By Tyler Morrell
LEEDS HAS been named as one of the most improved places to live and work in the country.
The annual Good Growth for Cities report from professional services firm PwC saw Leeds scoop the top joint spot with Birmingham.
It was judged to have improved in key areas including jobs, new businesses, skills, work-life balance, health, the environment, quality of life, affordability of housing, and income inequality.
The report shows that cities in the north are now closing the divide between their southern counterparts.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This is a superb result for Leeds and we’re thrilled that the years of hard work by everyone dedicated to seeing Leeds improve is paying off in such impressive fashion.
“The city has seen a string of transformative developments and initiatives in recent years which have changed the face of the city and made a genuine difference to the lives of those living here – and that’s a trend we can and will work to continue in future.”
The report comes as Leeds celebrates its highest number of completed developments for a decade and is named the fifth most popular conference destination in the UK.
PwC uses 10 categories which are set by the public and businesses, which are made to calculate the economic performance of cities up and down the country.
The council has also set out a five-point plan to support institutions and businesses, including a commitment to make strategic investments to grow the economy.
Oran Cooch, 18, from Liberty Park, Leeds, said: “It’s a city that never sleeps and it’s constantly alive.
“The contrast is so great between where I used to live in the south and I definitely would work up here after my degree because of the price difference.”
According to the report, 70 per cent of digital technology investments in the UK last year were clustered into regions outside London, where tech businesses raised more than £4.6 billion.
Leeds now has 23,734 digital jobs and has a tech sector growth potential of 92 per cent.
Another resident, Jay Keeley, 27, who works as a research fellow for the University of Leeds said: “Leeds is always changing and evolving, it makes a really interesting place to live and work.
“I work in academia and it’s been interesting seeing the tech sector grow and seeing some students from the university spiral out into groups such as 3D printing and app development in Leeds.”