Data analytics and artificial intelligence applications in Leeds City Region

Transform society, our lives and your business by exploiting the growing demand for data analytics and artificial intelligence.

The UK is one of the best places in the world to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, with the sector worth over £15.6 billion. Leeds is home to a thriving data science cluster that works across multiple sectors including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and creative. A strong digital and data-centred heritage highlights an established ecosystem of innovation that you can take advantage of.



Leeds City Region, Yorkshire

Investment type:

Foreign direct investment


Healthcare and life sciences, Technology

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Sector and market opportunity

In Leeds City Region, you’ll find the skills, support and collaboration opportunities you need to develop, operate and scale up your data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) operations.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to focus on innovative digital healthcare, solving societal challenges or disruptive technologies (like image recognition, intelligent mobility and environmental mapping). Whatever your priority, you’ll have access to everything you need to meet growing national and international demand.

Growth prospects

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has acted as a catalyst for AI adoption, with applications in digital healthcare, education and digital transformation helping companies to move their businesses online.

Global AI platform revenue will reach £39 billion by 2024, up from £21 billion in 2019. And spending on AI will rise as businesses seek to accelerate digital transformation and development.

The global big data analytics market size is expected to be worth £412 billion in 2028 with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% during the 2021 to 2028 period.


The region’s digital economy is now worth £6.5 billion and has an ecosystem alive with co-working spaces, accelerators, events, meetups and support schemes. The infrastructure available makes it a cost-effective location to host business-critical or sensitive data and to grow your business in the UK.

You’ll join a thriving data cluster and become part of a dynamic community of businesses innovating and providing solutions in data analytics and AI applications. From early-stage startups to large organisations, the region is ready to support your business in supplying data analytics technologies and AI applications.


Leeds Bradford Airport operates flights to over 70 UK and international locations.

You can travel via Leeds Railway Station to London in 2 hours, Manchester in 45mins and Birmingham in just under 2 hours, as well as reach many other UK destinations.

The area has great road connections too. Manchester and Sheffield are an hour away by car, while Newcastle is within easy driving distance at 2 hours away.

Local talent and skills

Leeds City Region has the largest workforce in northern England, with 35% of people educated to degree level.

The area has 119,000 students from 150 countries – a huge pool of native multi-linguists for businesses that rely on fluent communication to give them a competitive edge.

Over 12,000 students are currently studying a related subject such as data science, machine learning, AI, immersive technologies or computing science.

Region Spotlight
North of England


The North of England is recognised as a global centre for creativity and design and attracts thriving international investment. This heritage of expertise and manufacturing know-how is well established on the world stage, and historically gave birth to the Industrial Revolution.

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Research and expertise

Engage with centres of excellence and access their expertise in data science analytics and digital technologies.

Key assets include the:

  • Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA)
  • Centre for Immersive Technologies
  • Centre for Financial Technology and Innovation (CFTI)
  • Centre for Applied Education Research at the University of Leeds

Further collaborations are available through the:

  • BUILD programme
  • NHS General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)
  • NHS Digital
  • Connected Places Catapult
  • Data Mill North
  • Open Innovations

Local and national government support

The UK is committed to remaining a world-leading centre for AI and data. National strategies in data, AI and innovation highlight huge opportunities for the future by setting out frameworks for how the UK will invest in these areas.

Locally, Leeds Local Enterprise Partnership offers support, funding and initiatives to drive your business forward, helping you to find suitable premises, recruit the right people and market effectively.

Success stories


Vet-AI is a research and development company providing ground-breaking solutions for the animal health industry. Its first product to market was the Joii Pet Care app, a telemedicine service for pet owners. It has experienced rapid growth over the last 12 months with over 150,000 pets registered with the app.

Based at the University of Leeds’ innovation hub, Nexus, Vet-AI has been granted 2 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships from Innovate UK. It works directly with world-leading experts from the University’s School of Computing and School of Medicine and Health.

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