25 May 2022/ Retail Guide

Find your next retail property to rent in Leeds

Find your next retail property to rent in Leeds 

Britain’s high streets are changing. With the pandemic exacerbating the challenges many city and town centres were already facing, such as declining footfall, businesses have re-evaluated what works for them and for their customers. For many businesses, London and its spiking rent prices are too expensive to set up shop. So as firms and people move out of the capital, smaller and medium-sized locations such as Leeds are thriving.

Over the last several years, Leeds has grown to become one of the country’s most important regional capitals. In the 19th century, Leeds was at the heart of the UK’s industrial machine and having suffered from the closure of these manual industries, Leeds has risen again as a key industrial hub.

With some of the most affordable retail rent prices in the UK, with an average price per square foot of £42.85, Leeds is a highly attractive place for many businesses. With Leeds being the third-largest city in the UK, comprising over three million people, the city has high-footfall, resulting in thriving retailing centres.

From shopping hubs such as Trinity Leeds and Kirkgate Market, to smaller independent quarters of the city, such as Corngate Market, you can find a wide range of versatile retail spaces to rent in Leeds.

Retail spaces in Leeds

Leeds is known for being one of the UK’s best shopping spots, with a number of high-profile premium and well-priced shopping areas found all over the city’s walkable centre and suburbs.  

Trinity Leeds is at the heart of the retail scene. Home to around 120 different retailing brands and more than 40 restaurants and cafes, this conveniently located shopping centre attracts an estimated 23 million visitors per year. Leeds is also home to one of Europe’s largest indoor markets, Kirkgate Market. This lively space has more than 400 independent traders and stalls, welcoming 8.5 million visitors a year. Hosted in a Grade 1 listed building, this market is one of the city’s most beloved attractions.

As the city continues to develop, new and mixed-use spaces are springing up across the centre. Directly opposite Kirkgate Market, the £150 million Victoria Gate shopping and leisure centre is host to the country’s biggest John Lewis store outside of London, proving that Leeds is one of Britain’s shopping capitals.

Leeds also has a thriving independent scene. The pedestrianised central area around Briggate is famous for its smaller and independent businesses, while only a few miles out of the city centre, the charming suburban town of Otley has a well-renowned historical market, dating back more than 800 years.

From high-footfall shopping centres, quaint markets and mixed-use spaces, Leeds is an excellent place for any business to open its doors. Find your next retail property to rent in Leeds.

Getting around Leeds

A quickly developing rail hub

As one of the largest cities in the UK, and with several large neighbours nearby such as Bradford, Manchester and Sheffield, Leeds is one of the busiest commuting cities in the country – for both transnational and local travel. As a result, Leeds train station is the fourth busiest outside of London and has long been earmarked for expansion, as the station is a frequent pinch point for rail travel.  

The station was part of the initial plans for High Speed Rail 2, which would connect London and the South East to the Midlands and the North via a single rail line. However, the Leeds leg of the journey has since been cancelled, with the government pledging to reinvest funds into a localised transit network that will alleviate the pressures currently placed on the city’s transport. So with a quickly developing mass system, the future of rail transport in Leeds is bright.  

A well-connected bus network

Buses are one of the most-used ways to get around Leeds, the metropolitan area and nearby towns and cities. The region is connected by local and regional buses that are frequent, reliable, and affordable.  

An international airport

There are two airports within travelling distance to Leeds. Leeds-Bradford airport runs regular routes to European and global destinations, and there are plans for this airport to be expanded in the coming years. This will see the airport grow its yearly visitors from around four million to seven million. The smaller and more regional Leeds East airport primarily serves charter and private flights.  

Amenities in Leeds

A thriving industrial sector

In addition to an excellent retail scene, Leeds has a wide variety of superb industrial facilities. Owing to the city’s rich industrial heritage, Leeds is an industrial base for many high-profile tenants.  

Close to the city centre, industrial sites such as Enterprise Park, Bridge Estates, Euroway Industrial Estate and Orbital Industrial Estate offer tenants looking for localised storage solutions thousands of square feet. Due to the close connections to nearby cities and key motorways, a number of industrial parks can also be found in the outskirts of Leeds.  

There is a wide range of industrial space in Leeds, so find your next industrial space to rent 

Ample office spaces

Reflecting the changing face of the high street, Leeds has ample office solutions, much of which doubles up as office and retail space. Many modern and newly built spaces in Wellington Place are mixed use, with nearby restaurants, public spaces, and event venues.  

Additional office spaces can be found across the city centre, including offices such as Sovereign House and Rose House. More affordable offices can be found further to the outskirts, such as Lawnswood House, 3 Meadow Lane and Field House. Leeds has lots of versatile office space, so find yours here. 

Excellent hotel experiences

The rise of staycations in the UK has been a boon for Leeds, with more and more people turning to the city for short-term breaks. Thanks to its popularity, the city has developed a burgeoning hotel sector, catering to premium and budget stays. While popular chains such as Travelodge and Hotel Ibis Budget can be found across the city, some of the city’s more premium stays include DoubleTree by Hilton, The Queens Hotel and Maison Parfaite LS1 

Notable retailers in Leeds

As one of the best cities for shopping in the UK, Leeds has attracted many high-profile, internationally recognised brands and retailers to the city. Some of the most known retailers include:  

  • John Lewis 
  • Decathlon
  • Lego
  • Moss Bros
  • Charles Tyrwhitt 

With retail space in Leeds quickly growing in demand, it’s important to know which local agents to turn to when it comes to finding the right retail property to rent. Some of the best local property agents are: 

  • Sanderson Weatherall LLP
  • Colliers
  • Brackenridge Hanson Tate
  • Montagu Evans LLP
  • Fox Lloyd Jones 

Leeds’ retail sector

  • Michael Marks, of Marks & Spencer, first plied his trade in Kirkgate Market. 
  • Leeds has one of the most diverse urban economies in the UK and has the highest public-to-private job ratio of all core UK cities, as well as thriving financial, manufacturing, engineering and publishing sectors.  
  • According to retail strategy consultants, Javelin Group, Leeds is the third best place to shop in the UK outside of London. 
  • The greater Leeds region has nine universities, the highest concentration of student outside of London. 
  • The Leeds city region economy grew by 40% in the decade up to 2020.  

Learn more

Leeds is one of the most popular cities in the UK to work, live and study. In the midst of an economic renaissance, and with highly affordable prices for retail, office and industrial spaces, Leeds is an excellent city to set up shop. Find your next retail property to rent in Leeds, or learn more about some of the key property trends emerging in 2022