Leeds University’s annual boost to city economy

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LEEDS University contributes a massive £1.3 billion to the country’s economy every year, a new report has revealed today.

Vice chancellor Sir Alan Langlands will present these findings from independent consultants to business leaders at an event aimed at ensuring the university helps the city fulfil its economic potential.

He will also tell business leaders today that every £1 million the university generates results in a further impact of £1.3m to the wider economy.

The university has already created more than 100 spin out companies worth more than £500m and is the city’s third largest employer - creating the equivalent of almost 6,600 full time jobs.

Now Sir Alan is calling on businesses to work with the university to help achieve more.

The meeting this afternoon has been organised by Leeds University and the city region’s Local Enterprise Partnership. It is being attended by representatives from leading firms including Kodak, KPMG, Drax, RBS, Smith & Nephew and Pinsent Mason.

In a speech he is giving later today the vice chancellor is expected to say: “As a university we need to do more to explain our role and our impact on the wider world, including the one immediately on our doorstep. By working in partnership with the Local Enterprise Partnership, with the city and with people like you we can increase that impact in a number of ways.”

He will add: “I want everyone in this room to leave thinking about how we can pool our knowledge and expertise to increase the impact of our work to bring economic, social and cultural opportunities to people in the Leeds City Region and beyond.”

He will also tell his audience that the Government’s plans to boost the economy of the North of England through a devolved and better connected Northern Powerhouse is an opportunity for people in Leeds to grasp.

He said it is vital the city does not see itself as “victims of a London centric culture”

The event today will include a panel discussion with regional business leaders, chaired by television business presenter Steph McGovern. The discussion hopes to focus on the how universities can help unlock Yorkshire’s economic potential and help the skills agenda. Business leaders and academics will also debate the Northern Powerhouse agenda.