Edinburgh ranked UK's best city for start-up workers

Edinburgh has been named as the best city in the UK to work for a start-up company.

Nestpick rated Edinburgh highly for salaries and quality of life. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
Nestpick rated Edinburgh highly for salaries and quality of life. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

The capital was ranked ahead of London, Birmingham and Manchester in a study that looked at locations offering the best quality of life for those employed by fledgling firms.

While the city topped the table for the UK, it was rated 19th overall in the list of 85 cities around the globe. Singapore came in first place, followed by the Finnish capital Helsinki and San Francisco in the US.

The rankings were produced by Nestpick, an online platform for furnished property rental. It examined the strength of each city’s start-up ecosystem, the salaries on offer, social security and other benefits, the cost of living and quality of life.

Nestpick highlighted typical entry-level salaries of £26,761 in Edinburgh’s technology sector, rising to £53,119 for more experienced workers.

In the field of marketing, salaries started at £23,303, increasing to £42,462 for those with more experience under their belts. The study also looked at salaries for project managers, which ranged from £23,760 to £61,479.

Ömer Kücükdere, managing director of Nestpick, said: “Certain cities may offer bigger pay cheques, but after considering taxes and living expenses, the return may not be so high. Similarly, professionals should consider quality of life – will vacation days be adequate to visit home? Is healthcare as accessible as you would like it to be?”

He added: “We believe that time taken researching potential employers should not overshadow understanding the best cities in which to work. We hope that our study helps those looking to work in start-ups identify the cities which may best suit their needs.”

Despite placing strongly in the overall rankings, the strength of Edinburgh’s start-up sector lagged behind in 34th place. London was placed at number six and San Francisco topped the global table, closely followed by Berlin.

But the capital performed better than its English rival in the affordability stakes, coming in 42nd place for the cost of living. New York emerged as the least affordable city for start-up employees, followed by London and Reykjavik in Iceland.

Overall, Singapore was calculated as the best place for those looking to work in start-ups. The Asian hub scored well for healthcare and safety and its vibrant start-up scene, boosting career opportunities.

A separate report earlier this year named Edinburgh as the best city in the UK to launch a start-up, ahead of London, Bristol and Glasgow, because of its “speedy internet connections, reasonable office rent and host of university graduates to employ”.

The study, by Expert Market, marked down London due to its soaring cost of living, and predicted that other cities will “come to the fore” as a result.