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Background Information
Leicester is a provincial city, located in the East Midlands region of the UK. It is the tenth largest city in England, with a city population of nearly 300.000 and a greater urban conurbation within central Leicestershire serving over 500,000 people. The population is ethnically mixed, with a relatively large proportion of Asian/Asian British residents (over 40%).

In terms of socio-economic status, the city is relatively deprived; about half the wards in Leicester rank amongst the most deprived 10% in England, with only two ranking in the top 50%. Major regeneration to strengthen the city's economy and to improve its environment and image through targeted redevelopment is ongoing and has created new jobs, homes and is dramatically changing the face of Leicester. The City was designated the UK's first Environmental City in 1988.

Its economy today is focused mainly on administrative, retail and light manufacturing activities. There are no major "heavy" industries in the city, consequently road transport is the city's main contributor to air pollution.

The city centre stands in the broad, shallow valley of the River Soar at the centre of a network of communications, including various major radial and tangential roads. It is served by 9 radial routes, 4 of which to the west of the city provide links to the M1 motorway.

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