Moving to Leicester: The Ultimate Guide
Thinking of moving to Leicester? Here's all you need to know.
Leicester, the city of champions. If you haven't heard somehow, against incredible odds Leicester City FC were crowned Premier League Champions for the first time in 2016. In fact, Leicester winning the League was so unlikely, they were originally given odds of 5000/1. The odds of Simon Cowell becoming the next Prime Minister were more likely!
But even if you don't follow football, Leicester is a city with a lot to offer prospective movers. So here at Compare My Move, we've created this comprehensive guide of what the city has to offer for anyone planning on relocating there.
Leicester: The Home of Champions
Known as Britain's first Environment City and holder of the title ‘European Sustainable City', Leicester is a compact city, boasting a lot of green space.
The historic city is the 10th largest in the UK, and has been voted one of the top 10 cities in the UK to visit by the Lonely Planet, due to its appealing cultural diversity, transport links, shopping and outstanding architecture.
What to do in Leicester
Leicester offers a variety of attractions and activities to suit a range of interests.
For any history buffs moving to the city, it is famously where Richard III's skeleton was discovered next to a car park.
Leicester City Council purchased an old school building next to it and built a £4 million visitor centre, called King Richard III: Death, Dynasty & Discovery. Using state-of-the-art technology, the centre's incredible projectors, stained glass and tapestry transport visitors to medieval times and tell the story of King Richard III's life and death, as well as how his skeleton was discovered.
Leicester Castle is another must-see for anyone moving to the area. The ruins of the medieval castle are spread around the Newarke Houses Museum, and is where Richard III spent his final days before the infamous battle of Bosworth.
Arts and culture are hugely popular in Leicester, and The New Walk Museum & Art Gallery will teach you and your family about everything from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt and famous painting collections.
If you're looking for a fun day out with your family, the award-winning National Space Centre makes for a perfect day out. The National Space Centre is the UK's largest planetarium with six interactive galleries, a 3D simulator, and a 42- metre-high Rocket tower to make learning about space fun and engaging, no matter how old you are.
Working in Leicester
If you are moving to Leicester looking for employment, keep in mind the job market can be inconsistent. Leicester has the largest economy in the East Midlands with Gross Value Added of £15.3 billion. Offices of huge companies such as British Gas, Dunelm Mill, Next, DHL, and British Telecom are based in Leicestershire, so the area is held in high regard amongst businesses. Large offices for major companies provide several opportunities for young professionals, across different departments.
That being said, Leicester is in the top 3 for unemployment figures in local authorities. Leicester has always been a centre for textile production which provided much of the employments. Now, textile production has been lost to the cheaper Asian markets, leaving pockets of unemployment in the area. At the same time, Next is still a huge employer in the area, providing opportunities in several departments of the company.
Getting Around Leicester
If you are used to driving everywhere, you will want to quickly become acquainted with public transport. Leicester is notorious for its complex one-way roads, so mastering the bus and train routes will save you a lot of time and energy.
Leicester's bus network is extensive, reaching every corner of the city and the areas surrounding it.
Single bus tickets will cost £2.50, but you will get the best value from buying a flexi day ticket for £5. A weekly flexi ticket costs £19.
Living costs in London are notoriously expensive, so if you're one of the many London house movers ready to move somewhere more affordable, Leicester is only an hour away from the capital, so you can always move there but keep your job.
Where to Live in Leicester
Like most large UK cities, Leicester's city centre has many apartment style properties, with the larger houses in the more up market suburban areas outside the city centre.
The average price of a house in Leicester is £150,000. In 2014, Leicester was fourth in the UK list for property price growth, and prices continue to increase.
Average rental costs are also low compared to other UK cities. A one bed apartment in the city centre costs £500, while a suburban apartment costs £400.
Clarendon Park and Stoneygate are the more upmarket areas near Leicester's city centre. There's housing, a family friendly community, and is an ideal environment for young professionals.
The eastern part of the city known as the Cultural Quarter has recently been renovated and is now considered the trendiest part of Leicester. It has several bars, restaurants, theatres and is walking distance from the railway station, making it easier to travel to and from. The vibrant and busy atmosphere also makes it ideal for young professionals.
If you're moving with your family, the village of Oadby is famous for the Leicester Racecourse and the University Botanical Garden, and is an all-around family friendly community with useful transport links to the city, but with its own local shops too.
Schools in Leicester
You may be moving to Leicester with young children and need to find a school when you get there. Within the city, there are 70 primary schools and 30 secondary schools, most of which are state funded, with some independent ones.
There is also a highly regarded specialist sports school known as Ellesmere College.
If you're moving to Leicester as a student, the city's De Montford University and University of Leicester both have fantastic reputations for their teaching and research facilities. Not only that, but areas like the aforementioned Cultural Quarter are perfect areas for students.
Compare My Move in Leicester
Overall, Leicester is a culturally diverse, historic city with a vibrant social life that contributes to a range of restaurants, arts and shopping options. Winning the Premier League may have helped put it on the map for a lot of people, but the city has had a lot to offer for quite some time. Its location and transport services also make commuting to London easier if you can't afford to live there but want to keep your job.
If you decide to take the leap and move to Leicester, we have a number of Leicester removal companies ready to help you with your move.