Berlin, Copenhagen and Lisbon are all considered to be some of the ‘coolest’ places in Europe. However, in 2019 there is somewhere a little closer to home that in all likelihood won’t make that list. It’s north of London, east of Liverpool and no, it isn’t Manchester… that’s right, Leeds! It is the place to be in 2019. The city is often overlooked when compared to other, perhaps more established, northern powerhouses, and yes, we’re a little biased but we really believe our city is on the up! Here’s why:
Two of our iconic structures are getting facelifts. Headingley Cricket and Rugby Stadium is receiving a new South Stand which means it will be able to accommodate for more fans at international events such as The Ashes in 2019. Our beloved Hyde Park Picture House has also received £2.3 million in lottery funds ensuring it will get the revamp and second screen it needs. Couple this with the extensive development taking place in the city centre and it’s clear to see that Leeds is building for a bright future.
Leeds unexpectedly pipped Birmingham and Manchester to be crowned as the new regional base for Channel 4’s headquarters. While many here would have been quietly confident of success, being chosen was a huge boost for Leeds and the way it is perceived. Chief Executive Alex Mahon cited a ‘compelling and ambitious strategy’ and ‘diverse talent from across the region’ as the reasons behind selecting Leeds. So, don’t just take our word for it, take the word of one of the nation’s main broadcasters.
A combination of established breweries, ‘new kids’ on the block and one-man shops are making Leeds one of the greatest places to drink in the UK. No longer are punters of public houses and bars resigned to choosing between lager or bitter. The city boasts of a rich melting-pot when it comes to beer - ice cream IPAs and coffee stouts are just a couple of the quirky creations that the city has got on the menu.
There’s a fine array of independent eateries showcasing food from all corners of the globe, determined to fend off the barrage of faceless chain restaurants that plague high streets up and down the country.
Our city boasts of no less than five universities. This may seem like an odd thing to shout about but, it’s huge for our city. Students from all over these isles and abroad will come to sample living here for at least three years and will be inclined to stay once they realise how great it really is. That means Leeds has an ever-growing talent pool of university graduates ready to start ‘adulting’. That can only be a positive, right?
As of January 2018, the UK House Price Index reported the average house price in Leeds being around £179,742 – significantly lower than the £225,621 national average. If you are thinking of buying a home, why not do it in Leeds and pocket the savings?
Whether you’re on the search for live music, art or a stroll around a museum – Leeds is home to a plethora of established and renowned venues in all these fields. From Brudenell Social Club to the Royal Armouries - we know one thing for sure, you won’t be hard pushed to find something to do on your day off.
Despite the recent debacle of ‘spygate’, Marcelo Bielsa’s football revolution is well under way at Elland Road. The team currently sit top of the Championship and will be targeting automatic promotion. Let’s face it, promotion back to the Premiership will give a city on the rise an extra added boost. Take Cardiff’s promotion last season for example – before it was confirmed, the BBC suggested a return to the top flight could see an extra 75 million pumped into the city with increased visitors and trade from locals.
Nature on your doorstep
Okay, this one isn’t strictly in Leeds, but it is in touching distance. Just a short 24.1 miles from the city centre lies the Yorkshire Dales National Park – what better way to challenge your endurance than scaling Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent?!
Expand your horizons and uncover a diamond in the rough with a visit to Leeds… you won’t regret it!