City centres have traditionally been the centre of retail activity in a city, concentrated around the ‘high street’. But they play a much more fundamental role in bringing people together to not only exchange goods and services, but to exchange ideas and information too. And it is the latter that is likely to become increasingly important as the UK economy continues to specialise in activities based on ideas and knowledge.
This paper explores the economic role that a city centre plays, and how this is likely to change in the future. It then considers the city centre economy of Leeds, looking at its size, structure and role that it plays within the wider Leeds City Region.