Commercial Property Area Guide: Leicester - England
The city of Leicester in the East Midlands is an exciting place to base your business, as it’s one of the most central places in the country. Most of England’s major cities and towns are within four hours of the city, including London (just over an hour), Manchester (two hours), Birmingham (an hour), Exeter (just under four hours), and even Newcastle upon Tyne (three and a half hours). Its excellent transport links also make it easy to travel further afield for business and pleasure.
Leicester is a thriving city. De Montfort University and the University of Leicester are located there, with the latter ranked as the 12th best university in the country. It’s also home to the National Space Centre, the UK’s leading space research centre and museum. When it comes to sports, the city packs a punch. Its football team, Leicester City, shocked football fans across the country by taking the 2015/16 Premier League title, while rugby union club Leicester Tigers have scooped more than 20 titles in their time.
Lots of famous faces hail from Leicester, including David and Richard Attenborough, presenter Gok Wan, Henry Walker (who founded Walkers Crisps in the city in 1948) and Thomas Cook, who founded his eponymous travel agency in his hometown.
Here’s our guide to living and working in the city of Leicester – where you can find out about everything from rail stations to restaurants.
Getting around in Leicester
Leicester has a great road network to get around on The A563 ring road runs around central Leicester. It connects to the M1 near Fosse Park retail centre and with the A50, leading to the motorway, via the Leicester Western Bypass to the north east. This motorway leads north all the way to Leeds or connects those in Leicester to London in the south.
Regular bus services run across LeicesterBus services provided by First and Arriva operate across Leicester, connecting each area to the centre as well as to nearby towns including Rugby, Nuneaton and Loughborough. If you need to travel further, National Express and Megabus services operate from Leicester to lots of destinations across the country.
There is a central train station in Leicester It’s easy to travel by rail across Leicester, as there is a large rail station in the centre of the city. If you’re based near the suburbs, rail stations can be found in Narborough and South Wigston to the south and Syston, Sileby and Barrow-upon-Soar.
There are two airports within an hour of LeicesterThe closest airport to Leicester is East Midlands Airport, which is around 30 minutes, or 30 kilometres, from the city centre. From there, you can catch short-haul international flights and domestic flights. If you’re heading further afield, Birmingham Airport is just over 50 minutes’ drive from Leicester. You’ll be able to catch long-haul flights to destinations across the world from here.
Great places to eat in Leicester
You can find more of Leicester’s best restaurants here.
Great places to grab a coffee in Leicester
Find other places to get your caffeine fix in Leicester here.
Leicester has plenty of great facilities
There are more than 60 gyms across Leicester, including:
- DW Fitness First
- Nuffield Health
Locate the closest place to get fit here.
Where can I find a bank or Post Office in Leicester?There are more than 40 banks in Leicester, including:
- Nine Santander
- Seven Barclays
- Six NatWest
- Five HSBC
- Three TSB
- Two Lloyds
- Two Handelsbanken
- Two Bank of India
- One Halifax
- One RBS
- One Clydesdale Bank
- One Coventry Building Society
If you’re looking for a post office, you’ll find more than 40 dotted across the city everywhere from Leicester Forest East to Knighton Park to Thurncourt.
Leicester has plenty of places to indulge in retail therapyIf you’re looking for a place to buy groceries, large supermarkets and small convenience stores can be found across Leicester. You’ll find:
- Four Asda superstores
- Tesco (three superstores, 17 small stores)
- Four M&S
- Sainsbury’s (five superstores, eight local stores)
- One Waitrose & Partners
- Six Lidl
- Eight ALDI
- One Morrisons
In the centre of the city, you’ll find Highcross shopping centre, which has more than 100 high street and designer stores, including HUGO BOSS, John Lewis, New Look, Apple, Next, Moss Bros and River Island, among many others. It’s also a fantastic place to dine, with 40 cafés, restaurants and coffee shops dotted across the centre. The centre even has a 12-screen cinema, so it’s the ideal place to head for weekend entertainment. Britain’s oldest shopping mall, Haymarket, is just a short walk away too.
Away from the city centre, retail parks including Beaumont shopping centre in the north of the city and Fosse Park to the south are home to big-name stores including M&S, as well as regular markets during the weekend.
Commercial real estate agents in Leicester
Innes England Ltd
APB (Leicester) LLP
SPACE Retail Property Consultants
FHP Property Consultants
Realla has a great selection of commercial properties – here’s a selection
There are lots of exciting businesses based near Leicester
Offices in Leicester
Interesting facts about Leicester
Leicester hosts the UK’s largest Caribbean carnival outside of London. It takes place in early August every year.
More than 70 languages are reportedly spoken across Leicester thanks to its multi-cultural population. However, the city is reportedly where the ‘modern’ English language we speak now (rather than Chaucer-esque old English) was first spoken.
The former king of England, Richard III, was found buried underneath a city-centre car park in Leicester. He was buried at Greyfriars shortly after his death, but his bones were exhumed shortly after discovery. They were re-buried at Leicester cathedral - a more fitting spot for a former king to rest.
BBC Radio Leicester was the first BBC local radio station in the UK. The city is also home to the UK’s first radio produced and presented by children, Takeover Radio.