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City and Unitary Authority Area
City of Leicester
Montage of places in Leicester: (clockwise from top-left) Jewry Wall, National Space Centre, Leicester War Memorial, Central Leicester, Curve theatre, Leicester Cathedral and Guildhall, Welford Road Stadium, Leicester Market
Motto: Semper Eadem
Location within Leicestershire and England
Coordinates: 52°38′06″N 1°08′06″W / 52.635°N 1.135°W / 52.635; -1.135Coordinates: 52°38′06″N 1°08′06″W / 52.635°N 1.135°W / 52.635; -1.135
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region East Midlands
Ceremonial county Leicestershire
Admin HQ Leicester City Centre
Founded AD 50
as Ratae Corieltauvorum by the Romans
City Status restored 1919
 • Type Unitary authority, City
 • Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby
 • Leadership Elected mayor and cabinet
 • Unitary authority Leicester City Council
 • List of MPs
 • City and Unitary Authority Area 28.31 sq mi (73.32 km2)
Population (2005 est.)
 • City and Unitary Authority Area 288,000 (Ranked 20th)
 • Urban 441,213
 • Metro 772,400 (LUZ)
 • Ethnicity
(June 2007 estimates)[1]
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postcode LE
Area code(s) 0116
Twin cities
 • People's Republic of ChinaChongqing China
 • GermanyKrefeld Germany
 • NicaraguaMasaya Nicaragua
 • IndiaRajkot India
 • FranceStrasbourg France
 • BulgariaHaskovo Bulgaria
Grid Ref. SK584044
ONS code 00FN
ISO 3166-2 GB-LCE
Distance to London 102.8 mi (165.4 km)
Demonym Leicesterian

Leicester (Loudspeaker.png pronunciation (info • help)) is a city in the East Midlands region of England and it is the county town of Leicestershire. In 2006 the population of the city was estimated to be 289,700 making it the largest city in the East Midlands. In 2010 the population was estimated to be 306,600 making it smaller than Nottingham by 100 people. These numbers are not exact, so it is not clear which city is the biggest in the region.

History and society

Leicester is about 2,000 years old and was called Ratae Corieltauvorum when it was founded by the Romans who ruled what is now England for about 400 years. After the Romans had gone and the Anglo-Saxons settled there the town of Leicester was founded and named after the River Soar (then called Leire) and "cester" meaning the Roman ruins. Much later, after the invasion by the Danes, Leicester was within the area under Danish rule and one of the fortified "Five Burghs". In early modern times it became a centre of the manufacture of boots, shoes and knitted clothes such as socks.

Since 1926 there has been a Church of England diocese of Leicester and in 1927 the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral. As well as different forms of Christianity many other religions have followers in the city including Islam and Hinduism. The UK census in 2001 showed that 17.4% of people in Leicester said that they had no religion.

Leicester has a wide variety of people from other countries, including many from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Leicester also has communities of people from the Caribbean, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Poland and many other countries. Many of these communities have their own community organisations. As well as English about 70 other languages are spoken in the city.

Leicester is well known for having residents from many different cultural backgrounds. People who believe that they are having problems because of racism can get help from The Race Equality Centre.

Government and politics

Leicester has three MPs: Jon Ashworth (Leicester South), Liz Kendall (Leicester West) and Keith Vaz (Leicester East). All three are members of the Labour Party.

On 5 May 2011, Sir Peter Soulsby became the first directly elected Mayor of Leicester. He is called the City Mayor. Leicester also has a Lord Mayor for ceremonies.

Leicester City Council has 54 councillors. At the moment there are 52 from the Labour party and one each from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Leicester is divided into 22 wards for local government which include the city centre and many Suburban areas such as Aylestone, Braunstone, Belgrave, Evington, Highfields,Thurnby Lodge,St Matthews, Rushey Mead and Humberstone.

Services and facilities

Leicester has a very large covered outdoor market. The market has been in the same place for 700 years. The city also has two shopping centres: Haymarket and the much larger Highcross.

Leicester has several museums. The biggest and best known is the New Walk Museum.

The city has many parks, including Abbey Park and Victoria Park. There is also a botanical garden in Oadby, which is a town to the south of Leicester.

Leicester has a race course, which is also located in Oadby.

There are two hospitals in the city (Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary) and one just outside the city (Glenfield Hospital).

The city is the home of Leicester City F.C. and the Leicester Football Club (usually called the Tigers) rugby club. It also has a cricket team for adults and juniors called Leicestershire CCC (county cricket club).

Leicester has two universities: the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. It also has several further education colleges, the largest of these is Leicester College.

There are two bus stations: Haymarket and St. Margaret's (which is also a coach station). The train station is on London Road. Leicester is about 75 minutes from London by train. Trains from Leicester arrive at St Pancras station in London. At St Pancras station it is possible to catch another train which travels through the Channel Tunnel to Europe.

Many trade union branches in the city and county are members of Leicester and District Trades Union Council.

The local newspaper is called The Leicester Mercury.

Other websites


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