We recently had a look at the great holiday opportunities on our doorstep in Leeds, by casting our eyes towards the Yorkshire Dales. Today we thought it would be interesting to have a look at the value of tourism to Yorkshire more generally, and to have a look in the other direction, towards York and East Yorkshire, another very popular area for tourists in our area and in the UK at large.
Regional website Yorkshire.com notes that the total value of the industry of tourism to the Yorkshire region is £7 billion annually. This is a significant sum and a large contributor to the economy of the region more generally. The county of Yorkshire has seen a real boost in recent years with the Tour de France hosting its Grand Depart here in 2014, putting the region on the map for tourism from the continent, as well as further highlighting our region as a tourism destination within the UK. The Yorkshire Tourism Board also provides figures which suggest that tourism counts for as much as 7.2% of Yorkshire’s income and supports 11% of Yorkshire’s workforce, amounting to around 240,000 jobs.
The City of York in particular is a notable destination for visitors. Attracting around 4 million visitors annually, with around a quarter of those typically being from overseas, though the number of overseas visitors, particularly those from continental Europe, increased in 2014, as a result of the Grand Depart. York is also a popular tourist destination for those from North America, with the history and culture of the region, represented in the narrow and quaint streets of the old areas of the city, offering a quintessential representation of England’s traditions and heritage.
It’s easy to see why York is such an attraction both for those in the UK and without. The history of the city spans millennia,. From the Roman settlement of Eboracum, to Jorvik and the Vikings and the Wars of the Roses more recently. Much of this history is evident in the city. The Roman walls which surround the old city are still in very good condition. The Jorvik centre, though sometimes out of action due to its subterranean location and the city’s propensity for flooding near the river Ouse, is a fantastic tourist spot for those looking to learn more about the Viking’s occupation of the city. The museum allows visitors to travel around a recreation of what York during the Viking period would have been like, demonstrating the lifestyle and culture of this period with models and animatronics.
The Minster is of course another iconic attraction within the city. It’s staggering scale and fascinating history make it one of the region’s top attractions. A guided tour is worth the investment, with details such as the Minsters sloping floor (to allow for easy cleaning from the dirt of all the pilgrims who visited) making the trip come to life.
The East of Yorkshire, along with Humberside, has been put on the map more recently, with Hull’s being City of Culture for 2017. The East coast of Yorkshire offers some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Whitby, with its Gothic history and Abbey along with Scarborough and Filey further up the coast attract millions of visitors a year.
Hotels are an obvious choice for accommodation for those looking to visit. With York and East Yorkshire’s seaside towns having a range of different price points for those looking to visit. From Bed & Breakfast accommodation to more expensive boutique hotels. If the weather is on your side then camping is of course a great option for accommodation again, and is great value for money. Alternatively, an increasingly popular choice is the Holiday Lodge option. Log Cabins such as Bay Tree Lodge near York offer many of the comforts of a cottage self-catering stay, but with the charm of a cabin stay. In this case it also comes with its own Hot Tub, to add an extra luxury to your stay.
Yorkshire remains one of the chief tourist destinations in the country and with offerings such as York and the picturesque East Coast seaside towns it is not hard to understand why so many flock to this part of the world year round- we’re lucky they’re right on our doorstep here in Leeds.
Top of Brook Street #Ilkley at 11am today, Mother Nature at her worse @LeedsNews pic.twitter.com/9lHalnibAe
— stephen donne (@sdonne23) November 15, 2015
Top of Brook Street #Ilkley at 11am today, Mother Nature at her worse @LeedsNews pic.twitter.com/9lHalnibAe
— stephen donne (@sdonne23) November 15, 2015
credit: The Telegraph.co.ukLNP
The heavy rains of last weeks storms saw floodwaters pouring across the county. But whilst some of this can be attributed to rapidly rising river levels, problems were also caused by the autumn leaves which had blocked drains and culverts. The rising floodwater, combined with heavy rainfall meant that the water couldnt escape through the blocked and damaged drains and many small becks found themsselves flowing down the roads through local towns, rather than in culverts.
In a blog post early in 2014, an office furniture company predicted the following: that kitchen and dining areas will become a prominent feature of office design, stating that as people congregate around kitchens and eating areas, so employers will improve conditions for workers. Well, insiders at Ignite Leeds have found that a nice shiny new kitchen for your office workers kitted out with all the right office/kitchen furniture might be a nice thing, but beware that it’s kept nice and clean as well!
A spokesperson said:
“Staff-run kitchen areas are a true horror story and a food poisoning outbreak waiting to happen. In many cases, we find that nobody’s sure who’s actually in charge of these areas, which means that nobody takes responsibility.”
The survey asked office workers when was the last time their staff kitchen was thoroughly cleaned. The results were alarming:
If you run your own business, you’re likely to acknowledge that we’re still a long way from the idea of a paperless office! A build-up of paperwork is something that most of us have to cope with from time to time, but if you’re struggling to deal with a huge backlog of un-filed paperwork, it would be time to consider using the services of a professional document management company.
Document management services usually fall into several different areas generally categorised as scanning services, data capture, document conversion and archive management. Document scanning services are designed to help companies deal with paperwork, with the intention of improving productivity, freeing up storage and reducing business running costs. Document scanning is the ideal way to safely and effectively address document storage issues, ensuring that essential documentation is stored either on site or in a web-based document storage system.
Document Management in Leeds – image by jaylopez at sxc.hu
When looking for a document management service, it’s important to find a document management company that offers a flexible service which can be adapted to suit the individual needs of each business. For example, you many have documentation which must remain on site and/or documents that can be removed for scanning so it’s important to find a company that offers both on-site and outsourced scanning options.
Data capture services are designed to extract data from a wide range of documents and for maximum accuracy, it’s important to select a document management company that uses both single and double key entry. Highly skilled operators at www.pro-doc.co.uk can efficiently processes many thousands of data fields each day, enabling the return of data in as short a time as possible.
Document conversion services are designed to convert documents into a huge range of different media types. Most document management companies in Leeds offer the option to return data to clients directly into their own document management software or though specially designed software, created to aid the successful management of a document archive.
Once you documentation and paperwork has been converted into the required digital format, files can then be returned to you on a wide range of different media types. Most document management companies offer the option to import directly the files into your documentation software, whilst some also offer the facility to provide management effective archive management software.
So rather than feeling as though you are constantly battling with a paperwork mountain, why not consider using the services of a document management company? Document management is becoming an increasingly popular option for many companies and is seen as an effective way to bring paperwork bang up to date whilst freeing up time and valuable storage space.
According to a study carried out by EY, entrepreneurs in Yorkshire and the North of England are capitalising on large opportunities to grow in the UK.
Companies led by entrepreneurs across the North of England have achieved a 24 per cent growth in their turnover during the past year, beating their counterparts in the south of England and London by 19 per cent, the Midlands by 12 per cent and Scotland by 17.1 per cent. These figures are the results of an analysis of 128 businesses which have enjoyed fast growth.
The figures have been supplied by companies who made it to the final of EY’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ competition which was split evenly across the United Kingdom. The winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award is James Lambert who is the chairman of R&R Ice Cream, a Yorkshire-based company which owns brands including Skinny Cow, Kelly’s of Cornwall and Fab. R&R Ice Cream started out by employing just five people and now has a work force of almost 3000 with an annual turnover of just under £750 million.
EY Partner and UK Entrepreneur of the Year Leader said: “The importance of entrepreneurs in leading the economic recovery is clear, with their contribution to the growth, revenue and jobs vastly ahead of the economy in general. It reinforces research by NESTA showing that 6 per cent of outstanding growth companies create half of new, high value jobs.
“The impact on regional economies and confidence cannot be overstated, with entrepreneurs providing a major boost for local innovation, pride and job creation. Innovative and fast-growing businesses have helped the UK regions to become world players in many industries.”
According to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post on 8 October, Yorkshire textile companies are once again at the forefront of global fashion trends.
Many struggling textile mills have been bought out of administration by SIL Holdings, a company based in Bradford. In the Yorkshire Evening Post report David Gallimore, managing director of SIL’s Luxury Fabrics division explained: “Yorkshire’s textile companies are trend-setters in the global fashion industry,” adding that over the last couple of years there has been a huge global rise in the popularity of ‘Made in England’ as a brand and not just in textiles.
SIL Holding’s textiles are a regular feature of the world’s catwalks, however the UK textiles market accounts for less than 10 per cent of their sales. SIL Holding’s is a family-run textiles group and their customers include Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada to name just a few. Founded in the 1970s, SIL Holdings has gone from strength-to-strength to become one of the biggest speciality fibre manufacturers and merchants in the world.
Wool Yorkshire is a campaign being organised by SIL Holdings to raise awareness of the excellent reputation that the West Yorkshire textile industry enjoys around the world. The Wool Yorkshire campaign coincides with Campaign for Wool’s ‘Wool Week.’
The cloth manufactured by businesses in the group is exported to a variety of markets around the world including Europe, the Middle East and Far East. SIL Holding’s managing director Andrew Seal the Yorkshire Evening Post that mill towns in Yorkshire are: “at the heart of a global fashion business which recognises the value of craftsmanship, quality, expertise and consistency – all things which derive from our textile manufacturing heritage.”
According to a survey recently carried out by Deloitte Real Estate UK Cities Crane Survey, confidence is growing in the office development market in Leeds.
The detailed survey shows that the amount of floorspace under construction in Leeds has risen significantly – by 68 per cent – since last year’s survey, with 147,000 square foot across four development schemes.
The demand during the first half of this year has been high, with the take-up reaching 438,000 square foot which is eight per cent higher than the total reached during 2012.
Deloitte Real Estate’s head of Leeds, Angela Barnicle, said that new starts in 2013 were being led by office and student housing developments: “The rise in activity suggests growing confidence in the Leeds office market and we are seeing renewed optimism and vibrancy across the city.
“Despite the healthy level of activity in the regional office market, developers have thus far not rushed to develop new floorspace. However, Deloitte Real Estate research shows we could be on the point of seeing a number of speculative schemes starting, aiming to attract tenants currently faced with little or no choice of currently-available floorspace.”
The survey also showed that things are looking up for Leeds’ retail sector; the opening of the Trinity Leeds development was followed by a refurbishment of the Merrion shopping centre with work on the city’s Victoria Gate development due to start next year.
However, residential developments in Leeds city centre appeared to be quieter: no new construction starts and zero completion of residential properties during 2013 means that residential property completion levels are at their lowest for a decade.
As any Yorkshire-man will tell you, the region boasts some of the finest cuisine you’ll find – from the legendary Yorkshire pudding, through to parkin, gingerbread and Wensleydale cheese, Yorkshire delicacies are pretty hard to beat.
However it also appears that the region is rapidly becoming something of a hotspot for fine dining as it’s recently been revealed that Yorkshire has more Michelin Star restaurants than any other county in England outside London.
The Michelin Guide 2014 was published recently along with announcements of the Michelin Star awards, naming five top restaurants in Yorkshire as having one of the coveted stars. The restaurants are The Box Tree in Ilkley, The Black Swan at Oldstead, The Old Vicarage in Sheffield, The Pipe and Glass Inn in South Dalton and The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale.
In addition to the Michelin Star awards, a further three restaurants received a Michelin Bib Gourmand; awarded by Michelin to restaurants offering good cuisine at reasonable prices. The Bib Gourmand winners were Prashad in Drighlington, Vennell’s Restaurant in Masham and El Gato Negro in Ripponden.
The Michelin Guide was first published in the UK way back in 1911 and is probably the most highly regarded guides to restaurants and hotels in Europe.
The Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity, said: “It’s fantastic for our county to once again be recognised as a national leader in fine dining and indeed quality food across the board.
“We’ve known how good the food is here in Yorkshire for a long time, so it’s nice to have the Michelin guide acknowledge that too. We have some of the best food producers in the country, and for Yorkshire to have so many Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand restaurants is great for tourism.
“This is also welcome recognition for the county as Yorkshire prepares to host the world’s largest annual sporting event – the Tour de France – next July.”
According to a senior analyst at one of the UK’s largest investment management and financial planning firms, Yorkshire is ideally placed to reap the benefits as the economic recovery begins to spread beyond London and the South East of England. Brewin Dolphin’s head of fund research, Ben Gutterdige, said that manufacturing and financial services firms based in Yorkshire were playing a part in helping to rebalance the UK’s economy. He made his comments after a seminar organised by Brewin Dolphin. The event was attended by around 60 business leaders and was entitled ‘Reasons to be Cheerful.’ Also included in the event was a speech on the arrival of ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ in 2014. Mr Gutteridge said: “While I do think financial services in London are particularly well-placed to benefit from the global upturn, I think that it is spreading out and Yorkshire’s contribution from financial services and manufacturing is helping the UK recovery to become more sustainable, rather than just being a housing market story. “It’s helping with that re-balancing goal that George Osborne and David Cameron want to achieve. The Yorkshire economy, like many regions of the UK, is still benefitting from the accommodating monetary policy which is in place. “That will help underpin a strengthening housing market and that will put more money in the pockets of Yorkshire consumers.” Antonio Horta-Osorio, the boss of state-backed lender Lloyds, warned recently that the Help to Buy scheme put in place by the government risked creating a potentially dangerous house price ‘bubble’ unless it was matched with the building of more homes. Antonio Horta-Osorio called for a relaxation in planning and building regulations, along with more social housing projects, to avoid the rising numbers of mortgage approvals driving up house prices. Ben Gutteridge said: “There’s a lot of concern that housing market may trigger early interest rate hikes while the economy is still in a nascent recovery. “Our hope is that the clash of Help to Buy with the Bank of England’s own macro-prudential tools will allow the central bank to leave interest rates at a lower level for longer. “Perhaps the Bank of England will ask banks to park more capital to one side, if they’re doing too much mortgage activity, to make sure the housing market doesn’t spur any unnecessary early tightening of interest rates.”