Research and reports
There are currently more than 1.4 million freelancers in the UK, who enjoy benefits such as being their own boss and picking which projects to work on.
With flexibility a big freelancing perk, there’s a huge range of possibilities open when choosing where to live and work. Recent research from MoneySupermarket has revealed the top 10 cities in the UK for freelancers – if you're thinking about making a move or just want to compare your city, discover which hotspot took number one below.
The research ranks cities based on factors like the number of start-ups in the city, hourly rate for freelancers, and even looks at the number of coffee shops and BT WiFi hotspots available to flexible workers. In the list you’ll find capital cities, seaside towns and cultural hotspots. Could it be time for a move?
According to the research, Manchester is the best city in the UK for freelancers. It boasts a huge number of start-ups and has the highest number of freelancers advertising outside of London, at 1001.
Check out the full list below.
Manchester’s famed for its creative industries. Recently, it was revealed that it has the fastest growing creative industry outside of London, with 7,475 more jobs in the sector than there were just two years ago.
According to the research:
Over the last few years, Brighton has emerged as a vibrant tech hub. It’s had an active web community since the early days of the internet, and according to a Tech Nation report, there was a 91% growth in new digital companies incorporated in Brighton between 2010 and 2013.
According to the research:
Edinburgh’s home to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is the world’s largest arts festival. In 2016, Edinburgh secured more investment than any other UK tech cluster outside of London. Freelancers should find Edinburgh a vibrant place to find work.
Out of all the places on the list, Belfast comes top for life satisfaction, with a score of 7.65/10. In late 2017, Northern Ireland ranked as the most contented region in the UK, so freelancers looking for a happy life could do worse than Belfast.
Rounding out the trifecta of capital cities is London. London needs no introduction – you’ll find most major industries represented there, from media to technology to manufacturing, but it’s London’s financial sector that dominates.
Leeds is committed to developing a bustling tech community. The council has set up the Leeds Tech Hub Fund, a £3.7 million pot to help its digital economy. Leeds is also home to exciting creative and media industries.
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. It has great cafes, swanky co-working hubs (check out Rookie Oven), and to top it all off, it’s an affordable place to rent or buy a property.
Business in Bristol is thriving. A 2017 study placed Bristol as the eighth fastest-growing city in the UK, ahead of London and Manchester, so freelancers can expect booming industry.
This East Midlands city has an attractive number of start-ups, as well as a good hourly rate for freelancers. Its central location means that those freelancers who need to make client visits are well placed, no matter where in the country they need to go.
Newcastle continues a northern theme in this list. It offers freelancers a lively city lifestyle without the costs of the capital, and some of the lowest average property and renting prices found in MoneySupermarket’s research.
The research also listed 12 other cities that freelancers might enjoy working in. These include three major cities in the Midlands as well as Hull, 2017’s City of Culture.
So, how about it – have you been conviced to make a move? Let us know in the comments below.
Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.
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