Leeds transformation to Business super-hub

The beginning of 2020 saw us take a path somewhat less trodden with the Master & Clerk travelling up to Leeds to the final regional event of the Master’s year. The aim of getting out of London is to widen the name and fame of the Company outside London and to engage with members who may not get to London often and, therefore, are not able to easily take part in our London based events.

The event was hosted by Visit Leeds at the glorious Leeds City Museum and was attended by Marketors, CIM members and Brigantes (Liverymen of the North). The CIM link up allowed us to offer the event with 2 hours of Continuing Professional Development, an attractive draw that we hope to repeat for future events.

The keynote speaker was Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council. Tom spoke eloquently and candidly on how Leeds has been promoted as an inclusive, high energy growth City with strong environmental credentials. Leeds has a young, highly educated and nimble workforce with 1 in 7 of the population in Leeds being students at the 5 universities based in the city. It is testament to the growth story that over half of the graduates from Leeds universities stay in the city after they graduate.

Tom was clear that the success of the marketing campaign to change the perception of Leeds from ‘just another northern city’ to being the location of choice for living and working in the north has only been possible through a 3 pronged approach:

  1. Make it an attractive place to base your business
  2. Make it an attractive place to live with a strong cultural centre of gravity including the Northern Ballet
  3. Make it’s a centre of educational excellence with 5 highly regarded universities.

The implementation of this strategy has culminated in successes such as attracting the Tour de France to Leeds and, in 2019, confirmation that Leeds will be the new home for Channel 4. During the extensive Q&A session after his speech, Tom re-iterated that success has come from concentrating on why Leeds is unique and attractive rather than worrying about other cities such as Manchester and York.

The evening continued over canapes and drinks in the Life in Earth Gallery within the museum. With attendees from as far afield as the Lake District, Durham, Newark and London we are delighted that we were able to re-engage with Marketors who we see less frequently. Our thanks go out to Brigantes, the society for London Liveryman in the North, and CIM North for promoting the event in their newsletter and on the website. Thanks also to Court Assistant Phil Andrew and staff at StepChange Debt Charity who organised the event and to Visit Leeds and Leeds City Council for providing the venue free of charge.

The success of the regional events demonstrate that this is an initiative that would be well received in future years.

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