Edinburgh has been named as the UK’s leading city for co-working spaces, according to the latest research from MoneySuperMarket.

When starting a business it can be expensive and difficult to find office space. Many start working in their own homes – but once the first few hires are made this approach doesn’t always work. A common solution often involves moving into co-working spaces with other similarly sized companies, as a means of reducing office space costs.

MoneySuperMarket analysed 18 cities across the UK against key factors, such as the cost per workstation, business insurance and the number of office spaces available, to see which cities are deemed the most desirable places to co-work.

Prime opportunities

The research found Edinburgh to be the best city for co-working spaces, due to its competitive co-working prices, broadband speeds and low number of insurance claims. Brighton and Hove on the other hand ranked last, due to the limited and costly desk space.

The top five ranking cities were:

Edinburgh – Surpassing the UK’s capital in terms of its co-working capacity, Edinburgh also fared excellently on co-working prices, local broadband speed, and a low number of business insurance claims.
Leeds – With low prices on workspaces and among the lowest volumes of business insurance claims, Leeds only faltered slightly when it came to availability of spaces compared with other UK cities.
Bristol – A growing business centre for those looking for opportunities outside of London, Bristol surprisingly had below average numbers of co-working spaces but made up for this with its low costs and high broadband speeds.
Northampton – As well as a low number of insurance claims and near chart-topping broadband speeds, Northampton has access to the SEMLEP Growth Hub, which offers advice and an extended reach in seeking out worthwhile finance options.
Nottingham – The East Midlands city offers one of the lowest average costs for co-working spaces in the country. The Creative Quarter also makes being a young business in this area even more attractive, offering grants and funding for tech and life science businesses, including a loan between £500 and £25,000 at a six per cent interest rate over five years to start-ups in the area.

Leave London

Despite the highest total number of co-working spaces and decent availability even when high competition for space is factored in, London’s exorbitant workstation prices and high costs on business insurance policies relegated it to 16th position out of the 18 cities analysed. The capital beat only Newcastle, where a lack of spaces contributed to the low ranking, and the aforementioned Brighton and Hove.

However, new business owners should still bear in mind that the capital has the country’s greatest access to a wide range of finance – from funds to loans, and angel investments to venture capital – meaning financial opportunities might still outweigh the drawbacks that the study identified in co-working there.

Rose Howarth, head of business insurance at MoneySuperMarket, comments, ‘MoneySuperMarket is experienced in the big decisions businesses may face when starting out, and one of the most crucial of those is choosing the right environment for a business to grow. Understanding where in the UK is best for businesses to set up in co-working environments, considering their unique challenges with regards to business security, allows us to understand the market and how best to help entrepreneurs find the best business insurance for them.’

Further reading on co-working

Does your business turn over between £50,000 and £500,000? If so, you are eligible for the new Small Business Grants initiative from SmallBusiness.co.uk. We’re giving away £5,000 every month in a free-to-enter competition. Apply now by clicking here. Good luck!


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