The third best holiday destination in the world according to Lonely Planet and the setting for the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014, it’s no wonder Yorkshire agencies describe the mood in the region as “blossoming”, “thriving”, and “more positive than it has ever been”. Gillian West takes a look.
This year Yorkshire was named European Destination 2013 at the World Travel Awards and came third in Lonely Planet’s annual hotlist – the Best in Travel – beating off competition from the likes of Texas, Mallorca and the West Coast of New Zealand. The acclaimed guidebook said of the region: “It’s only a matter of time before this rough-around-the-edges gentleman of the north gets the traveller attention it deserves.”
With more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other county outside of London, Yorkshire is also home one of the UK’s longest-running soaps in Emmerdale, while Bradford was named the world’s first Unesco City of Film and next year’s Tour de France will depart from Leeds. There’s plenty for the region to be proud of, but what of the agencies working within its boundaries?
The Drum headed deep into the Yorkshire Dales to find out if all in the region is as (white) rosy as it seems, uncovering key trends and challenges as we found out how England’s largest region aims to go toe-to-toe with the UK’s largest city.
As with all regions, Yorkshire hasn’t escaped the recession unscathed, with one of the biggest losses being the closure of ad agency Poulters in 2008, but Thompson Brand Partners MD Nick Ramshaw believes things are now on the up.
“Leeds and the immediate region is going through a real renaissance at the moment. There are a number of significant developments which are contributing to a real feeling that things are on the rise again. Generally things had been quite stagnant and flat, but over the last 12 months it really feels like we’ve come out of hibernation.”
Ramshaw credits this sense of awakening to new developments such as the Trinity Centre, the First Direct Arena and the forthcoming Victoria Gate shopping centre. He continues: “You can feel a real sense of anticipation. There’s a feeling that Yorkshire is coming out of it; that we’re on the lift.”
The optimism described by Ramshaw is certainly felt elsewhere in the region with numerous agencies describing the mood in the area at the moment as “blossoming”, “thriving”, and “more positive than it has ever been”, and many expanding and growing their businesses as a direct result…
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