Leeds Central

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Leeds Central is a really diverse and exciting community, covering Hyde Park, Woodhouse, Little London, Lincoln Green, Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, Osmondthorpe, Belle Isle, Middleton, Hunslet, Holbeck, Beeston, Cottingley and a thriving city centre.

Over the years, Leeds’ growth has been built on hard work and a capacity to change with the times. Leeds has a great industrial heritage and manufacturing remains very important to the local economy.

The city centre today is home to a big financial services industry, two universities (Leeds University and Leeds Met), two hospitals (’Jimmy’s’ and the LGI), the Leeds City Museum and the Royal Armouries, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the City Varieties, the Grand Theatre, the Northern Ballet and the soon to open Leeds Arena which will have 13,500 seats.

The constituency then runs down across the River Aire, and on to Holbeck, Hunslet, and Beeston, taking in Leeds Utd FC at Elland Road and the Hunslet Hawks at South Leeds Stadium, as well as a large area of manufacturing, and then on to the housing estates of Belle Isle and Middleton (with the wonderful Middleton Park and its new Visitors’ Centre).  From Cottingley in the west to Richmond Hill, Osmondthorpe and Burmantofts (where Olympic boxing gold medal winner Nicola Adams grew up) in the east, each is a unique community with its own characteristics and traditions like the Beeston Festival, the Holbeck and Hunslet Galas, and the Cottingley Fayre. It is also home to the Middleton Railway – the oldest working commercial railway in the world.

The area has seen significant public investment in recent years, with new schools – South Leeds and Primrose high schools and new primaries in West Hunslet and Osmondthorpe. And school results continue to improve thanks to the hard work of teachers and - of course - pupils. There’s also the new state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre at St. James’ Hospital and new health centres in East Leeds, Beeston Village and Dewsbury Road.

The city also has  a long and proud tradition of welcoming newcomers to the city, with significant Irish, West Indian, Sikh, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, and the more recent arrival of asylum seekers from all over the world.

It is a constituency of many contrasts, and includes wards that are among the most deprived in the country. But there is a terrific community spirit, and I support many local people who are working hard in running residents associations, sports clubs, community groups, looking after the elderly, caring for the environment, and campaigning on issues we care about. We achieve most when we work together!

Leeds Central is a great place to live and work. Do come and find out more….

Hilary Benn

MP for Leeds Central

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