The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Leeds

7 minute read

Tucked between modern architectural marvels and the historical buildings of Leeds sits the enchanting city streets and parks that sparked the creative genius of JRR Tolkien. But there’s so much more to this city than the part it played inspiring the intricate world of Lord of the Rings. It’s driven by culture and industry, and is home to some of the happiest people in the UK – what more could you ask for?


A little bit of history…

  • The first M&S opened here in 1884 as a penny bazaar in the Leeds Kirkgate Market.
  • Willian Henry Bragg and his son discovered the structure of crystals using x-ray technology here, paving the way for new discoveries including work on the structure of DNA.
  • The oldest flying aeroplane in Britain was made here in 1912 – and it still flies today!
  • Karl Marx once wrote for the Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser newspapers.
  • Leeds is home to the first ever commercial railway, which opened in 1758.
The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Leeds

Jobs in Leeds – where to start?

So, you’re thinking about moving to this northern metropolis. But how do you go about finding a new job in Leeds?

With a population of nearly 3 million people, it’s the second largest employment centre outside of London, which means there are plenty of opportunities if you’re looking to find a permanent place to work.

The economy of Leeds is worth nearly £64 billion, with the average full-time worker making a salary of £28,137. And it’s the fastest growing city in the UK, estimated to grow by 21% over the next ten years. Although there are plenty of sectors for you to work in, some of the more lucrative growth sectors include healthcare and medical technologies, publishing, broadcasting, manufacturing, financial and business services, and digital and creative industries.

And if you work in academia, medicine or science, the city hosts Europe’s largest teaching hospital trust and several of the local universities are home to innovative research facilities.

Resources for job seekers in Leeds

Want to know what jobs are available in the private sector? Here are a few recruitment agencies to help you get started:

Need some help with your CV or your cover letter? Or maybe just a bit of career advice? These resources are worth checking out:

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Leeds

And what about working for a charity in Leeds?

There’s no doubt Leeds is a driving force of innovation and industry. But what if you’re after a job at a charity? With over 1,500 registered charities in Leeds, there are thousands of opportunities to become a trustee or find a full-time paid position in the third sector. But you’ll have to be quick to find a job in non-profit as they tend to be quite popular. If you want to stay up to date with the latest charity opportunities, you can set up a job alert for charity jobs in Leeds.

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are plenty of local organisations that are looking for people to work with youths, support the elderly, give back to the environment or even take part in a cultural festival or event. As volunteering is a great way to build experience in the non-profit sector, it’s definitely worth finding a cause that truly speaks to you and get involved. Doing Good Leeds is a great resource for finding what volunteer opportunities are available.

Some major charities based in Leeds include:

Some amazing local Leeds charities include:

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Leeds

Employment market in Leeds

According to Experian Business Strategies, employment in Leeds has been on a steady upward trend, and figures are still growing. Employee numbers have increased by 3% over the last decade, with self-employment going up by 26%. And Leeds has the highest rate of private sector growth at 6.1%, which is ahead of both London and the national average. Last year, 75% of residents in employment were economically active, with 70% in full-time work and 30% in part-time.

To learn more about employment facts and figures in Leeds, check out this detailed report on the Office for National Statistics website.


Living in Leeds

Regularly voted one of the best places to live in the UK, Leeds is the perfect location if you’re after a big city lifestyle with small town prices. But what is it really like to live in this centre of industry and culture?


Want to live in an up-and-coming corner in the city centre? Then Chapel Allerton (or ‘Chapple Apple’) is the place to go. With plenty of independent cafes, delis, shops and a raft of popular bars and restaurants, there’s no wonder why it’s in such high demand – and the average price for a semi-detached 3-bedroom house in this area is just under £220,000. If you want more of a village vibe, then Horsforth may be a better option. Over the years, it’s become a hub for young independents who’ve moved out of the city centre, and with a great nightlife and easy transport into the city, it’s got everything you need. On average, you’ll be spending £280,000 for a house in this area.

Traffic and travel

Leeds is one of the biggest transport hubs in the North, which means there are plenty of ways to get around. But be warned, it’s not always the most reliable when it comes to transport showing up on time. Luckily, the city centre is small, which means walking is often faster than taking the bus.

Trains: With the third-busiest train station outside of London, it’s easy to travel throughout Yorkshire and beyond. There are direct services available to London and Edinburgh, and great connections to local stations that serve as commuter hubs for those living outside the city centre.

Buses and coaches: Buses are the most used form of transit in Leeds. Arriva and First Bus keep the city well-serviced, and the Leeds CityBus passes through the major business and shopping districts. There are also several buses that provide services to local towns and villages.

The CharityJob Guide to Living and Working in Leeds

What’s happening around town?

Leeds is pretty renowned for its nightlife, constantly coming up as the number one spot for a night out in the UK. With plenty of live music venues, bars, restaurants and foodie hot spots, you’re sure to find something that speaks to your particular interests.

Outdoors – Not surprisingly, one of Leeds’ biggest attractions is Yorkshire. In fact, the city is just a stone’s throw away from some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK. But you don’t have to leave the city to get your taste of the great outdoors. Roundhay Park is one of the largest city parks in Europe, with over 700 acres of parkland, lakes and gardens.

Sports – There’s no denying that the sports culture in this city is top notch, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to get close to the action. The Yorkshire County Cricket Club is considered one of the best in the world, and the Leeds Rhinos rugby team is one of the most successful in Super League history. There are also several marathons and triathlons you can get involved with if that’s what you’re in to.

Theatre and music – Leeds has a rich history of live performance, hosting legendary entertainers like Charlie Chaplin and Houdini. It’s also the birthplace of playwright Alan Bennet, who’s shows have been featured at several local playhouses. For live music lovers, the First Direct Arena has seen some amazing acts pass through it, voted the Best New Venue in the World in 2014.

Shopping – When it comes to shopping, Leeds is hard to beat. The city centre is fabulously compact, meaning you’re never too far from the next shop. In fact, there are 120 high street brands in Trinity Leeds. But it’s not just big-name brands that live here; independent shops are literally everywhere. Visit the Corn Exchange to find amazing vintage knick-knacks, or Lambert’s Yard to find a medley of up and coming designers.


If Leeds sounds like the place for you, then take a look at what’s available now on CharityJob.

Stephanie Dotto

Content & SEO Lead at CharityJob. Lover of fiction, films and food. In a previous life, she was a music and tourism journalist. When she's not writing and editing blog content, she is working on her novel.

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