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Leicester — City and Unitary Authority area — City of Leicester Admin HQ Founded Leicester City Centre AD 50
as Ratae Corieltauvorum by the Romans

City Status Government - Type - Governing body - Leadership Area - City and Unitary Authority area

"restored" 1919 Unitary authority, City Leader & Cabinet 28.3 sq mi (73.32 km2)

Leicester clock tower

Arms of the Leicester City Council

Motto: ’Semper Eadem’

Population (2007 est.) 292,600 (Ranked 25th) - City and Unitary Authority area 441,213 - Urban 62.0% White - Ethnicity 29.4% S.Asian (United Kingdom 4.6% Black Census 2006 2.6% Mixed Estimate)[1] 1.5% Chinese and other Time zone - Summer (DST) Postcode Area code(s) Twin Cities — Chongqing — Krefeld — Masaya — Rajkot China Germany Nicaragua India France Bulgaria Pakistan SK584044 00FN GB-LCE UKF21 102.8 mi (165.4 km) Leicesterian Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) British Summer Time (UTC+1) LE 0116

— Strasbourg Location within England

— Haskovo — Sialkot

Coordinates: 52°38′06″N 1°08′06″W / 52.635°N 1.135°W / 52.635; -1.135 Sovereign state Constituent country Region Ceremonial county United Kingdom England East Midlands Leicestershire

Grid Ref. ONS code ISO 3166-2 NUTS 3 Distance to London Demonym Website


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leicester (pronounced /ˈlɛstɚ/, LES-ter, listen ) is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England. It is the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest. In 2004, the population of the city proper was estimated at 285,100, with 441,213 living in the wider Leicester Urban Area, making Leicester the most populous city in the East Midlands, the 10th most populous settlement in the UK and the 8th largest in England alone. Ancient Roman pavements and baths remain in Leicester from its early settlement as Ratae Corieltauvorum, a Roman military outpost in a region inhabited by the Celtic Corieltauvi tribe. Following the demise of Roman society the early medieval Ratae Corieltauvorum is shrouded in obscurity, but when the settlement was captured by the Danes it became one of five fortified towns important to the Danelaw. The name "Leicester" is thought to derive from the words castra of the "Ligore", meaning a camp on the River Legro, an early name for the River Soar. Leicester appears in the Domesday Book as "Ledecestre". Leicester continued to grow throughout the Early Modern period as a market town, although it was the Industrial Revolution that facilitated an unparalleled process of unplanned urbanisation in the area. A newly constructed rail and canal network routed through the area stimulated industrial growth in the 19th century, and Leicester became a major economic centre with a variety of manufactories in engineering, shoe making and hosiery production. The economic success of these industries, and businesses ancillary to them resulted in significant urban expansion into the surrounding countryside. The boundaries of Leicester were extended throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, becoming a county borough in 1889, and granted city status in 1919. Today, Leicester is a thriving city, located on Midland Main Line and close to the M1 motorway. Leicester has an ethnically diverse population, a product of immigration to the United Kingdom since the Second World War. The city has a large South Asian community, and as such many Hindu, Sikh and Muslim places of worship. Leicester is a centre for higher education by way of Leicester University, De Montfort University,

and Loughborough University, all based in the region.

Further information: History of Leicestershire According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a mythical king of the Britons King Leir founded the city of Kaerleir (’Leir’s chester’ – i.e. fortified town). Even today the name of the city in the Welsh language is Caerlŷr. Leir was supposedly buried by Queen Cordelia in a chamber beneath the River Soar near the city dedicated to the Roman god Janus, and every year people celebrated his feast-day near Leir’s tomb.[2] William Shakespeare’s King Lear is loosely based on this story and there is a statue of Lear in Watermead Country Park.


St Nicholas church and the Jewry Wall Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least 2000 years. The first known name of the city is the Roman label Ratae Coritanorum. Before being settled by Romans it was that capital of the Celtic Corieltauvi tribe ruling over roughly the same territory as what is now known as the East Midlands. The Roman city of Ratae Corieltauvorum was founded around AD 50 as a military settlement upon the Fosse Way Roman road. After the military departure, Ratae Corieltauvorum grew into an important trading centre and one of the largest towns in Roman Britain. The remains of the baths of Roman Leicester can be seen at the Jewry Wall and other Roman artefacts are displayed in the Jewry Wall Museum adjacent to the site.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Romans named the river "LEGRO" and the surrounding area was the campus "CASTRA." Legro-Castra (campus of the Legro). The Dutch settlers amended the name Legro, and the river became known as the Leir. In Norman times, the leir was renamed the soar, by which time leir chester had become the adopted name for the town.

11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy. It was eventually re-made a city in 1919, and the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927. The tomb of King Richard III is located in the central nave of the church although he is not actually buried there. He was originally buried in the Greyfriars Church in Leicester, but there is a legend that his corpse was exhumed under orders from Henry VII and cast into the River Soar, although there is no evidence for this and some historians believe that his tomb and bones were destroyed with the dissolution of the church. Leicester played a significant role in the history of England, when, in 1265, Simon de Montfort forced King Henry III to hold the first Parliament of England at the now-ruined Leicester Castle. This was not the only time parliament was held in Leicester, see Parliament of Bats. Lady Jane Grey, (1536/7 — 12 February 1554), a great-granddaughter of Henry VII of England, reigned as uncrowned Queen Regnant of the Kingdom of England for nine days in July 1553, and for that reason is called "The Nine Days Queen"[3] was born at Bradgate Park near Leicester.

Saxon and Viking
Knowledge of the town in the 5th century is very patchy. Certainly there is some continuation of occupation of the town, though on a much reduced scale in the 5th and 6th centuries. Leicester was chosen as the centre of a bishopric (and therefore a city) in 679/80 which survived until the 9th century, when Leicester was captured by the Danes (Vikings) and became one of the five boroughs (fortified towns) of Danelaw, although this position was short lived. The Saxon Bishop of Leicester fled to Dorchester-on-Thames and Leicester was not to become a bishopric again until the 20th century. It is believed the name "Leicester" is derived from the words castra (camp) of the Ligore, meaning dwellers on the ’River Legro’ (an early name for the River Soar). In the early 10th century it was recorded as Ligeraceaster = "the town of the Ligor people". The Domesday Book later recorded it as Ledecestre.



Leicester Abbey ruins, now part of Abbey Park. On 4 November 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was arrested on charges of treason and taken from York Place. On his way south to face dubious justice at the Tower of London, he fell ill. The group escorting him was concerned enough to stop at Leicester. There, Wolsey’s condition quickly worsened and he died on 29 November 1530 and was buried at Leicester Abbey, now Abbey Park.

Leicester Guildhall, dating from the fourteenth century Leicester became a town of considerable importance by Medieval times. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book as ’civitas’ (city), but Leicester lost its city status in the


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the city’s wealthier families and some of its growing middle-class. Leicester became a county borough in 1889, but, as with all county boroughs, was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in 1974, becoming an ordinary district of Leicestershire. It regained its unitary status in 1997.

Civil War
Leicester was a Parliamentarian stronghold during the English Civil War. In 1645, Prince Rupert decided to attack the city to draw the New Model Army away from the Royalist headquarters of Oxford. Royalist guns were set up on Raw Dykes and after an unsatisfactory response to a demand for surrender, the Newarke was stormed and the city was sacked on 30 May. Although hundreds of people were killed by Rupert’s cavalry, reports of the severity of the sacking were exaggerated by the Parliamentary press in London.[4]

The Early 20th Century
Leicester was formally recognised as a city in 1919 and a cathedral city on the consecration of St Martin’s in 1927. It obtained its current boundaries in 1935, with the annexation of the remainder of Evington, Humberstone, Beaumont Leys and part of Braunstone. In 1900 an important new transport link, the Great Central Railway provided a new goods and passenger route to London. By the time of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 the rapid population growth of the previous decades had already began to slow and the Great War of 1914-18 and its aftermath had a marked social and economic impact. Leicester’s diversified economic base and lack of dependence on primary industries meant that it was much better placed than many other cities to weather the severe economic challenges of the 1920s and 30s. The Bureau of Statistics of the newly-formed League of Nations identified Leicester in 1936 as the second richest city in Europe and it became an attractive destination for refugees fleeing persecution and political turmoil in continental Europe. These years witnessed the growth in the city of trade unionism and -particularly- the co-operative movement. The Co-op became an important employer and landowner and when Leicester played host to the Jarrow March on its way to London in 1936, the Co-op provided the marchers with a change of boots (perhaps made at its `Wheatsheaf’ works in Knighton Fields?).

18th and 19th centuries
The construction of the Grand Union Canal in the 1790s linked Leicester to London and Birmingham and by 1832 the railway had arrived in Leicester; the new Leicester and Swannington Railway providing a supply of coal to the town from nearby collieries. By 1840 the Midland Counties Railway had linked Leicester to the national railway network and by the 1860s, Leicester had gained a direct rail link to London (St Pancras) with the completion of the Midland Main Line. These developments in transport encouraged and accompanied a process of industrialisation which intensified throughout the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Factories began to appear, particularly along the canal and the River Soar. Between 1861 and 1901 Leicester’s population increased from 68,000 to 212,000 and the proportion employed in trade, commerce, building and the city’s new factories and workshops rose steadily. Hosiery, textiles and footwear became major industrial employers joined, in the latter part of the century, by engineering. Years of consistent economic growth meant that, for many, living standards increased. The second half of the nineteenth-century also witnessed the creation of many public institutions that we now take for granted such as the Town Council, the Royal Infirmary and the Leicester Constabulary and the acceptance that municipal organisations had a responsibility for water supply, drainage and sanitation. The borough expanded throughout the 19th century, most notably in 1892 annexing Belgrave, Aylestone, North Evington, Knighton and the rapidly expanding residential suburb of Stoneygate, home to many of

Post World War II
The years after World War II, particularly from the 1960s onwards, brought many social and economic challenges. There was a steady and irreversible decline in Leicester’s traditional manufacturing industries and in the City Centre working factories and light industrial premises have now been almost entirely displaced by new businesses. The 1960s and 70s saw the movement of passengers and freight by rail and barge eclipsed by


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have a white British majority.[5] This prediction was based on the growth of the ethnic minority populations between 1991 (Census 1991 28% ethnic minority) and 2001 (Census 2001 - 36% ethnic minority). However Professor Ludi Simpson at the University of Manchester School of Social Sciences said in September 2007 that the CRE had "made unsubstantiated claims and ignored government statistics" and that Leicester’s immigrant and minority communities disperse to other places.[6][7] The Leicester Multicultural Advisory Group was a forum set up in 2001 by the editor of the Leicester Mercury to coordinate community relations, with members representing the council, police, schools, community and faith groups, and the media.

The Leicester War Memorial Arch in Victoria Park the growth of road transport. The Great Central Railway and the Leicester and Swannington Railway both closed and the northward extension of the M1 motorway linked Leicester into a growing motorway network. By the 1990s Leicester’s central position and its good road transport links to the rest of the country had given it a new strategic importance as a distribution centre and the south western boundaries of the city have attracted many new businesses in both service and manufacturing sectors. Since the war Leicester has experienced large scale immigration from across the world. Immigrant groups today make up around 40% of Leicester’s population, making Leicester one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United Kingdom. Many Polish servicemen were prevented from returning to their homeland after the war by the communist regime, and they established a small community in Leicester. Economic migrants from Ireland continued to arrive throughout the post war period. Immigrants from the Indian sub-continent began to arrive in the 1960s, their numbers boosted by Indians arriving from Kenya and Uganda in the early 1970s. In the 1990s, apparently drawn by the city’s free and easy atmosphere and by the number of mosques, a group of Dutch citizens of Somali origin settled in the city. Since the 2004 enlargement of the European Union a significant number of eastern European migrants have settled in the city. While some wards in the north-east of the city are more than 70% Asian, wards in the west and south are all over 70% white. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) had estimated that by 2011 Leicester would have approximately a 50% ethnic minority population, making it the first city in Britain not to


Snow in Leicester, taken in Spinney Hill Park

Areas of Leicester
Areas in the Leicester unitary authority area: • Aylestone • Beaumont Leys, Abbey Ward, Bede Island, Belgrave, Blackfriars, Braunstone Estate, Braunstone Frith • City Centre, Clarendon Park, Crown Hills • Dane Hills • Eyres Monsell, Evington, Evington Valley


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Frog Island Gilmorton Estate, Goodwood Hamilton Highfields Horston Hill, Humberstone, Humberstone Garden City • Knighton • Mowmacre Hill • Nether Hall, New Humberstone, New Parks, Newfoundpool, North Evington, Northfields • Rowley Fields, Rushey Mead • Saffron Lane Estate, Southfields, South Knighton, Spinney Hills, St Peters, St Matthew’s, Stoneygate • Thurnby Lodge • Westcotes, West End, West Knighton, Western Park, Woodgate The Office for National Statistics has defined a Leicester Urban Area, which consists of the conurbation of Leicester, although it has no administrative status. The area contains the unitary authority area and several towns, villages and suburbs outside the city’s administrative boundaries. • • • • •

In the local government elections of May 3 2007, Leicester’s Labour Party once again took control of the council in what can be described as a landslide victory. Gaining 18 new councillors, Labour polled on the day 38 councillors, creating a governing majority of +20. Significantly however, the Green Party gained its first councillors in the Castle Ward, after losing on the drawing of lots in 2003. The Conservative Party saw a decrease in their representation, whilst the Liberal Democrat Party was the major loser, dropping from 25 councillors in 2003 to only 6 in 2007. Leicester is divided into three Parliamentary constituencies. Leicester East and Leicester West are represented by Keith Vaz and Patricia Hewitt respectively - both members of the Labour Party. The third seat, Leicester South, became vacant in May 2004 on the death of Labour politician Jim Marshall. A by-election was held on July 15, and was won by Parmjit Singh Gill of the Liberal Democrats, with a 21% swing. This by-election saw almost 4,000 votes go to a Respect Party candidate, who opposed the Iraq war. However, in the 2005 general election, Labour’s unsuccessful by-election candidate and former Council Leader Sir Peter Soulsby won Leicester South back for the party, and Vaz and Hewitt retained their seats.

On April 1, 1997, Leicester City Council became a unitary authority, local government up until then having been a two-tier system with the city and county councils being responsible for different aspects of local government services (a system which is still in place in the rest of Leicestershire). Leicestershire County Council retained its headquarters at County Hall in Glenfield, just outside the city boundary but within the urban area. The administrative offices of Leicester City Council are in the centre of the city at the New Walk Centre and other office buildings near Welford Place. Some services (particularly the police and the ambulance service) still cover the whole of the city and county, but for the most part the two councils are independent. After a long period of Labour administration (since 1979), the city council from May 2003 was run by a Liberal Democrat/Conservative coalition under Roger Blackmore, which collapsed in November 2004. The minority Labour group ran the city until May 2005, under Ross Willmott, when the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives formed a new coalition, again under the leadership of Roger Blackmore.

Coat of arms

Coat of arms, Leicester The Corporation of Leicester’s coat of arms was first granted to the city at the Heraldic Visitation of 1619, and is based on the arms of the first Earl of Leicester, Robert Beaumont. The field is a white cinquefoil on a red


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Population growth in Leicester since 1901 Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971



Population 211,579 227,222 234,143 239,169 261,339 285,181 273,470 284,208 279,921
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time

background, and this emblem is used by the City Council. After Leicester became a city again in 1919, the city council applied to add to the arms, permission for which was granted in 1929, when the supporting lions, from the Lancastrian Earls of Leicester, were added. The motto "Semper Eadem" was the motto of Queen Elizabeth I, who granted a royal charter to the city. It means "always the same" but with positive overtones meaning unchanging,reliable or dependable. The crest on top of the arms is a white or silver legless wyvern with red and white wounds showing, on a wreath of red and white.The legless wyvern distinguishes it as a Leicester wyvern as opposed to other wyverns. The supporting lions are wearing coronets in the form of collars, with the white cinquefoil hanging from them.

10,000 people), 29.4% Asian or Asian British (some 84,000 people), 4.6% black or black British (some 9,000 people), 2.6% mixed race (approximately 6,000 individuals) and 1.5% Chinese or other ethnic group (over 2,000 people).[14] Amongst some of Leicester’s emerging ethnic groups are the Poles who now number an estimates 30,000 in the city.[15]

Alongside English there are around 70 languages and/or dialects spoken in the city. In addition to English, eight languages are commonly spoken: Gujarati is the preferred language of 16% of the city’s residents, Punjabi 3%, Somali 3% and Urdu 2%. Other smaller language groups include Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Arabic, Bengali and Polish.[16] With continuing migration into the city, new languages and or dialects from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe are also being spoken in the city.[16] In primary schools in Leicester, English is not the ‘preferred’ language of 45% of pupils and the proportion of children whose first language is known, or believed to be, other than English, is significantly higher than other cities within the region, or within the UK.[16]

The United Kingdom Census 2001 showed a total resident population for Leicester of 279,921, a 0.5% decrease from the 1991 census.[9] Approximately 62,000 were aged under 16, 199,000 were aged 16–74, and 19,000 aged 75 and over.[9] 76.9% of Leicester’s population claim they have been born in the UK, according to the 2001 UK Census. Mid-year estimates for 2006 indicate that the population of the City of Leicester stood at 289,700 making Leicester the most populous city in East Midlands.[10] The population density is 3,814 inhabitants per square kilometre (9,878.2/sq mi)[11] and for every 100 females, there were 92.9 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Leicester, 38.5% had no academic qualifications, significantly higher than 28.9% in all of England.[12] 23.0% of Leicester’s residents were born outside of the United Kingdom, higher than the English average of 9.2%.[13] In terms of districts by ethnic diversity, the City of Leicester is ranked 11th in England. According to 2006 estimates, 58.3% of residents are white British (just under 170,000 people), 3.7% other white (around

Population change

Engineering is an important part of the economy of Leicester. Companies include Jones & Shipman (machine tools and control systems), Richards Engineering (foundry equipment), Transmon Engineering (materials handling equipment) and Trelleborg(suspension components for rail, marine, and industrial applications). Local commitment to nurturing the upcoming cadre of British engineers includes apprenticeship schemes with


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Leys, coincidentally situated near the separately owned crisp factories. Sold under the Walkers name and under UK retailers own brands such as Tesco’s Finest, over three million hot and cold pies are made each week.[18] Henry Walker’s butcher shop at 4-6 Cheapside is still in business, selling Walkers sausages and pork pies, and is currently trading under the ownership of Scottish company Fife Fine Foods which bought up the Walkers butchers stores chain from Dewhursts in 2006.

Highcross Leicester shopping centre. local companies, and academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University, and Loughborough University.

Leicester market, the biggest undercover market in Europe Leicester Market is the largest outdoor covered marketplace in Europe and among the products on sale are fruit and vegetables sold by enthusiastic market stallholders who shout out their prices, and fresh fish and meat in the Indoor Market.

Food and drink
Henry Walker was a successful pork butcher who moved from Mansfield to Leicester in the 1880s to take over an established business in the high street. The first Walkers production line was in the empty upper storey of Walker’s Oxford Street factory in Leicester. In the early days the potatoes were sliced up by hand and cooked in an ordinary fish and chip fryer. In 1971 the Walkers crisps business was sold to Standard Brands, an American firm, who sold on the company to FritoLay. Walkers crisps currently makes 10 million bags of crisps per day at two factories in Beaumont Leys, and is the UK’s largest grocery brand.[17] Meanwhile the sausage and pie business was bought out by Samworth Brothers in 1986. Production outgrew the Cobden Street site and sausages and pork pies are now manufactured at a meat processing factory and bakery in Beaumont

Financial and business services
Financial and business service companies with operations in Leicestershire include Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, HSBC, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Companies that have their head office based in the area include Next (clothing) Mattel UK, eHomescompany and the British Gas Business.

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Leicester at current basic prices published (pp.240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Year Regional Gross Value Added[19] 1995 3,561 2000 4,513 2003 5,087 Agriculture[20] 1 1 Industry[21] 1,256 1,425 1,289

Services[22] 2,304 3,088 3,797

Births, Deaths, and Marriages
The staff at the Leicester office registers 9,500 births and 5,700 deaths annually. In addition around 1,000 marriage ceremonies take place within the building every year together with an increasing number of civil partnership registrations. As part of the legal preliminaries to their wedding the citizens of the City of Leicester who wish to marry anywhere other than the Church of England must give a legal notice of their intention to marry. In the course of a year more than 2,000 notices are entered in the records of this office. The original records of all births, deaths and marriages which have taken place in the City of Leicester since 1837 are kept at the register office. Every year approximately 12,000 certified copies are issued from these historic records.

Business awards
The Leicestershire Business Awards has categories including Investing in Leicestershire, Contribution to the Community, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Recent Leicestershire winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are Guidance Ltd, listed on the Lord Lieutenant’s website. Guidance Monitoring Limited (GML) specialises in the design and manufacture of sophisticated electronic tagging/tracking systems for asset protection and personnel monitoring including for security and criminal justice applications.[2]

Parks: Abbey Park, Botanic Garden, Victoria Park, Gorse Hill City Farm, Castle Gardens, Grand Union Canal, River Soar, Watermead Country Park. Industry: Abbey Pumping Station, National Space Centre, Great Central Railway. Places of Worship: Shree Jalaram Prarthana Mandal (Hindu temple)[4], Jain Centre [5], Leicester Cathedral, Masjid Umar (Mosque)[6] Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Sikh) Historic Buildings: Town Hall, Leicester Guildhall, Belgrave Hall, Jewry Wall, Leicester Secular Hall, Leicester Abbey, Leicester Castle, St Mary de Castro, The City Rooms, Newarke Magazine Gateway. Shopping: Haymarket Centre, Highcross Leicester, Leicester Market, Golden Mile, Fosse Park, St Martin’s Square, Silver Arcade. Sport: Walkers Stadium – Leicester City FC, Welford Road – Leicester Tigers, Grace Road – Leicestershire County Cricket Club, John Sanford Sports Centre – Leicester Riders, Saffron Lane sports centre - Leicester Coritanian Athletics Club.

20th Century Architecture: Leicester University Engineering Building (James Stirling & James Gowan : Grd II Listed),Kingstone Department Store, Belgrave Gate (Raymond McGrath : Grd II Listed) Older Architecture: Tourist: Discover Leicester Tour is an open top tour bus linking many of the Leicestershire tourist sites in and around the city. See [3].

Leicester as viewed looking West to North from the top floor of the Attenborough Tower at the University of Leicester. Landmarks visible include the Walkers Stadium (Leicester City FC), Welford Road (Leicester Tigers RFC), Leicester Royal Infirmary, New Walk Centre (Leicester City Council), St. George’s Tower and various buildings associated with the University of Leicester.


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The clock tower leicester city centre.

The tower of Leicester Cathedral

Leicester railway station lies on the eastern side of the city centre on the A6 London Road. The rail network is of growing importance in Leicester, and with the start of Eurostar international services from London St Pancras International in November 2007 giving Leicester railway station almost direct links


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to the continent, this growth is sure to continue. East Midlands Trains are the InterCity operator running ’fast’ and ’semi-fast’ services to and from London to northern England, and provide local services throughout the East Midlands, regional services to the West Midlands and East Anglia are provided by Cross Country. Rail routes run north–south through Leicester along the route known as the Midland Main Line, going south to Bedford, Luton and London; and north to Lincoln, Sheffield, Leeds and York. Junctions north and south of the station link the east–west cross country route, going east to Cambridge, Stansted Airport and Norwich; and west to Nuneaton and Birmingham. Leicester is 99 miles (159 km) from London on the Midland Main Line, the fastest trains taking 1 hour and 07 minutes. Journeys to Sheffield take around 1 hour, Leeds and York are approximately a 2 hour journey. Birmingham and Peterborough are around 1 hour away. Passengers using the railway station can include a PlusBus ticket with their train ticket which gives unlimited bus travel in a designated area. Network Rail has plans afoot to re-develop the station incorporating the city council’s plans for the surrounding area.[23]


East Midlands Airport is near Castle Donington which is in North West Leicestershire. Served by low-cost international airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet & Bmibaby and serves charter holidays like Thomson Holidays. This makes Leicester easily accessible from other parts of the world providing regular services to many principal European destinations. This includes Amsterdam, Berlin & Paris. Also there are internal flights to Belfast, Edinburgh & Glasgow and limited services to trans-continental destinations such as Barbados, Mexico & Orlando. Also Birmingham Airport is only about a 45 or 50 minute drive from Leicester, and London Luton Airport can be reached in an hour or just over. Luton serves similar destinations to East Midlands though Luton services are more regular. Birmingham airport geberally flies to places like Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich & Paris with airlines like Air France, KLM & Lufthansa. Leicester’s other local airport is Leicester Airport at Stoughton, Leicestershire.

Buses and coaches

Great Central Railway
Leicester was also on a competing line from London to the North, built by the Great Central Railway in the late 1890s. Served by Leicester Central railway station, the Great Central Main Line closed as a through route in the late 1960s. A preserved section remains, from the newly opened Leicester North railway station (the original route through Leicester has now been rebuilt on), to Loughborough is now a heritage steam railway.

An Arriva Midlands Dennis Dart departing from St. Margaret’s Bus Station, Leicester. St. Margaret’s Bus Station is the main interchange for coach services in Leicester, while local bus services are split between St. Margaret’s and the Haymarket Bus Station. Leicester currently has one permanent Park and Ride site at Meynells Gorse with buses operating at least every fifteen minutes, a site is also under construction at Enderby, and there are also weekend services from County Hall, Glenfield (service 101) and Oadby Racecourse (service 102).

Leicester is close to the heart of the M1 motorway at Junction 21, this section considered to be the busiest part in the country. The M69 motorway also starts near Leicester, and runs to the M6 Motorway and is contiguous with Coventry’s eastern bypass.


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Passengers using the railway station can include a PlusBus ticket with their train ticket which gives unlimited bus travel in a designated area. • Skylink buses link the city to Loughborough, East Midlands Airport & Derby • National Express operate long distance services. • Stagecoach Group operate a mixture of mid to long distance bus and coach services including Megabus. • Skylink buses operate hourly during the day and two hourly at night to East Midlands Airport. • First Group are the parent company of First Leicester who operate mainly high frequency local bus routes.Most First routes are within the city due to its former identity being Leicester City Transport. • Arriva Group are the parent company of Arriva Midlands who operate a mixture of local and rural bus services throughout Leicestershire.It operates both in the city and county and it was formerly known as Arriva Fox County,Urban(county)Fox,Midland Fox and Midland Red (East). • Centrebus operate local services mainly between local authority estates. • A number of coach operators run excursions from the station including Woods Coaches of Wigston.Other operators include Fleetline Buses,Ausden Clarke,Confidence,Hylton and Dawson and Steve Akiens.


University of Leicester seen from Victoria Park - Left to right: the Department of Engineering, the Attenborough Tower, the Charles Wilson Building.

The National Space Centre in Leicester Leicester Polytechnic and adopted its current name in 1992. It is also home to the National Space Centre off Abbey Lane, due in part to the University of Leicester being one of the few universities in the UK to specialise in space sciences. Leicester City Local Education Authority initially had a troubled history when formed in 1997 as part of the local government reorganisation - a 1999 Ofsted inspection found "few strengths and many weaknesses", although there has been considerable improvement since then. While many state schools provide a good standard of education, there have been problems with one or two of the large community colleges, in particular New College on Glenfield Road. However, recent

National Cycle Network
Many of the country’s National Cycle Network pass through Leicestershire. In Leicester City Centre you will find the Leicester Bike Park. The city is also home to Cyclemagic, the UK’s leading community cycling organisation with probably the widest range of bikes and pedal powered machines in the world.

Leicester is home to two universities, the University of Leicester, which attained its Royal Charter in 1957 and is one of Britain’s leading universities ranked 12th by the 2009 Complete University Guide, and the De Montfort University, which opened in 1969 as


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changes of leadership at New College have seen a turnaround in the school’s prospects. Current plans to improve the city’s education system include the opening of The Samworth Enterprise Academy a city academy whose catchment area will draw in children from the Saffron and Eyres Monsell estates, co-sponsored by the Church of England and David Samworth, chairman of Samworth Brothers. State school status has been granted to the Leicester Islamic Academy. The city’s special schools are currently undergoing reorganisation. Under the "Building Schools for the Future" project, Leicester City Council has contracted with developers Miller Consortium for £315 million to rebuild Beaumont Leys School, Judgemeadow Community College in Evington, and Soar Valley College in Rushey Mead, and to refurbish Fullhurst Community College in Braunstone.[24] Leicester City Council underwent a major reorganisation of children’s services in 2006, creating a new Children & Young People’s Services department. • Schools in Leicester & the Wider Area

• 27a Access Artspace. Housing a gallery, art rooms, performance space, dark room, board room, and more.

While Leicester has often been neglected as a centre for popular music it has had a vibrant history that has thrown up a large number of notable, as well as forgettable, artists. Current venues for music include • The Musician: live music venue • Firebug : live music venue • The Shed : live music venue One of Leicester’s main live music venues, The Charlotte, closed in January 2009. There are also a number of Small Jazz Clubs such as the ’Copa’.

Leicester’s main small venue for pop and rock was the Il Rondo on Silver Street. The roll call of bands who played at the Il Rondo runs like a Who’s Who of early/mid sixties pop and rock. The Yardbirds and The Animals played there before passing into rock history along with less well remembered groups like the Graham Bond Organisation. The Beatles also came to De Montfort Hall. Colin Hyde (East Midlands Oral History Archive) carried out a range of interviews about growing up in Leicester in the 1950s and 1960s and begun to map where all of the venues of the day were.[26] He identified a number of clubs, pubs, and coffee bars like the Chameleon, run by Pete Joseph, the El Casa, or the El Paso - cafes which stayed open after the pubs closed. Among others, people also remembered the Blue Beat club on Conduit Street, run by Alex Barrows who later started the House of Happiness on Campbell Street. Night clubs such as the Burlesque or the Night Owl became more popular as the 1960s progressed, and they opened up the opportunity to dance all night. A local beat band called The Foresights were signed to EMI. They were notable for all members wearing glasses. Also emerging during this period was the band Family fronted by Leicester man Roger Chapman.

The city hosts an annual Pride Parade (Leicester Pride), a Caribbean Carnival (the largest in the UK outside London), the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India and the largest comedy festival in the UK Leicester Comedy Festival. The Leicester International Short Film Festival[7] ran once a year, began life with humble beginnings in 1996 under the banner title of "Seconds Out". It Curently holds a place as one of the most important of Short Film festivals in the U.K. Usually ran in early November, with venues including the Phoenix Arts Centre Arts venues in the city include: • The Phoenix Arts Centre. Replaced by the new building Phoenix Square when it opens in 2009. • The De Montfort Hall. • The Little Theatre. • The City Gallery (one of the regions leading contemporary art galleries) • The Peepul Centre • Curve : New purpose designed performing arts centre, designed by Rafael Vinoly, opened in Autumn 2008.[25], replaced the Haymarket Theatre

The seventies saw the emergence of the well known cabaret band Showaddywaddy from the city with lead singer Dave Bartram and


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their 1950s themed songs. The De Montfort Hall held the first of its annual One-World festivals, with the aim of celebrating the cultural diversity of the city and breaking down the barriers of hostility and suspicion that had a potential to foment racial conflict. Adult and children’s groups performed traditional dances and music from the many communities settled here - British, Irish, East European, Asian, African and Caribbean. These festivals continued until the 1980s.

local bands including Herra Hidro and The Legion have also recently been signed to local labels ’RobotNeedsHome Records’ and ’ForTheSakeOfTheSong’ respectively. The Go! Team were first signed to local label Pickled Egg Records, and Leicester musicians feature in such bands as Fun Lovin’ Criminals, The Happy Mondays, The Holloways, Envy & Other Sins, and A Hawk and a Hacksaw. The development of the award-winning music festival Summer Sundae with connecting Summer Sundae Fringe Festival (run by the local arts collective Pineapster) as well as other music festivals focused on blues and folk music may well provide the city with more of a focus for its local bands to break out nationally. 2006 saw the closure of The Attik, a venue that for over 20 years had played host to hundreds of bands.

The early 1980s saw Leicester punk band Rabid have two minor indie hits, and there were greater successes later in the decade for Yeah Yeah Noh. The mid-1980s saw the emergence of bands such as Gaye Bykers on Acid, Crazyhead, The Bomb Party, and The Hunters Club, who were all associated with the Grebo scene. The Deep Freeze Mice had formed in 1979 and went on to release ten albums in total. Diesel Park West had their first top 75 hits in the late 1980s. Other notable Leicester bands from this decade included Po! and Blab Happy.


The early nineties were marked in the cities music scene by a period of muted reflection. The band Prolapse, was formed by a group of Leicester University and Polytechnic students in 1992. . The band rose in popularity, and quickly gained a record deal with Cherry Red Records, recorded a number of John Peel sessions for Radio 1, and toured with Sonic Youth, Stereolab and Pulp. 1992 also saw the formation in Leicester of Cornershop, an Anglo-Asian agit pop band, who became most famous for the 1998 Number 1 single, "Brimful of Asha". Perfume & Delicatessen both also rose to critical acclaim. Leicester is home of the influential Rave / Drum & Bass Formation Records label and associated 5HQ Record Shop.

The Sports Statue on Gallowtree Gate Sports teams include: Leicester Riders (basketball), Leicester Tigers (rugby union), Leicester City F.C. (football), , Leicester Coritanian A.C. (Athletics), Leicester Phoenix (Rugby League) and the Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Sports clubs include: Leicester Penguins Swimming Club who were awarded Sports Club of the Year by the Leicester Mercury at their annual sports awards for 2007 & 2008. Leicester Racecourse is located to the south of the city in Oadby. After a period of success for the football, cricket and rugby teams around the turn of the millennium, Leicester was for some time dubbed (by the local press and local inhabitants at least) the sporting capital of the UK,

Since 2000 the city has once more seen a notable upsurge in the success of the local music scene. Several Leicester musicians and/or acts have received considerable media attention in their fields since 2003-2004. Kasabian, followed by The Displacements,[27] The Dirty Backbeats,[28] Kyte[29], Pacific Ocean Fire, and Don’s Mobile Barbers[30] all rose from the city to national attention. Other


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and a statue commemorating this period was erected in the town centre. Leicester Tigers on Welford Road are one of the most successful rugby union teams in Europe, having won the European cup twice, the first tier of English rugby eight times, and the Anglo-Welsh cup six times. Notable former players include Englands Rugby world cup winning captain Martin Johnson, Neil Back, Dean Richards and Austin Healey. Leicester City have also enjoyed a fair degree of success. They have championed the second tier of the English league system on no less than six occasions, competed in the top flight regularly during their history, won three Football League Cups and reached the FA Cup Final four times despite never winning the trophy. In the 2008/09 season they competed in and won League One (third tier), to which they were relegated for the first time. Their current stadium is the Walkers Stadium, situated south of the city centre and near to the site Filbert Street from which they relocated in 2002 after 111 years. Notable former managers include Jimmy Bloomfield, David Pleat, Brian Little, Martin O’Neill and Peter Taylor. Notable former players include Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Frank Worthington, Gary Lineker, Alan Smith, Emile Heskey, Neil Lennon, Simon Grayson and Matt Elliott. Motorcycle speedway racing was staged in Leicester. In the pioneer days speedway was staged at a track known as Leicester Super situated in Melton Road and at ’The Stadium’ in Blackbird Road. Post war the Leicester Hunters joined the National League Division Three in 1949 and operated at various levels until closure at the end of 1962. The sport was revived for a spell from 1968 before the sale and subsequent redevelopment of the site ended the Leicester Lions era. The history of Leicester’s Speedways is well documented in three books by Allan Jones. Leicester Phoenix are a rugby league club based in the centre of the city. The club was founded in 1986. After playing in different BARLA leagues (namely the Midlands and South West Amateur Rugby League and the East Midlands Amateur Rugby League) the Phoenix were one of the 10 founder members of the Rugby League Conference (then the Southern Conference League) in 1997 reaching the grand final in the inaugural season. Since then they have been one of the league’s most consistent performers. Their

1st Grade Team currently compete in the Midlands Premier division of the Rugby League Conference. The city also hosted British and World track cycling and Road Racing championships at its Saffron Lane velodrome in August 1970. The cycle track was improved specially for the event which was televised all over the world. Another first meant that sponsors were allowed to buy sections of the track to utilise for advertising purposes. This was also the first time that a public road - the A46 was closed in the UK to allow the Road Race to take place:- See The Benny Foster Story published by Fretwell 1971. In 1989, the city hosted the British Special Olympics, and will do so again in 2009. This is the adopted charity for the Lord Mayor of Leicester 2008-2009,Councillor Manjula Sood.[31] Until its demolition in 1999 Granby Halls was a popular live music, exhibition and sports arena in the city. It was also notable as the long serving home of professional basketball team, the Leicester Riders, from 1980 until 1999. Leicester was also the ’2008 European City of Sport’.[32]

Public services
In the public sector, University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust is one of the larger employers in the city, with over 12,000 employees working for the Trust. Leicester City Primary Care Trust employs over 1,000 full and part time staff providing healthcare services in the city. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust employs 3,000 staff providing mental health and learning disability services in the city and county. In the private sector are Nuffield Hospital Leicester and the Bupa Hospital Leicester.

Notable people Local media
Leicester is home to the Leicester Mercury newspaper, and the Midlands Asian Television channel known as MATV Channel 6. BBC Radio Leicester was the first BBC Local Radio station. Other analogue FM radio stations are Leicester Sound, Takeover Radio and Hindu Sanskar Radio, which only


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broadcasts during Hindu religious festivals. BBC Asian Network and Sabras Radio broadcast on AM. The local DAB multiplex has the following stations: • BBC Radio Leicester • Leicester Sound • Sabras Radio • Galaxy Digital • Highways Agency Traffic Radio • XFM • Classic Gold GEM • Heart 106 • Asian Plus - also known as Hindu Sanskar Radio • Takeover Radio • Smooth Radio • Demon FM The local Hospital Radio stations is Hospital Radio Fox. The first children’s radio station, Takeover Radio broadcasts in Leicester.










dissemination/ Retrieved on 2007-12-28. [9] ^ "Leicester profile of 2001 census". Office for National Statistics. 2003. profiles/00fn.asp. Retrieved on 2007-12-28. [10] "Mid-year estimates for 2006" (XLS). Office of National Statistics. 2007. Expodata/Spreadsheets/D9664.xls. Retrieved on 2007-12-28. [11] "Leicester population density". dissemination/ Retrieved on 2007-12-28. [12] "Leicester key statistics". dissemination/ "Neighbourhood Statistics". Retrieved on 2007-12-28. [13] "Leicester country of birth data". dissemination/ Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of dissemination/ the Kings of Britain, translated by Lewis Thorpe, p. 81 and 86, Harmondsworth, Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 1966 [14] "Leicester ethnic grouping percentages". "Official Website of the British Monarchy Office of National Statistics. 2001. – Jane". Page44.asp. dissemination/ "1645:The Storming of Leicester and the Battle of Naseby". http://www.britishRetrieved on 2007-12-28.[15] [1] naseby.htm. [16] ^ "The Diversity of Leicester May 2008, "Equality and Human Rights Commission A Demographic Profile". Leicester City - home page". Council. Default.aspx.LocID-0hgnew0cq.RefLocID-0hg00900c008.Lang EN.htm. EasySite/lib/ "Research (The University of serveDocument.asp?doc=111607&pgid=113861. Manchester)". Retrieved on 2008-11-16. [17] Walkers Crisps, Coming to the crunch news/unilife/1007/research/ The Manufacturer, October 2006 #d.en.124216. [18] Our company - Samworth Brothers, "Equality and Human Rights Commission October 2007 - home page". [19] Components may not sum to totals due research/mrpd/events/documents/ to rounding BSPS07SimpsonFinneyMinorityWhiteCities.doc. includes hunting and forestry [20] United Kingdom Census 2001 (2001). [21] includes energy and construction "Leicester (Local Authority)". [22] includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured


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[23] "Plans for £150m station facelift". [32] Leicester City Council - European City of 2008-03-06. Sport 2008 england/leicestershire/7280724.stm. [24] Schools building deal is signed and sealed - Leicester Mercury, 19 December • Hoskins, W. G. (1957) Leicestershire: an 2007 illustrated essay on the history of the [25] "Curve website". landscape. London: Hodder & Stoughton [26] talking history:the newsletter of the East Midlands Oral History Archive. Number 7: May 2003. • "Leicester Tourist Guide". [27] "The Displacements - Track Reviews NME.COM". • "One Leicester". reviews/the-displacements/9338. [28] "Mark Lamarr’s Maida Vale Sessions • "Leicester City Council". The Dirty Backbeats". • "Virtual tour of Leicester". lamarr/galleries/1068/14/. [29] "Kyte Announce New 2008 Tour Dates". • "Leicester Civic Society". index.php?db=national&page=news,article&id=3503. • "Interactive Map of Leicester". [30] "Don’s Mobile Barbers - Boom Times!". • "Online Portal/Guide for Leicester". infoboom.htm. [31] "City to host its second ’games’". BBC • "The Leicester International Short Film News Online. 2007-07-13. Festival"]. Coordinates: 52°38′03″N 1°08′19″W / leicestershire/6898257.stm. Retrieved on 52.63422°N 1.13852°W / 52.63422; -1.13852 2007-07-14.

Further reading

External links

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