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Why Glasgow May Be Better Than Edinburgh for Your Business

25 April 2019

Edinburgh is a fantastic city – there’s certainly no denying that. We’d be the first to sing the praises of its winding medieval streets; its dramatic city-centre castle; its cosy pubs; and, of course, the joyous month-long celebration of the performing arts that is the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

However – and there is a however – Glasgow has its own unique character that’s pretty much impossible to resist. And it’s particularly appealing if you’re looking to set up a business.

Maybe it’s the famously friendly people. Maybe it’s the vibrant music and art scene that thrives all year round. Maybe it’s the glorious historic architecture. Or maybe it’s all of those things, plus the practical considerations we explore below.

Last year, we wrote about why Glasgow is better than London for your business. Read on to find out why, in our opinion, it’s got the edge over Edinburgh, too.

Glasgow Will Save You Money

It may not be glamorous, but it’s a major advantage: Glasgow is affordable. Edinburgh is consistently listed as one of the most expensive cities in Scotland when it comes to general costs of living, with only Aberdeen costing more. The main factor pushing up living costs in the Scottish capital is the cost of renting and buying property, which has climbed and climbed with little hope of slowing down.

Glasgow, meanwhile, has long been one of the cheapest major cities in the whole of the United Kingdom. The cost of renting is low in most parts of the city, and the monthly cost of a beautiful, historic space or a sleek new-builds won’t break the bank. This is as true of commercial spaces as it is of residential ones – so compared to Edinburgh, you’ll save across the board.

Glasgow Is a Hive of Economic Activity

Some might assume that the low cost of living and owning a business in Glasgow might mean that there isn’t a lot of economic activity taking place in the city. But that isn’t true.

Glasgow is often considered the shopping capital of Scotland, with people travelling from all over the country to take advantage of its huge and varied selection of chain and independent shops.

Businesses in Glasgow can also draw in big investments; in the financial services sector, for example, Glasgow is tied with Edinburgh as the third-most attractive city for investments, beaten only by Manchester and London.

All of this means that the extra rent you would pay in Edinburgh as opposed to Glasgow won’t necessarily translate to a greater ROI.

Glasgow Grows and Retains Talent

Just like Edinburgh, Glasgow is home to several highly regarded universities and colleges that foster the kind of talent businesses need to thrive. However, where Glasgow wins is in the fact that it has the highest retention rate for graduates in Scotland, and the fifth-highest in the United Kingdom. What does that mean in practice? Well, 46% of those who study in Glasgow choose to stay on once they’ve graduated. That speaks to the city’s appeal as a brilliant place to live and work. It also means that businesses in Glasgow have a wide pool of skilled people to recruit from.

Glasgow’s Office Stock Is Outstanding

Glasgow has a rich architectural history, with eminent architects who lived and worked here including the likes of Alexander “Greek” Thomson in the 19th century, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh who came afterwards.

But not all of the city’s architectural glories are in the past; far from it. Glasgow is also packed with wonderful new buildings that offer beautiful modern design alongside energy-saving (and money-saving) innovations in insulation and lighting. The cityscape in Glasgow City Centre is much more of a melting pot than in Edinburgh, with stately Victorian buildings rubbing shoulders with gleaming purpose-built office blocks.

In combination with the fact that the cost of renting an office or commercial space is so much lower than in Edinburgh, all of this means you’re likely to have a much wider array of spaces to choose from when you set up your office in Glasgow.

For a taste of what you can expect when you start looking for an office space in Glasgow, why not take a look at our great selection of semi-serviced offices, serviced offices and traditional lettings? See our range of Glasgow offices here, or drop us an email at info@stelmain.com to talk about what you’re after.

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