Tourism and council chiefs today told of their delight at confirmation of Leeds’s status as one of the country’s most exciting places to live – and then promised: “The best is yet to come.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency, said the city’s thriving cultural and leisure scenes meant its success in the new ‘vibrancy list’ was well deserved.
But he also predicted Leeds’s role in hosting the opening stage of next year’s Tour de France would get the city centre buzzing like never before.
Mr Verity said: “[Leeds has] an incredibly vibrant, energised and constantly evolving city centre with a growing reputation for great culture. And on July 5, the city centre will play host to the start of the world’s largest annual sporting event, the Tour de France, when the Grand Départ begins on the Headrow. What better event is there than this to showcase Leeds to the world?”
Leeds City Council‘s executive member for the economy and development, Coun Richard Lewis, described the ranking as “recognition of all the hard work that has gone into developing the city centre and surrounding areas”.
He went on: “Exciting new developments like the First Direct Arena and Trinity Leeds are fantastic attractions and future additions like the forthcoming Victoria Gate [retail scheme] will enhance that further.”
Ian De-Whytell, boss of Leeds’s Crash Records store and a champion of the city’s arena scheme, said: “Leeds has had a great reputation for shopping and nightlife for a long time, but we seem to have moved to an even higher level during the last few years.”
* Leeds might be going places but, as the YEP has highlighted in the past, that does not mean everything in the garden is rosy.
Our Life in Leeds campaign last year voiced concerns about poverty levels in a city where more than 60,000 homes were built before 1919.