Procurement · 13 July 2016

Wondering where to start your business? These are the best UK towns to work in

best UK towns
University town Cambridge topped the list

Glassdoor’s 2016 ranking of the most popular UK towns and cities for staff has revealed that Cambridge and Milton Keynes are the best places to work in.

The online recruitment marketplace considered factors including property prices, work-life balance and the current number of current job openings.

East Anglia tech hub and university town Cambridge are at the top of the ranking, with an average job satisfaction score of 3.5 out of five.

And despite being included on a 2003 list of “crap towns”, Milton Keynes appears to have upped its game – the city combines high job satisfaction with lower average home values than its rival in the top spot.

The full list is as follows:

  1. Cambridge
  2. Milton Keynes
  3. Nottingham
  4. Leeds
  5. Peterborough
  6. Coventry
  7. Reading
  8. Bradford
  9. Northampton
  10. Swindon
  11. Manchester
  12. Aberdeen
  13. Warrington
  14. Bristol
  15. Glasgow
  16. Edinburgh
  17. Oxford
  18. Liverpool
  19. Birmingham
  20. Derby

“These results are a reminder that although there are more jobs in London and employees are generally pretty satisfied, it is a competitive place to work and an expensive place to live,” said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain.

“Towns and cities such as Nottingham, Leeds and Reading offer decent salaries and job prospects combined with a lower cost of living.”

For entrepreneurs considering taking on a first employee or committing to office space for the first time, many of the locations on the list also boast affordable office space, according to research by Colliers International.

Brand new units can be leased for just £19.50 per square foot in Nottingham – compared to £59 in London suburb Hammersmith, while winning city Cambridge boasts offices for £34 per square foot.

The announcement of the ranking follows the publication of research by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr) indicating that Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes were the fastest growing cities in the UK in the first quarter of 2016.

Some of the tech success stories which have come out of Cambridge include Jagex, the video game company behind RuneScape, and Autonomy, a big data firm bought by HP in 2011 – while younger tech startups include cyber security startup Darktrace.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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