Living & Working

Edinburgh is a beautiful and compact city with a rich history and thriving cultural scene. These qualities are helping to attract, and retain, a highly skilled workforce that is driving the city’s growth.

To discover more about Living and Working in Edinburgh, download the Investor Support Pack.

Working in Edinburgh

Across Edinburgh and the city region there are several industries with numerous firms ranging from large corporations to small start-ups. The city, though, is perhaps best known for its Financial Services sector, with nearly 11% of the working population employed in the Finance and Insurance sector. Some of the largest employers include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Baillie Gifford, Standard Life Aberdeen and Virgin Money.

Edinburgh has also seen rapid growth in its technology sector. Our skilled and highly productive workforce has attracted international companies such as Amazon, Dell, Adobe and Xillinx. There is also an expanding pool of home-grown start-ups and university spin-outs. Two of the most successful home-grown companies are Skyscanner and FanDuel, while others such as Pure LiFi, Appointedd, Sensewhere and Craneware are also enjoying significant international success.

There are also world-leading companies in several other sectors such as Life Sciences and the Creative industries

Compared with other major UK cities, Edinburgh has one of the lowest unemployment rates as well as the highest proportion of high-skilled occupations and in 2016, residents had the 2nd highest annual earnings in the UK. Coupled with lower living costs, it’s likely you’ll have a higher disposable income than you would in London.

When trying to attract experienced staff to move, Edinburgh’s range of great schools, easy access to the outdoors and high standard of living is an attractive proposition.

Michael Boniface, managing director, Skymoons Edinburgh

Short commute

Edinburgh is a compact city which can make getting to work easy and quickly. A high-quality, frequent and accessible public transport network provides good access to all part of the city, the Airport and surrounding areas. In fact, 51% of city residents use the bus, cycle or walk as their main mode of travel with the city having the highest satisfaction rates with public trasport in Scotland. Edinburgh has some 75km of off-street paths for cycling and walking to work.

With the arrival of the modern tram service in 2014, Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams combine to provide a seamless and high quality transport choice for residents and visitors to our city. If you live further afield the train is a popular option and many people commute in from the Lothians, the Borders, Fife, Glasgow, Dundee and Perth.

Living in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in UK. The average cost to rent a city centre, one bedroom flat is 56% cheaper than London, whilst the city has more 'green space' than any other in the UK and is home to 41% of Scotland's Green flag parks. Clean, compact and safe, Edinburgh has a diverse multicultural population and has something for everyone. 

As with every city, Edinburgh has several areas that are popular to live in with each offering their own characteristics. Popular areas include:

City Centre - Georgian splendour of the New Town next to the historic charms of the Old Town.

Stockbridge - Very popular residential area, particularly for families. The Water of Leith runs through this lovely part of town, which very much has its own relaxed ‘village’ atmosphere.

Leith - Historic port town that is known for its waterfront views, smart apartment blocks, and award winning restaurants and bars. Leith is particularly popular with young people, though many families also live in the area.

Morningside and Bruntsfield - Adjacent districts that retain their own unique ‘village’ feel. Just a short bus ride from the buzzing city centre, they are quieter and very popular with families. Their primary and secondary schools are particularly sought after.

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Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council


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