Leeds is a City status in the United Kingdom and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247. Leeds is the UK's largest centre for business, legal, and financial services outside London.
Historic counties of England a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Leeds can trace its recorded history of Leeds to fifth century when the Kingdom of Elmet was covered by the forest of "Loidis", the origin of the name ''Leeds''. The name has been applied to many administrative entities over the centuries. It changed from being the appellation of a small manorial borough, in the 13th century, through several incarnations, to being the name attached to the present metropolitan borough. In the 17th and 18th centuries Leeds became a major centre for the production and trading of wool. Then, during the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major mill town; wool was still the dominant industry but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing and other industries were important. From being a compact market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.
Public transport, rail and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds and there are a number of twinning arrangements with towns and cities in other countries. Its assigned role in the Leeds City Region partnership recognises the city's importance to regional economic development.