currently a lot cheaper to live and work than London, with average house prices around half that of the capital city. Salaries are on average 40% less in Leeds, but because the cost of living is relative, Leeds is able to attract and keep talent that may have otherwise gone to London to work.
There’s some great stats here where you can compare the cost of living for things in Leeds compared to London.
Work Life Balance
Not saying that we work less in the North but generally travel is easier, this means that we can spend less time on the train or in the car getting to work, so our day is shorter. The working day (from leaving home to getting home) is on average 2 hours less for Leeds based jobs compared to similar positions in London.
In the UK the creative sector is booming generally and all major cities have hubs of creativity and talent. Where Manchester has built a name for itself when it comes to general media, tv and radio, Leeds has done the same for digital. There seems to be new digital agencies popping up in Leeds each year, and very often we see great collaboration with the other businesses in our sector. Ascensor was set up as a digital agency in Leeds back in 2007 and in that time the creative sector in Leeds has flourished, and long may it continue.