The Best Places for Start-Ups in the UK

April 1, 2019 Updated: April 1, 2019

The UK’s start up scene continues to flourish, with 216,000 new businesses set up in the UK in 2018 – a 6.45 percent increase from the year before.

Whilst many start-ups are accustomed to less than glamourous offices, many will start on the side desks of existing companies, garages, basements, bedrooms, kitchen tables and more. But the introduction of new work spaces such as WeWork, Spaces and HubbleHQ have provided a hot desking opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and start up business. We recently featured WeWork as one of the top 10 most valuable startups in the UK. We run through some of the most popular places for start-ups in the UK.

Shoreditch

London’s Shoreditch is very much the start-up and tech capital of the UK, with its very own iconic silicon roundabout. The E1 postcode is home to many shared work spaces and high profile companies including Deliveroo, Proper Finance, Transferwise and Amazon’s new 5,000 people office – which has no doubt instilled a lot of confidence into the area.

Shoreditch is iconised by its young, hipster community and is not short of vegan restaurants, man hubs and long beards.

Neighbouring areas also with a start-up community include Moorgate which is better known for its financial and legal district, but spills-overs to Fintech start-ups including Perkbox and Monzo. There is also Hoxton and Bethnal Green which are 10 minutes away by foot or car from Shoreditch, which offers a slightly cheaper version of the start-up capital.

Holborn

If you are looking for a classier location for start-ups, Holborn is located on the central line and neighbouring to Clerkenwell and Farringdon. Renowned for its jewellery district of Hatton Garden, there are also a number of financial institutions, budding start-ups and creative agencies including Zak Agency and Markettiers.

Finsbury Park

This North-London location is on the up for start-ups and tech companies. Located near Highbury, Arsenal, Islington and Caledonian Road, it is slowly gaining more momentum as a place for start-ups in tech, media, fashion and food. With good accessibility by train or bus, it is the most popular destination for those located in North London.

Brighton

Always known for its creative side, Brighton has a number of creative people who are involved in the creative, digital industry across design, graphics, development and digital marketing. In fact, one of the UK’s largest digital marketing events of Brighton SEO, is run twice per year in Brighton.

The start-up costs are less than being based in London and the free-spirited way of life in Brighton is a good fit for the start-up and creative industry. It is also within a 2-hour drive of London and not fair from Gatwick Airport.

Manchester and Yorkshire

Manchester and Yorkshire are the popular start-up destinations of the North, with the likes of LadBible, PushDoctor and Auden hailing from Manchester.

In Yorkshire, there was an 8% increase in start-ups in 2018, with a rise in tech and fintech as the main areas of focus. The locations are easily accessible by train on the GWR or Virgin Rail and typically, the start-up costs are much lower than those of London. It also helps being able to recruit top staff straight out of the good universities such as Manchester and Leeds.

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