Leicester's status as one of the greatest UK cities in which to live and work has been confirmed by latest research.
The home of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been ranked the ninth best city in the annual Good Growth for Cities Index, ahead of London, Brighton and Plymouth and Midlands neighbours Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby.
Leicester was also among the top five improvers - ranked number three - since last year’s report from business consultants PwC and think-tank Demos.
Sarah Harrison, Leicester's city centre director, said: “Leicester city centre has attracted inward investment across all sectors in recent years, making it an even more attractive place to live, work, study and visit.
“The Highcross shopping centre is investing more than £14 million in the reconfiguration of the old House of Fraser unit, which by autumn 2018 will be home to a new flagship Zara store, JD Sports and Adventure Tree Top Golf. This will be complemented by the wide range of cafés and bars in nearby Shires Lane.
“The St Martin's and Hotel Street areas of the Old Town are fast becoming established as 'the place to be seen’, with a crop of new restaurants and bars.
"The city attracts nearly 11 million visitors a year. In 2016, tourism was worth more than £600 million to the economy. We have seen tourists visit from as far afield as Australia, and this has created a demand for four new hotels, which will be developed in 2018.
“The newly-opened Market Square is proving to be a popular place for events, which range from early morning tai chi and the Maker’s Market to the first Christmas Market in the city.
"Our festivals programme is also growing as a result of close partnership working with the cultural city’s organisations and universities.
"The development of financial company Mattioli Woods’ new headquarters in New Walk, on the site of the former New Walk Centre, is nearing completion. The company employs more than 300 staff and the move to its new building in the city centre next year will allow it to expand and create in excess of 150 job opportunities.
"Companies tell us they find Leicester attractive because of its talent pool and links to local universities as well as great transport links to the rest of the country and London.
"Leicester has so much to offer residents, students, businesses and visitors it is no wonder people are saying there is a real buzz around the city."
Second year Fashion Design student Samantha Sargeant said: "My favourite thing about Leicester is the culture."
Other students praised the multicultural environment, the city centre and our campus.
The report evaluates cities based on 10 categories that measure economic performance, employment, health, income, housing affordability and quality of life.
As well as being one of the strongest cities for economic development in the UK, Leicester is also known for its vibrant culture and many landmarks, which attract people from all corners of the world.
The city in all its glory is:
- Home to Britain’s most multi-cultural high street, Narborough Road, just a stone’s throw from the DMU campus, with shopkeepers from 23 countries
- Recognised for its global cuisine and home of the Leicester Curry Awards, making it a must-visit city for those who are passionate about food
- One of the oldest cities in England, with a history dating back 2,000 years
- Leading the field in sports, home to 2015-2016 Premier League champions Leicester City Football Club, and Leicester Tigers, the most successful English club since the introduction of league rugby union. Both clubs have partnerships with DMU, leading to great opportunities for students
- Host to some of the largest multi-cultural events in the East Midlands, such as the annual Caribbean festival, the largest of its kind outside London, and the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India
- The 10th largest city in the UK, boasting the largest proportion of people aged 19 and under in the East Midlands
- Home to the first local radio station in Britain, BBC Radio Leicester, which this week celebrates 50 years of broadcasting
- The final resting place of King Richard III.
Tourism has helped give Leicester its ‘top 10’ credentials but the city is also the home of more than 200 flourishing businesses within the creative industry in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, and a great place for job creation, according to Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s latest report.
Posted on Friday 10th November 2017