Leeds Student Ghetto

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Rubbish collection largely ceased in the area around 2003.
Cheap housing cobbled together as quickly as possible in the Leeds Student Ghetto.

The Leeds Student Ghetto is an area of Leeds that was created in the late 1970s to house students of the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University. It has been noted as an exception area of Leeds famed for pleasant walks and areas not wholly swamped by Class A drug addicts and alcoholics.



From the early 1970s the problems caused by the increasing numbers of students living in the Leeds area were beginning to cause major problems for the native population of the city. For centuries before the arrival of the (largely southern) hoard Leeds residents had enjoyed a comparatively high (by northern standards) standard of living, due to the availability of relatively cheap alcohol, drugs and ready-meals. However, as students began to bring increasing levels of wealth into the city, the prices of such essential goods began to grow to a level making even normally cheap lagers such as Skol beyond the means of the average Yorkshireman. Following the bloody riots of 1974 the city council began to research ways of containing the problem, and after lengthy consultation decided that the best way of dealing with the student menace would be to contain the student population within a confined area.


In 1978 the local populations of Headingley, Hyde Park and Burley were evacuated and resettled throughout the rest of Leeds. The council carried out a clearance of all land within the zone and began building quick cheap housing that would accommodate the student population. Such necessities as public recreation facilities and transport infrastructure did not need to be considered in the redevelopment of the zone and so costs were able to be kept to a minimum.

Leisure Facilities[edit]

The area has a large number of drinking and eating establishments, designed to cater to the tastes of people who really should know better. Numerous establishments offer such delicacies as 'buy one get one free' pizzas, burgers, kebabs and other brain enriching treats. Pubs in the area are usually kept well stocked with bacardi breezers, WKD and cheap lagers such as Carling.

In the summer months a popular hangout for residents is Woodhouse Moor, known locally as Hyde Park. A morning stroll through the park after a hot evening will usually yield the searcher untold riches of empty drink containers, discarded (unfortunately mostly used) instant barbeques and used condoms.

Unity Day[edit]

There are many opportunities for fine dining in the area.

Each year the local population of Leeds makes a one-off return to the area, to hold the annual Unity Day festival on Woodhouse Moor. This day-long event is held during the summer recess when the students have left and the Student Ghetto Zone can be legally entered by the local population. The name of the festival, 'Unity Day', refers to the love of students that the local populace shares and which holds their community together. During the festivities a large wooden carving of a spray-tanned yah girl holding back the hair of her vomiting friend is burned to the delight of the cheering mob, and the local burglars show the spoils gained from the past month of helping themselves to anything the students might have left in their houses. It is interesting to note that whilst a second-hand laptop computer might fetch as much as £50 in the months September to July, the oversupply in August means the same computer might only fetch a serving of chips and scraps with ten Bensons thrown in for good measure.

Effect on Leeds[edit]

Once the student zone had been established the effect on the local population of Leeds was almost immediate. The prices of super-strength lager stabilised and it once again became possible to feed a family of four on microwave food for less than a pound. The creation of the zone has also led to employment opportunities for local people based around the kebab and street cleaning industries. However, the zone has been said to be partly responsible for the low attainment of many local children living close to the zone, as having seen students first hand many local children see no point in attending university themselves and instead tend to opt for a proper job.

See also[edit]