Partners and Spouses

The information in this section should help make your partners’ transition to Leeds easier, in terms of finding work, meeting new people and recreational activities.


Job opportunities

Leeds is an established powerhouse with a diverse and robust £56bn economy.  It’s also the second largest Metropolitan District in the UK and the regional capital of Yorkshire and the Humber (2016).

Your partner / spouse should have an abundance of employment opportunities across many sectors.

Leeds has the largest manufacturing sector in the UK worth over £7 billion.  The UK’s second largest centre for financial services with 30 national and international banks.  The UK’s third largest centre for legal services, with over 180 law firms (2016).  Along with significant strengths in health and innovation, digital connectivity, higher education, retail and media.

The city is also continually developing.  In 2013 the £350 million Leeds Trinity shopping centre and the £60m First Direct arena opened.  In 2016, the £150m Victoria Gate development featuring John Lewis’ flagship northern store and high-end designer and luxury brands opened.

Connectivity is also a significant benefit.  Centrally situated in the UK Leeds has excellent road, rail and air networks.  By train all major cities in the North of England are easily accessible, London is 2 hours away, whilst Paris and Brussels is a 6-hour journey.

It is advisable for your partner / spouse to look for employment before your relocation; phone or Skype interviews can be scheduled before arrival.  We recommend:

  • Checking the University of Leeds jobs site and set up job alerts.  We employ approximately 8,000 staff and current vacancies are continually being advertised;
  • Visiting the Jobcentre Plus online local Jobcentre or at one the various locations around Leeds;
  • Registering with a temporary staffing agency, such as Reed, Hays or Bluearrow.  These agencies will be able to help you find temporary and permanent employment;
  • Checking online job resources available, such as, The Guardian, The Times Higher, Monster, Fish4, and Indeed;
  • Searching for Leeds based  businesses and applying directly via their websites;
  • Checking local newspapers, as they will often advertise local positions.


Voluntary work

Volunteering can allow your partner / spouse to use and improve their skills, develop their knowledge and interests, increase their employability and meet new people.

Doing Good Leeds and Do It can help your partner / spouse find suitable volunteering opportunities in and around Leeds, in a variety of different fields, within small community groups, local and national charities, or Health and Social services.  Further information can be found on the Governments website.

If your partner / spouse is in the UK on a visitor’s visa they will be unable to undertake voluntary work.


Meeting people

It can sometimes be daunting moving country or county and starting a new life, especially without local friends and contacts.  Here at Leeds, we aim to make the move as smooth as possible by presenting numerous opportunities for your partner / spouse to meet people.

Events specific for welcoming families new to Leeds are featured on our support webpage.

The annual staff festival is an opportunity for the whole family to have fun and spend time with the University community.  You can find photos of past events and details of this year’s festival on our web pages.

We hold exhibitions, seminars and lectures from great thinkers.  You can find a list of upcoming events on our event listings webpage.

Our Communities and Partnerships team offers opportunities for adults to access and enjoy the benefits of Higher Education through informal learning programmes.

Our Lifelong Learning Centre delivers an on-going programme of public engagement activities for all people from all kinds of backgrounds:


Local groups and activities

Your partner / spouse can meet people by visiting your local community centre, leisure centre or gym; the Leeds City Council leisure web pages provide information about available activities in Leeds.  Additionally, @welcome2yorks on Twitter provides inspirational ideas of things to do in the Yorkshire region.

A sample of local clubs include:


Networking websites

Another good way to meet new people is through meet ups organised over the internet.  Online networking sites are dedicated to helping people make friends in the area, for example:

  • Citysocializer allows you to create a profile with an outgoing message which tells other members about yourself, what you are looking for, your interests and hobbies.  You can join groups and attend, or even arrange social events;
  • Meetup is a site targeted to different interests.  You can join or start groups that allow you to connect and attend events with people who share your hobbies.