Leicester United Kindom a vistors student guide - The City of Contrast
Leicester Clock Tower

Leicester – the City of Contrasts

Leicester is the largest city and unitary authority in the East Midlands. Leicester is the traditional county town of Leicestershire. Leicester lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the English National Forest. In 2004, the population of the city proper was estimated at 285,100, with 441,213 living in the urban and surrounding areas. It is currently, by population, the 10th largest city in England and the 13th largest in the United Kingdom.

Leicester has a rich history and diverse ethnicity. Leicester’s importance was first recognised by the Romans and later by the Danes, who used it as a strategic stronghold to control the Midlands. Leicester has developed into a major commercial and manufacturing centre. Leicester is known better for the diversity of its trade and population. Leicester is also a historic meeting place. For centuries people of different races and cultures have gathered in Leicester, creating a rich and unique heritage. Leicester’s diversity continues today.

Leicester City Centre
Leicester Clock Tower a Landmark of Leicester

The city has long been a major commercial and manufacturing centre for the Midlands. Within the region, all roads lead to Leicester and there is easy access from London, East Midlands and Birmingham International airports. Although there have been substantial changes in the local economy over the last decade, Leicester is still a city founded on manufacturing. A third of the city's workers are in manufacturing - mostly in textiles and clothing, but also in electronics, food and drink, printing and plastics.

Commerce is the lifeblood of Leicester. Leicester’s famous covered market is amongst the largest in Europe and dates back seven hundred years. It is the vital heart of a trading city. In the nineteenth century, the city became one of the great engines of Victorian production, but never lost its character as a market town. The enterprise culture has always thrived in Leicester and the flourishing of thousands of Asian-owned businesses in the last twenty five years is but the latest example.

The 1980's and 1990's have seen improvements in the city; making it a better place to live, work and visit. There are several regeneration projects in Leicester making the city a place to be.

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