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Why Glasgow is Better than London (For your Business)

20 September 2018

Glasgow’s George Square

Glasgow is a great place for business and we think it’s a great city for new businesses weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of setting up an office in different UK cities. As London has become the default location for so many of the UK’s businesses, we thought we’d compare it with Glasgow, explaining why we think Glasgow is better than London for your business.

Glasgow’s cost of Living is Far Lower than London’s

Cost of living drastically impacts the job market as it changes the salaries employees expect for working in a certain city or area. If rent, food, council tax, and transport costs are much higher, employees expect to be paid much more to sustain a good standard of living. This means that a “good salary” is entirely reliant on where you live. London famously has the highest cost of living in the UK, with extremely high rent and transport costs. Numbeo’s Cost-of-Living comparison is very illuminating:

Consumer Prices in London are 26.87% higher than in Glasgow

Consumer Prices Including Rent in London are 62.84% higher than in Glasgow

Rent Prices in London are 159.69% higher than in Glasgow

Restaurant Prices in London are 19.51% higher than in Glasgow

Groceries Prices in London are 15.32% higher than in Glasgow


Establishing your business in Glasgow will allow you to avoid the huge salary expectations of the London workforce. We’re not advocating paying unfair wages – just that in Glasgow, expectations of what is considered “fair” are much lower.

For its Size, Glasgow has Access to More Graduates

While London is more expensive, some businesses feel the need to be located in London in order to gain access to a higher calibre of graduates coming out of London’s many universities. However, while London has more universities than Glasgow, it has nowhere near as many university students and graduates per person as Glasgow. This means that, arguably, the workforce in Glasgow is much more likely to be highly educated than the workforce in London.

The University of Glasgow

It’s also worth considering the calibre of Glasgow’s universities, as the University of Glasgow is in the world’s top 100 universities, and Strathclyde University has an especially good reputation for Business Studies, Economics, Psychology, and most kinds of Engineering. And we haven’t even mentioned Glasgow Caledonian University, which is well-known for the high quality of its Engineering and Legal courses. London may have more universities, but Glasgow arguably offers employers better access to graduates.

Glaswegians are Famously Friendly (Londoners aren’t)

Glasgow’s Statue of the Duke of Wellington Wearing his Famous Traffic Cone

Londoners are famously less friendly than Glaswegians. However, we think that this “rude” status isn’t really fair. There are just to many people in London to smile and be friendly to everyone. If you do get talking to Londoners, you’ll still find them perfectly friendly. Trust us. However, they almost certainly won’t be as friendly as Glaswegians!

Glasgow is consistently voted the friendliest city in the UK by visitors and we can back up the votes with our own lived experience working and renting out office space in Glasgow. There’s just something bright and friendly about the locals that makes Glasgow city centre a pleasant place to work and an accepting place for outsiders to set up shop.

Glasgow has Fantastic Transport Links

Another reason some businesses choose to set up shop in London is that it has great transport links. London is one of the biggest cities in the world and a lot of time and money has gone into setting up its infrastructure. This is something businesses in London can take advantage of. The biggest argument in favour of London is that it isn’t far from the Eurotunnel and it is relatively centrally located. However, Glasgow also has great transport links. While it might not have as good links as London, the congestion on its roads is nowhere near as bad and it is relatively close to the Stenaline ferry from Cairnryan, which is the quickest way to move goods to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

If anything in this blog post has convinced you to consider setting up a business in Glasgow’s vibrant city centre, then you might be interested in checking out Stelmain’s incredible range of serviced and semi-serviced offices in Glasgow. If you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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