Where to live, work or launch your startup in the UK

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London is without any doubt a favourite destination for those looking to live, study, work or set up a business in the United Kingdom. However, life in the UK doesn't revolve around London since many other cities – some of which you might not have considered till now – provide a range of opportunities for expats, regardless of their long-term plans. Have a look at the most dynamic and promising cities in the UK according to the Good Growth for Cities 2018 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Oxford

Oxford
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Located 90 km northwest of the capital, Oxford is world famous for its prestigious universities that are sought after by thousands of international students every year. Besides quality higher education, Oxford can boast of its global openness, developed market and highly skilled workforce – which is good news for those looking to work or start a business in the UK. Oxford's economy mainly relies on education, automotive manufacturing, as well as science, tourism and information and communication technology. Finding a job in one of these fields can be an excellent way to get to know more about the local work culture. Also, Oxford is renowned for its high wages. For a 37-hour working wage, employees are paid £ 9.69 per hour. As of April 2019, the living wage will increase to £ 10.02 per hour, so you can earn £ 18,644 per year on average.

Reading

Reading
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Reading is a historic city that is located in Berkshire, 39 km south of Oxford and 64 km west of London. Today, Reading is a major technological hub dubbed the "British Silicon Valley" due to the presence of tech companies like Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Symantec, etc. It is also home to international accounting firms including Ernst & Young, PWC and KPMG. This city has a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem that makes it an ideal place to start a business with an innovative concept. Reading can also boast a highly qualified and skilled workforce coming from its prestigious universities like the University of Reading. Foreign professionals can choose from a range of career opportunities in retail, financial services and telecommunications. By working in Reading, you can earn £ 655 per week on average.

Southampton

Southampton
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Southampton is the largest city in the Hampshire County, 111 km southwest of London. Over the years, this port city turned into an industrial hub. Today, various opportunities are available in retail and petrochemical, automotive and aircraft industries. Southampton is also home to prestigious universities like the University of Southampton which ranks among the best in the world, and Southampton Solent University which recently came up among the most creative universities in the UK. Southampton lays significant emphasis on innovation with – as a result – a booming science and tech startup ecosystem. It's also worth noting that every year the University of Southampton Science Park offers an incubation program with advice, residency and a £ 1,000 free capital injection for science and tech start-ups. Besides, Southampton offers unparalleled quality of life thanks to a mild climate and a health system that is up to international standards. Those looking to work in Southampton can expect to earn 27,114 £ per year on average.

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes
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In 2016, Milton Keynes broke the records thanks to a significant workforce growth coupled with a stable economy. Over the past few years, more than 40,000 new jobs were created. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was around $ 12.14 billion in 2016. In 2017, Milton Keynes was ranked 8th Best City in the UK for Technology Innovation – which makes it an attractive destination for potential entrepreneurs. Milton Keynes is home to many business parks including Pury Hill, Hayfield and Woodlands, which bring together businesses, investors, scientists and experts from around the world. All of them significantly contribute to improving the local business climate. Located 72 km northwest of London, Milton Keynes was chosen by many large companies like the Volkswagen Group, Santander UK and Mercedez-Benz which make up the job pool. Opportunities are also available in other fields like education, health, science and technology. The living wage is £ 7.83 per hour for workers aged over 25.

Bristol

Bristol
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Once a port city, Bristol now has a diversified economy including creative, aeronautical and electronic industries, information and communication technologies and financial and professional services. Large companies operating in Bristol include Opus, IBM, Nokia, Oracle, Toshiba and AXA. Those having skills in finance can turn to firms like Lloyds Banking Group, or Bank of Ireland. Bristol relies on a highly qualified and skilled workforce. Emphasising creativity and innovation, it's also an attractive city for entrepreneurs thanks to its market openness and a population of nearly 451,000. Investment incentives that have been set up include infrastructure development. Bristol is looking to welcome more businesses specialising in ICT and creative industries. Also, Bristol offers an excellent quality of life with a pleasant climate, a healthy environment, cultural diversity, and its community spirit.