Invest in Yorkshire & Humber

Yorkshire and Humber is one of Europe's most fastest-growing business centres. As the regional development agency, we welcome and encourage business investment here from elsewhere in the UK and around the world.

  • We have a strong, stable economy and a commitment to world trade
  • Our world-renowned industrial/manufacturing heritage means an extensive skills base
  • We have a diverse, ambitious, hard-working labour market of over 2 million people
  • Leeds is England’s biggest financial centre outside of London
  • We have outstanding universities, producing 10% of the UK’s graduates between them
  • We have a reputation as a champion of innovation
  • Industry and our universities collaborate closely, resulting in co-operative alliances, knowledge transfers, science parks and business incubators.

Business is booming in Yorkshire & Humber

Between 1998 and 2008, the region’s GVA increased by 44%, and our region is second only to the South East as a base for foreign manufacturing investment. Manufacturing in Yorkshire & Humber is worth £14.2bn, accounting for just under a fifth of the region’s economy, and is forecast to grow by 13.7% to reach £15.6bn by 2016.

Our GDP is big enough to rank us alongside the top 20% of the world's economies. Yorkshire & Humber's population, at over 5 million, is the same size as Scotland's or Denmark's, and the region is home to nearly 300,000 businesses. We have more cities in the top 50 European Cities for Business than any other UK region (Leeds and Sheffield are at no 3 and no 5, respectively, and Bradford is also on the list).

For more information, visit the Invest in Yorkshire website.


Our region is strategically located: over 370 million customers across Europe can be reached within just 2 hours. We have 3 international airports, Europe’s biggest ports complex, and the most motorways. Two of the UK’s most significant motorways run through the region: the M1/A1, which runs north/south through Britain, and the M62, which runs east/west across Britain.) We’re the fast track to any marketplace.

And when you need to send data rather than people or goods, our region has 100% broadband enablement. This has drawn investment from major service providers such as BT, 02, Telewest and Cable & Wireless.

Commercial property and operating costs

Businesses locating in Yorkshire & Humber benefit from operating costs up to 20% lower than the UK average. Recent surveys show that, despite the appreciation of the Euro, business costs have been lower in the UK than in the USA, Italy, Germany, France and Japan. Numerous locations in the region, such as Bradford, have a particularly low cost base, and Sheffield is the most cost-effective location in terms of office space and the cost of staff.

Office rental costs are competitive, at between 30% and 50% less than London. They are also often lower than many other UK cities and European locations, including Cambridge, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Barcelona and Stockholm.


Yorkshire & Humber is an exciting place to live. The key to our unrivalled quality of life is a blend of cultural and geographical diversity. Over 1,000 sq miles of breathtaking, tranquil, history-filled countryside surround thriving cities with strong commercial centres, vibrant nightlifes and some of the best shopping in the UK.

The cost of living here is 40% lower than the national average, and education is of a high standard. And while salaries are 7% below the national average, this is more than offset by a very competitive property market (25% lower than the national average and 30-50% lower than London).

Global partnership schemes

The region is a major champion of global partnership schemes, which help overseas companies tap into the expertise of our businesses and universities. This route generates new growth opportunities, and attracts high-level investors from across the world.

Business support

Yorkshire & Humber offers some of the best financial packages for businesses anywhere in Europe. When you combine these incentives with the UK's business-friendly tax regime, you get one of the strongest advantages to investing in the region.

Find out about the extensive business support offered by Business Link Yorkshire, as well as the range of funding opportunities. Yorkshire Forward also encourages inward investment from overseas companies, and there may also be support with sites and premises.

The Facts

  • Operating costs are up to 20% less than the UK average
  • Salaries are 7% less than the UK average
  • Our cost of living is 40% less than the UK average
  • Our GVA grew by 44% between 1998 and 2008
  • Reach over 370 million customers in 2 hours or less.