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There have been many changes in Leeds since the 1950s. An increase in prosperity has meant that much of the city centre has been refurbished, with new shops, offices and luxury living accommodation. Leeds is an exciting and vibrant city to live in, for those who can afford it. Unfortunately there are still many people who cannot take advantage of the new shops and entertainments on offer. The dreadful conditions of the Victorian era have gone, but there is still a huge difference in quality of life between the affluent suburbs and the deprived inner-city areas, and those living on the old council estates.

It was hoped that the new prosperity of the city would reach the most deprived areas, but this has not been the case. Some people are still living in Victorian back-to–back houses and as late as 1986 there were still 2,600 houses in Leeds without an inside toilet. The council houses of the 1930s are falling into disrepair, and the estates are rundown, and no longer pleasant places to live.

The Welfare State has done much to improve the lives of the poor, and the threat of the workhouse has gone, but there is still poverty and unemployment and their associated social problems. In 2001 a council report stated that ‘seven out of the city’s 33 electoral wards are in the top 10% most deprived wards in the country, as defined by the government’s index of deprivation. In these wards alone there are almost 150,000 people who are not benefiting from the city’s prosperity’.
In response to this the Leeds Initiative produced the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy, which seeks to bring increased resources to the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of the city, and close the gap between affluent and deprived areas.







Click images to enlarge
Old and new Holbeck, 1999
Old and new Holbeck, 1999
Waterfront, 1999
Waterfront, 1999
Entrance to Victoria Quarter, 1999
Entrance to Victoria Quarter, 1999
Harold Walk, 1983
Harold Walk, 1983
Harehills, 1988
Harehills, 1988




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003