Bank of England to grow 'northern hub' with 500 staff

The Bank of England has revealed a major expansion of its presence in Leeds as part of efforts to spread its work outside London.

The Bank said its current operation in the West Yorkshire city, which has 70 staff, would grow to 500 by 2027.

It said this would be mainly achieved through new hiring and some voluntary relocations, adding it did not expect the shift to result in a rise in its overall number of employees.

It employs just shy of 5,000 people currently which are spread nationally but most are based at the Bank in the City of London's Threadneedle Street.

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Governor Andrew Bailey said: "Leeds is a thriving city where the Bank of England has had a significant presence for over 200 years.

"Committing to a permanent, expanded Leeds office is a fantastic opportunity for us better to represent the public, build stronger links with the local business community and help promote the work of the Bank to a wider pool of talented workers."

The Bank confirmed that its plans would force a move from its existing Yorkshire House building to bigger premises in the city.

Tracy Brabin, the mayor of West Yorkshire which includes Leeds, said the announcement represented a major vote of confidence in the region.

"By bringing decision-making power from London to the heart of the north, this move will benefit the entire country and help us rebalance our national economy," she said.

The Bank's shift follows in the footsteps of other major bodies to have moved operations beyond the capital.

While chancellor, Rishi Sunak placed Treasury functions in Darlington under the government's levelling up agenda.

Other examples include the Office for National Statistics switching the location of its headquarters to Newport from London in 2006 under the Blair government.

The current Bank of England office in Leeds is part of a network of 12 agencies across the UK.

They cover nine regions in England along with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.