Ah, Leeds. The third biggest city in the UK and home to one of the world’s most beautiful Town Halls. It’s the city where x-rays, Monopoly, motion pictures, Cluedo and Marks & Spencer were invented, not to mention the world’s first internet provider. Put simply, Leeds is a place with a huge and surprising history. Recently it was even named the best city in England to live in, beating out the likes of London, Manchester and Birmingham for the award.

Part of the reasoning for that award was the quality of life that Leeds residents enjoy (aside from the continued struggles of the once mighty Leeds United), and part of the reason for that is Leeds’ strong and varied economy. Here’s five facts about Leeds’ economy that you might not know.

  • Leeds’ has one of the highest GVA per employee in the country.

On average, the Gross Value Added (GVA) per employee in Leeds is estimated to be £46,900. That makes it the highest in Yorkshire by a long distance – over 80% more than Sheffield, for example, as well as 117% more than Bradford. Compared with other major cities, Leeds is only exceeded by London, Greater Manchester South and Birmingham. Amongst the ‘Core Cities’, Leeds; £46,000 per employee greatly outperforms the average of £32,700.

  • Leeds’ is home to some huge companies.

The last 50 years have seen businesses flock to Leeds as a place to situate their headquarters, and that’s meant that today, Leeds has some big names based in town. Who, you might ask? Well, consider for a moment that Asda, Jet2.com, GHD, First Direct, Republic, Premier Farnell, Ginetta Cars and GDF Suez Energy UK are all based here, and you’ll start to understand. There’s also the likes of Rockstar Leeds, Capita, Buckley and Arla Foods.

  • There’s a huge banking sector here.

Leeds plays host to one of the largest banking sectors in the United Kingdom, with over 250,000 people employed in the financial and professional services sector in the city. Companies with regional or national offices in Leeds include Lloyds Banking Group, First Direct, KPMG, HBOS, Allied Irish, RBS, HSBC, Leeds Building Society, Alliance and Leicester, Yorkshire Bank, Zurich Financial Services and Direct Line. Indeed, the Bank of England have their second HQ in Leeds. In total, the output of Leeds’ banking sector is valued at over £13 billion per year and is the biggest UK banking sector outside of London.

  • Manufacturing hasn’t been lost.

Unlike many Northern cities, Leeds has always had a mixed economy. That meant that as the UK’s manufacturing industry went into decline, it didn’t take the whole city with it. Today, Leeds maintains a strong manufacturing base, with over 1,800 companies engaged in the industry. Everything from engineering to chemicals is manufactured in Leeds, with the sector generating well over £7 billion pounds per year.

  • Leeds’ economy is bigger than nine European countries.

That’s right, the Leeds City Region’s annual output is greater than nine European nations, putting the scale of its growth in perspective. Additionally, the region has grown over 40% in the last decade, despite a global recession.

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Director

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008, being promoted to Director in January 2010.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Director

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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