West Yorkshire

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Bridgewater Place, a symbol of Leeds' growing financial importance. Bridgewater place,Leeds.JPG
Bridgewater Place, a symbol of Leeds' growing financial importance.

This is a chart of regional gross value added for West Yorkshire at current basic prices with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling. [24]

West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire UK locator map 2010.svg
Coordinates: 53°45′N1°40′W / 53.750°N 1.667°W / 53.750; -1.667 Coordinates: 53°45′N1°40′W / 53.750°N 1.667°W / 53.750; -1.667
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Established1 April 1974
Preceded by West Riding of Yorkshire
Origin Local Government Act 1972
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police West Yorkshire Police
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Edmund Anderson
High Sheriff Jonathan Thornton [1] (2020–21)
Mayor Tracy Brabin
Area2,029 km2 (783 sq mi)
  Ranked 29th of 48
Population (mid-2019 est.)2,320,214
  Ranked 4th of 48
Density1,143/km2 (2,960/sq mi)
Ethnicity81.8% White
11.6% S. Asian
2.1% Mixed
2.1% Black
2.4% Other
YearRegional Gross Value Added [25] Agriculture [26] Industry [27] Services [28]


Leeds has since attracted investment from financial institutions, to become a recognised financial centre, with many banks, building societies and insurance companies having offices in the city. Wakefield has also attracted many service-based industries, in particular call centres. Two of the big four supermarkets are from West Yorkshire. Morrisons is based in Bradford, while Asda is based in Leeds.

West Yorkshire grew up around several industries. Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and South and East Leeds were traditional coal mining areas.


Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield grew through the development of woollen mills. Leeds' traditional industry was the manufacturing of cloth while heavier engineering industries facilitated growth in South Leeds.

The Heavy Woollen District covered towns such as Dewsbury, Batley, Morley, Ossett, Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike. The woollen and cloth industries declined throughout the twentieth century.


The Rhubarb Triangle is wholly in West Yorkshire and still produces the vegetable in considerable quantities. [29] Twelve farmers who farm within the Rhubarb Triangle applied to have the name "Yorkshire forced rhubarb" added to the list of foods and drinks that have their names legally protected by the European Commission's Protected Food Name scheme. [30] The application was successful and the farmers in the Rhubarb Triangle were awarded Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO) in February 2010. Food protected status accesses European funding to promote the product and legal backing against other products made outside the area using the name. Other protected names include Stilton cheese, Champagne and Parma Ham.


Many of the coal mines in West Yorkshire closed during the Robens era in the 1960s, but mining was still a significant employer in the Wakefield district at the time of the 1984–85 strike. The last pit in West Yorkshire to close was Hay Royds Colliery at Denby Dale in 2012 after a flood. [31]

Film and television productions

Several films and television series have been filmed in West Yorkshire's historic areas, particularly around the town of Halifax. [32] [33] For example, portions of the BBC television series Happy Valley were filmed in Huddersfield; in addition to exteriors, some of the studio filming was done at North Light Film Studios at Brookes Mill, Huddersfield. As well, interiors for the BBC's Jamaica Inn , for the BBC's Remember Me and for ITV series Black Work , were also filmed at the studios. [34] [35] [36] [37] More recently, many of the exteriors of the BBC series Jericho were filmed at the nearby Rockingstone Quarry and some interior work was done at North Light Film Studios. [38]


Titus Salt's mill in Saltaire, Shipley is an UNESCO World Heritage Site Saltaire from Leeds and Liverpool Canal.jpg
Titus Salt's mill in Saltaire, Shipley is an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Urban tourism varies. National interest features include sporting stadia, museums, theatre and galleries. Royal Armouries is in Leeds, as is the Leeds Playhouse (formerly the West Yorkshire Playhouse), Opera North and The Grand Theatre. The First Direct Arena in Leeds seats around 15,000 people. Sheffield Arena is also popular, as is the Bradford Alhambra, St Georges Hall and the Media and Science Museum in Bradford. Leeds is the most popular shopping destination in West Yorkshire, probably Yorkshire and rivals Manchester having claim to Briggate, the Headrow, Trinity Leeds, Victoria Gate, the Victoria and Northern Quarters, the biggest indoor market in Europe and the White Rose Centre, as well as many 'first outside of London' labels such as Harvey Nichols and Victoria's Secret. Leeds is also a popular nightlife destination domestically, which is not surprising given its accessibility and central location. All cities are well connected via rail and road, Leeds railway station is an important hub seeing 29.7 million passengers 2015–16, making it the fourth busiest station in the UK after London stations, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central. It is the busiest in Northern England.

Signposted walks follow rivers and the escarpment of the Pennines, which is scaled in meandering stages and tunnels by the recreational Leeds-Liverpool Canal and Rochdale Canal, navigable by barge, canoe or kayak. Other tourism features include abbeys, castles, countryside walks, landscapes, picturesque villages, architecture, stately homes, tea rooms, real ale breweries, farmer's markets, restaurants and hiking in villages including Hebden Bridge, Ilkley with its scenic riversides, cherry blossoms and suspension bridge and equally in Wharfedale, Otley.


Leeds Bradford Airport LBIA terminal 1.jpg
Leeds Bradford Airport

West Yorkshire lies in arguably the most strategic part of Yorkshire: the M62, M1 and the A1(M) pass through the county, as well as the internal urban motorways in Leeds and Bradford. West Yorkshire has two mainline railway stations, Leeds and Wakefield Westgate. Leeds railway station is the only Network Rail principal station in Yorkshire and North East England, and one of only three in the North of England along with Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street. Other important railway stations in West Yorkshire include Bradford Interchange, Bradford Forster Square, Huddersfield, Halifax, Dewsbury, Keighley and Shipley. West Yorkshire also has Yorkshire's largest airport, Leeds Bradford Airport.

Unlike South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire has no light transit system; the Leeds Supertram was proposed but was later cancelled after the withdrawal of government funding. Public transport is run under the authority of West Yorkshire Metro.

In October 2021, £830 million of funding was announced for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to develop mass transit for the region. [39] [40]

Additionally, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority won its bids for the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme and Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) scheme, the successful ZEBRA funding will see the introduction of between 179 and 245 zero-emission electric buses with the necessary infrastructure whilst the BSIP plan will give the West Yorkshire Combined Authority £70 million out of a desired £168 million to implement the improvements outlined in the authority's BSIP. [41] [42] [43] [44]


Elland Road, home to Leeds United Elland Road East Stand & North East Corner.jpg
Elland Road, home to Leeds United

Major football clubs in West Yorkshire include Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, and Bradford City.

Rugby league is also big in West Yorkshire. The teams who are, or have been, in the Super League are Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Halifax Panthers, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, and Wakefield Trinity. Other rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire include Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Hunslet Hawks and Keighley Cougars. Any combination of these teams playing against each other would be called a West Yorkshire derby even if the rivalry is not as great as other rivalries between teams in the area. The main rugby union club in the county is Yorkshire Carnegie.

Elland Road is the largest stadium in the area, hosting Leeds United. The Headingley Stadium, a stadium complex also in Leeds, consists of a cricket and a rugby ground. The cricket ground is home of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the rugby ground is home to both Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie. In Huddersfield, the John Smith's Stadium is home to Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants. In Bradford, Valley Parade is the home of Bradford City, whereas the Odsal Stadium is the home of the Bradford Bulls. Other stadiums include Wheldon Road (Castleford), The Shay (Halifax), Belle Vue (Wakefield), Mount Pleasant (Batley), Crown Flatt (Dewsbury), Post Office Road (Featherstone), John Charles Centre for Sport (Hunslet) and Cougar Park (Keighley).

There are two racecourses in West Yorkshire: Pontefract and Wetherby

West Yorkshire also used to host regular speedway meetings, having the Halifax Dukes and the Bradford Dukes teams. Odsal Stadium used to host BriSCA stock cars. Leeds has a hill climb event at Harewood speed Hillclimb.

Places of interest

Historic environment

AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
UKAL icon.svg Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country parks.svg Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
HR icon.svg Heritage railway
HH icon.svg Historic House
AP Icon.svg Places of Worship
Museum icon.svg
Museum icon (red).svg
Museum (free/not free)
NTE icon.svg National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo
Harewood House Harewood House, seen from the garden.JPG
Harewood House
Sandal Castle SandalCastleWall.jpg
Sandal Castle


Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds: Looking up the main stairwell Leeds-RA-01.jpg
Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds: Looking up the main stairwell

Natural environment

Emley Moor Mast EmleyMoorMastSpring2006.jpg
Emley Moor Mast


Clarence Dock in Leeds Clarence Dock Leeds.JPG
Clarence Dock in Leeds

See also

Related Research Articles

Brighouse Town in West Yorkshire, England

Brighouse is a town within the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is situated on the River Calder, 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Halifax. It is served by Junction 25 of the M62 motorway and Brighouse railway station on the Caldervale Line and Huddersfield Line. In the town centre is a mooring basin on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. The United Kingdom Census 2001 gave the Brighouse / Rastrick subdivision of the West Yorkshire Urban Area a population of 32,360. The Brighouse ward of Calderdale Council gave a population of 11,195 at the 2011 Census. Brighouse has a HD6 postcode.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dewsbury</span> Market and minster town in West Yorkshire, England

Dewsbury is a minster and market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It lies on the River Calder and on an arm of the Calder and Hebble Navigation waterway. It is to the west of Wakefield, east of Huddersfield and south of Leeds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hebden Bridge</span> Town in West Yorkshire, England

Hebden Bridge is a market town in the Upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, England. It is 8 miles (13 km) west of Halifax and 14 miles (21 km) north-east of Rochdale, at the confluence of the River Calder and the Hebden Water. The town is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Hebden Royd.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirklees</span> Metropolitan borough in England

Kirklees is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Kirklees Council with the status of a metropolitan borough. The largest town and administrative centre of Kirklees is Huddersfield, and the district also includes Batley, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield and Slaithwaite. Kirklees had a population of 422,500 in 2011; it is also the third largest metropolitan district in England by area size, behind Doncaster and Leeds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Riding of Yorkshire</span> One of the historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England

The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding, was based closely on the historic boundaries. The lieutenancy at that time included the City of York and as such was named West Riding of the County of York and the County of the City of York.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">City of Bradford</span> City and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England

The City of Bradford is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Bradford, but covers a large area which includes the towns and villages of Keighley, Shipley, Bingley, Ilkley, Haworth, Silsden, Queensbury, Thornton and Denholme. Bradford has a population of 528,155, making it the fourth-most populous metropolitan district and the sixth-most populous local authority district in England. It forms part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area conurbation which in 2011 had a population of 1,777,934, and the city is part of the Leeds-Bradford Larger Urban Zone (LUZ), which, with a population of 2,393,300, is the fourth largest in the United Kingdom after London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Huddersfield line Inter-regional railway in Northern England

The Huddersfield line is the main railway line between the English cities of Leeds and Manchester via Huddersfield. It is one of the busiest MetroTrain lines. The route travels south-south west from Leeds through Dewsbury. After a short westward stretch through Mirfield, it continues south west through Huddersfield, using the Colne Valley to its headwaters. The long Standedge Tunnel just after Marsden crosses under the watershed and the majority of the run down to Manchester is in the Tame valley. From Manchester, some services continue to Manchester Airport and others to Liverpool.

West Yorkshire Metro Transport organisation in Yorkshire, England

Metro is the passenger information brand used by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in England. It was formed on 1 April 1974 as the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (WYPTE) at the same time as the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. The Metro brand has been used from the outset, and since the formal abolition of the WYPTE on 1 April 2014, it has been the public facing name of the organisation. The transport authority of West Yorkshire, responsible for setting transport policy, is the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The WYCA is also responsible for delivery of transport policies.

Hebden Royd Civil Parish in West Yorkshire, England

Hebden Royd is a civil parish with a town council in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 9,092, rising to 9,558 at the 2011 census. It includes Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale. The parish was an urban district before 1974, created in 1937 by the merger of Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd urban districts. The area now shares the HX7 postcode area.

Diocese of Wakefield Former diocese of the Church of England

The Diocese of Wakefield is a former Church of England diocese based in Wakefield in West Yorkshire, covering Wakefield, Barnsley, Kirklees and Calderdale. The cathedral was Wakefield Cathedral and the bishop was the diocesan Bishop of Wakefield.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service</span> County-wide, statutory emergency service

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is the county-wide, statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, England. It is administered by a joint authority of 22 people who are appointed annually from the five metropolitan boroughs of West Yorkshire, known as the Fire and Rescue Authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Team Pennine</span> Transdev-owned bus operator

Team Pennine operates both local and regional bus services in West Yorkshire, England. It is a subsidiary of Transdev Blazefield, which operates bus services across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Halifax, West Yorkshire</span> Minster and market town in West Yorkshire, England

Halifax is a minster and market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. It is the commercial, cultural and administrative centre of the borough, and the headquarters of Calderdale Council. In the 15th century, the town became an economic hub of the old West Riding of Yorkshire, primarily in woollen manufacture. Halifax is the largest town in the wider Calderdale borough. Halifax was a thriving mill town during the industrial revolution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scouting in Yorkshire and the Humber</span>

Scouting in Yorkshire and the Humber is largely represented by the Scout Association of the United Kingdom and some Groups of traditional Scouting including the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.

The 1970–71 Rugby Football League season was the 76th season of rugby league football.

The Yorkshire Rugby Football Union is the governing body responsible for rugby union in the historic county of Yorkshire, England. It is one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union having formed in 1869, the union was formerly called Yorkshire County Club.


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  26. includes hunting and forestry
  27. includes energy and construction
  28. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
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