According to the 2011 Census, Leeds has a population of 751,500, making it the third largest city in the UK population-wise; with an increase of 5.1% in the past 10 years, which is lower than the national average of 7.1%. The largest age group in Leeds is the 20-29 age band, which makes up 17.5% of the population compared to the UK average of 13.6%. Such a high proportion is likely down to the popularity of the Universities, and the large number of graduates choosing to stay in Leeds to work. This high figure has contributed to the relatively young average age of the cities population which stands at 35 � 4 years younger than the national figure.

Leeds unemployment rate is similar to the rest of the country, with 6.9% of the working-age population out of work. The large number of graduates residing in Leeds is reflective of the popular employment sectors, with professional occupations having the highest employment figure of 18.5%, and the process, plant and machine operatives the lowest at 6.6%. Much like the rest of the UK, the retail and wholesale industry employs the largest number of people, followed by human, health and social work and education.


A major UK city, Leeds is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Leeds/Bradford International airport is located 8 miles away from the city centre, and offers daily flights to major European cities. For delegates wishing to reach the city from further afield, Manchester airport is just over an hour away, and is the UKs third largest airport, serving 19.4 million passengers to worldwide destinations every year.

Delegates wishing to reach Leeds by rail will find it is very convenient; with the large station offering 17 platforms and serving over 25million passengers per year, making it the third largest train station in the UK outside of London. There are direct routes to major cities such as Manchester in just under an hour, London in 135 minutes and Edinburgh in 3 hours.

Once in the city, getting around could not be any easier, with many different bus operators offering routes from the city into the West Yorkshire countryside. First Buses is the main company, with over 1,000 buses operating 200 routes, ensuring you can get to your destination easily and conveniently. In the future, Leeds will also be home to a Trolley Bus, serving the northern and southern edges of the city.



Leeds is a popular conferences destination, with £528.3million spent on corporate events in 2011; with West Yorkshire as a whole holding 88,200 business events in total. The average daily delegate rate in Leeds was £38, with an average number of 70 delegates per party. Demand has been satisfied with 181 conference and meeting venues; 16 of which have a maximum capacity of more than 500, and 8 which can hold over 1,000 delegates; meaning large parties will have plenty of choice. The largest venue is the outdoor space Millennium Square, which can be hired for corporate events. With a standing capacity of 8,000; it has previously hosted events such as the German Christmas markets and community celebrations including St Patricks Day. Equally, smaller parties will still find themselves faced with even more options, with 71 venues available exclusively for 30 delegates and less.

A popular destination, not just amongst businessmen, there are 65 hotels in total located in the city.  With 1 five star and 31 four star hotels, companies looking for opulence in a venue will find they have chosen the right city.  Nevertheless, businesses with more modest budgets hoping for a little luxury will also find themselves spoilt for choice, with 23 three star and 6 two star hotels available.


Of course, it is not all work and no play, you and your delegates will want to take some time off to explore the city and see what it has to offer. Delegates interested in history and architecture will enjoy Harewood House and Gardens located just a few miles away from the city centre, boasting over 100 acres of gardens; and Lotherton Hall, a red deer park.

Well known for its shopping scene, shopaholics can take refuge in the many shops lining the streets of the city. For high street brands, head to the brand new shopping centre Trinity Leeds, offering 120 shops in total. Exclusive designer labels can be found in the Victoria Quarter, housed in quaint arcades; and independent stores are located in the Corn Exchange.

Delegates wishing to spend the night out in Leeds will find themselves spoilt for choice, ready to offer them a night that they will always remember (or not as the case may be!). The city centre offers a range of eateries, from chained restaurants to American Diners and quirky venues serving a range of international cuisines. Call Lane is home to most of the cities bars, offering something for everyone with a selection of live music venues and stylish cocktail bars. For delegates wishing to dance into the early hours, they will find plenty of clubs on offer, just beware of the many students inside!


Images courtesy of VisitLeeds and John Steele

Click here to view Meeting Venues in Leeds

Expert venue Finder


Hi there, I'm Polly and I'm available to help you find your next meeting or conference venue FOR FREE! Save hours by letting me do all of your venue searching for you. Call me on 0845 351 9917 or simply leave your details below.