The Economic, Social and Cultural Impact
As Leicester’s Asian population grew more shops and restaurants were started to cater for their needs. Some of these businesses established a reputation throughout the region and became a regular part of Leicester’s wider social scene.
Once people had established themselves and saved up money they often looked to set up in business either on their own or in partnerships with relatives or former colleagues. Asian businesses had a major impact on the city’s economy with industries such hosiery receiving a boost. Today one of the city’s major employers is the Leicester Paper Company employing 900 people at its factory in Hamilton.
Asian culture also received a boost with a wider range of activities being promoted. Cinemas had presented some Indian ‘Bollywood’ films since the 1960s, and clubs and dance centres were also popular. The influence of Bollywood movies was very strong and one of Leicester’s most famous restaurants, Bobby’s, is named after a famous film.
Education was highly valued in Asian society, and many of those who grew up and were schooled in Leicester went on to make a significant impact on professions such as law, health, education, photography, public service and the media.
In the early days of the community, religious services usually took place in a private house or hired venue.
As the size, wealth and religious diversity of the Asian population grew so did the number, variety and importance of their places of worship.