Leeds – the third largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham

Leeds is a thriving city, home to the very first Marks and Spencer, the first locomotive, and the origin of Cluedo.

It’s also the home of Kirkgate Market, which was the largest indoor market in Europe on its opening date in 1857 and is now the location of Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food.

It’s a city to be reckoned with, with a population of 792,525 which makes it the third largest city in the UK behind London and Birmingham.

Here are five reasons why you should set up your food business here.

Trinity Kitchen

  1. The Food and Drink Industry is Thriving

The food and drink scene in Leeds is hugely diverse, meaning that there’s always something to offer for everyone.

From high-end restaurants like Issho Rooftop Bar and Restaurant to street food like the Falafel Guys van on Briggate, you’ll certainly struggle not to find something to your taste.

  1. The Vegetarian and Vegan Scene is Growing

If you’re interested in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, then Leeds is your place to go.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported in 2017 that 40% of residents in Leeds followed a meat-free diet, and the number of restaurants is growing to meet demand.

  1. It’s the Home of Digital Marketing

Importantly from a business perspective, Leeds is home to successful Digital Marketing Agencies like the award-winning Maratopia.

They can help drive your online presence to attract new custom and brand awareness through search engine optimisation, copywriting and PPC Traffic.

Kirkgate Market Leeds

  1. The Local Economy is Growing

The local economy in Leeds is the fastest growing in the UK, with a local economy worth £21 billion, and a growth of 34% in the last decade.

It is also one of the most affordable cities in the UK for rent. Statista shows that high street business rent in London was £2,175 per square foot in 2020, compared with £150 in Leeds.

This makes Leeds the ideal stomping ground to start up a small business, with the potential for huge amounts of growth in a short period of time. The reduced rent will also leave you with extra money freed up to invest back into the business.

Leeds by Night

  1. There’s a Huge Student Population

Leeds has one of the biggest student populations in the country, with three universities. There are over 39,000 students at the University of Leeds alone!

This provides an ideal opportunity for taste-testing through a student discount scheme.

By advertising on student pages, or on social media, you can offer samples of food for a heavily discounted rate in exchange for feedback.

This means that you can monopolise demand for cheap student-friendly food in exchange for constructive criticism, which is invaluable in the start-up of a business.

Do you have any experience of starting up a business in Leeds? Share your experience in the comments below!