Leiston is a working town with a proud industrial heritage. It is home to the Long Shop Museum, celebrating 200 years of steam engine manufacture in one of the first structures purpose-built for a production line. Leiston also boasts Suffolk’s oldest purpose-built cinemas still in use, having celebrated its centenary in 2014.
The high street has many independent and family-run shops and businesses which meet a range of practical needs, and cafés and pubs which provide a relaxed atmosphere for socialising. There are two large industrial estates, Masterlord on the west side of the town, and Eastlands on the east. A mixture of small and large companies co-exist on these estates, with warehouse space and offices of different sizes available.
Leiston has close links with its neighbouring village of Sizewell, where the nuclear power station provides employment and its workers create footfall for the town.