Your business could save a third by choosing Edinburgh over London

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It’s no secret that Edinburgh is cheaper to live in than London, but how much could businesses save by locating their operations in Scotland’s capital? Well, according to the Knight Frank’s Global Cities report, which looks at cost of workspace and average salaries,  it is as much as a third.

Knight Frank’s report found that the total cost of basing 100 staff in Edinburgh came to £2.60m while in London that figure would be £3.9m, a difference of 33%. In terms of cost, Edinburgh in fact emerges as one of Europe’s most competitive business hubs, placing ahead of Stockholm, Dublin and Amsterdam.

The most expensive city in the worldwide list is Zurich, where high salaries in the banking sector mean that companies are looking at a cool US$7.95m per year to locate 100 staff. Not cheap! However, if even Edinburgh sounds too expensive for your operation then consider relocating to Warsaw where you’ll find a multilingual workforce and workspace for US$1.63m.

Speaking to BQ magazine Alasdair Steele, head of Scotland commercial at Knight Frank, said: “Edinburgh continues to emerge as a truly global city – it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for international businesses as well as a magnet for overseas investment capital.

“From a cost perspective, Scotland’s capital offers clear advantages over many of Europe’s major business hubs. Combined with its quality of life benefits, skilled workforce, and buoyant tech scene, there’s a compelling case for Edinburgh as the city grows from strength to strength.”

Lee Elliott, head of commercial research at Knight Frank, said: “Access to high-skilled talent is a well-established determinant of corporate real estate and location decision making.

"But in a low-growth economic environment where margin protection and cost control is paramount, the cost of both employing and accommodating this talent is becoming important too.

“Edinburgh’s costs relative to other Global Cities are compelling. This provides a clear incentive for global companies to actively consider Edinburgh, particularly those in the tech and financial services sector which need to attract and retain the best people, in state-of-the-art workspace.

“Although rival European cities do offer even lower employment and property costs, many global companies will see this as a false economy if they are unable to access the tech and creative talent they require, which Edinburgh has in great abundance.”

Our solicitors advise small and medium sized businesses on leases, sale and purchase of commercial premises, business sales and acquisitions.

Image by samchills used under CC license 

Jacquie MacDonald

Head of Corporate Development