Why Invest?

Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing and most productive cities in the UK. It's highly skilled workforce and competitive costs and an unrivalled quality of life make the city very popular with international investors. The city is home to many international companies and The Financial Times fDi Magazine named Edinburgh as the 'Best Mid-sized City’, Business Friendliness (2016/17) and 1st FDI Strategy - Global Cities of the Future (2016/17).

Why is Edinburgh popular with investors?

  • It is the UK’s most educated city. Around 55% of the workforce hold a university degree or equivalent. 
  • The city has the second highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per resident of all major UK cities. Average GVA in Edinburgh is £34,500 per resident.
  • With a local population of 498,800, there is a population of over 1.6 million people living within the Edinburgh city region.
  • It is a world leading tourist destination and a very popular city to live and work in.

Access to a talented workforce 

Perhaps the biggest factor that attracts investors is Edinburgh’s highly skilled workforce. Edinburgh is an extremely desirable city to live and work in, and as a result a high number of students from the city’s four universities stay after graduation.

There are around 58,000 full and part-time students enrolled at Edinburgh's four universities: The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and Queen Margaret University. All four are recognised for their research excellence and ranked among Scotland's top universities.

Companies also find that when they speak to their staff about setting up a new operation in Europe the prospect of relocating to Edinburgh is a highly attractive option. This is driven by the city’s unrivalled quality of life and globally recognised cultural offering as well as the excellent education system and family friendly environment.

Edinburgh was recently ranked the UK's Best place to live by USwitch

You’ll be in good company 

Edinburgh has been popular with globally based investors for decades. As a result, there’s an array of international companies across various sectors to complement those who have grown in the city.

Below is a selection of the companies who have chosen Edinburgh. Between them they employ thousands of people in highly-skilled roles. 

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Industry expertise 

The Financial Services sector in Edinburgh is the city’s biggest employer and the city is home to major companies such as RBS, Lloyds, Baillie Gifford, Standard Life, Scottish Widows and Aberdeen Asset Management in addition to some of the international firms above. Discover more about Edinburgh's Financial Services sector here.

Another important, and rapidly growing, industry in Edinburgh is Technology. Growth within this sector is largely due to the informatics expertise within the city’s universities. The University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics is the UK’s leading centre for informatics research and a source of high skill graduates.  Discover more about Edinburgh's Technology industry here.

Have a look at the Key Sector section for more details. 

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Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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