If you are thinking about relocating your business in the UK, moving to the UK for the first time or even just starting out with a new business idea, the top UK cities to consider based on the local economic conditions and the all to important factor, “work-life balance” have been announced in a new report.
The findings came from a recent study in November 2015 by think-tank Demos and consultants PWC and published in a report called “The 2015 Good Growth for Cities Index”. It ranked the top cities against ten different criteria which included environmental factors, levels of income and the skills of workers as well as average commuting times, health and the availability of affordable housing.
The top UK city for economic performance and the best quality of life score was Reading in Berkshire, coming out on top with its near neighbour Bracknell.
Interestingly, the top five cities have remained unchanged since last year’s report. The most notable improvements have been Newcastle, Durham and Bradford in the north and Cardiff in Wales, due in part to significant improvements in transport infrastructure and health care provision.
London was the biggest under-performing city which has been attributed to the high cost of living, long working hours and the growing lack of affordable housing. This is despite it being named as the best UK city in another report by PWC which ranked cities with the best opportunity. So whilst London has not done so well on this report it is still worth considering because of the scope of opportunity it represents for any type of business.
The last two governments since 2010 have developed their proposal to support and boost economic growth in the North of England. Called “The Northern Powerhouse”, the proposal can be seen to be working based on the significant improvement of cities in the region, and although the average performance falls short of the UK average for growth, the movement of these cities on the list demonstrates their success in recent years.
Loc8 Commercial CEO and Founder commented, “This report highlights the significant improvements some UK cities have made to both their business infrastructure and the quality of life they offer residents. We’ve seen major increases in office space take-up in Bristol and in the Thames Valley in places like Reading, so it’s no surprise to us to see these locations ranked so highly in the current report.”
The PCW report clearly highlights the success of those areas of the UK with devolved powers like Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and Aberdeen which could pave the way for the move towards regional devolved powers in England.
Bristol, which initially saw a slow climb from the economic downturn after 2010 has jumped to 7th on the report and several cities in the Midlands have also performed well with Coventry and Leicester both in the top ten. These locations like many others are feeling the benefits of growing business confidence, which in turn is fuelling the UK’s improving unemployment numbers which are currently the lowest for 15 years.
Here are the top 19 cities ranked in the PWC report:
- Reading & Bracknell
- Milton Keynes & Aylesbury
With such a diverse mix of locations across the UK you could be forgiven if you are uncertain where to start. Each of these locations represents a great opportunity for any business but it’s also important to consider a number of factors that will support growth in your business. The most obvious one is the city’s proximity to your target market and whilst London is an obvious draw, many companies investing in the UK for the first time are looking to other areas too.
According to the UKTI report on inward investment in 2015, the UK is the best performing country in Europe and only behind the US and China in terms of new business projects investing for the first time. That said the most popular area is England. The PWC report has 15 out of the 19 cities listed in England so the UKTI numbers are a clear reflection of how good things are across England at the moment. However, it’s important to note that it was closely followed by Scotland and Wales with London in second place.
So where is the best place for my business in the UK?
With such an amazing choice of locations on offer we can understand why it’s difficult to weigh up all the benefits for each location. Our advice would always be to discuss your flexible office space requirements with one of our property consultants who can help you decide on the right solution.
Start your UK office search HERE or talk to a property consultant on 020 3031 8563.
Image courtesy of Wiki Creative Commons