Leeds Anchors

A Leeds skyscape with Broadcasting Tower, the dry dock pub and The Parkinson Building in clear view

The Leeds Anchor Network was formed in 2018 and brings together 14 of the city's largest employers- including the council, NHS trusts, higher and further education, culture, and utilities. They come together and focus on areas where they can make a difference for people as an employer, through procurement, through service delivery or as a civic partner.


A image of a people network with 9 people icons all linked together to show a connected network

Anchor Networks

'Anchors' are usually defined as large organisations that are rooted in a place, and are invested in the development of their local areas. Since 2018, large public sector organisations and utility companies in Leeds have been working together as Anchors to deliver inclusive growth and make a positive difference for people in Leeds. Given their scale and influence, the decisions that these organisations make about how they operate can make a significant contribution to local employment, business growth, skills, incomes, health and wellbeing. 

The Leeds Anchors logo - yellow and grey with the L and A merging to form a triangle

Theory into action

The Leeds Anchor Network is all about turning theory into practice and making best possible use of the combined power we have as a network By demystifying the idea, we can demonstrate the practical steps that anchors can take to boost their contribution to inclusive growth and make a real difference to local employment, incomes, the city’s net zero carbon goals, and its economy. We use the Leeds Progression Framework self-assessment tool that helps anchor organisations to self-assess where they are now, where they want to be and how to get there.

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The wider network

Originally the Leeds Anchor Network was set up to bring together large, mainly public sector organisations with roots in the city, but we are now seeing the success roll out into our community sector network and our newly formed private sector network. 

The graphic shows the impact the Leeds Anchors Network has on numbers of staff employed in the city, local spend and success in reducing co2 emissions


Collectively, the Leeds Anchor Network employ over 55,000 people, including nearly 2,000 apprentices. They spent over £720m in the Leeds economy in 2020/21 and reduced their CO2 emissions by over 21,000 tonnes in 2020/2021.