The city of Leeds has travelled a long way from its early days as an agriculturally based market town in the Middle Ages. It subsequently became a major industrial centre during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, primarily for the production and trading of wool and it has since moved onward to its present status as an important and thoroughly modern city economy. Leeds currently stands firm as the cultural, financial and commercial centre of the West Yorkshire region that has a population of 2.9 million people. A key factor in the current success of the city was the determined and well-planned efforts of the Leeds City Council to tackle the economic problems of the city once the clothing industry went into an irreversible decline during the 1970’s. With a view to making the city a ‘24 hour European City’. Now Leeds has, among other things, become a telephone banking centre, for example, First Direct is based in Leeds, as well as the second largest centre for business, legal and financial services outside London. It is also the second fastest growing city in the UK.
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