Quality of life key to attracting global talent

Published: 10 November 2016

This article was published on the City A.M. website on 10 November 2016 as part of Invest Edinburgh Talk.

They say home is where the heart is: where we feel comfortable, safe and free to explore our interests and dreams. Home can be four walls and a roof, a familiar serene landscape or a vibrant city.

Home is good for the soul, but interestingly, recent research has also begun to explore the strong correlation between high levels of emotional attachment with a place and, in the case of cities, GDP growth.

A number of factors influence a city’s appeal among residents and visitors: safety, the local economy, aesthetics, education, cultural appeal and warmth of welcome to name a few.

It’s thanks to its broad appeal across all these key areas that Edinburgh has emerged as one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. Scotland’s capital was recently named the third best city in the UK in which to live and work – for the fourth consecutive year – in the 2016 Good Growth for Cities index.

It’s a compact, affordable and green city, full of parks and wonderful natural vistas: from Edinburgh Castle’s commanding position at the heart of the city centre; to the Meadows, where tree-lined avenues frame the technology hub at Quartermile – home to Skyscanner, Fanduel and the University of Edinburgh’s world-renowned School of Informatics.

Its beauty is one of the many reasons why Edinburgh appeals to the highest concentration of graduates in the UK (55 per cent). As an international city, attracting talent form across the globe, Edinburgh is also diverse and cosmopolitan, illustrated by the fact that city is regularly voted one of the friendliest and safest cities in the world.

Are you considering a change of career, or a fresh start in a new city – somewhere new to call home?

7 magnificent reasons why Edinburgh is too tempting to ignore

Best UK City

It’s one of the best cities in which to live in the UK. In addition to the Good Growth for Cities index, this year’s Telegraph Travel Awards confirmed Edinburgh’s appeal, and last year it was voted the best UK city by USwitch.

World-class cultural offering 

If you’ve never visited in Edinburgh then add it to your bucket list. Last year Edinburgh’s 12 annual festivals attracted a combined audience of more than 4.5m people. That year-round cultural buzz helped generate an income of £280m – so there is always something exceptional to see or do.

World renowned beauty

It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Rough Guide readers voted Edinburgh the fourth most beautiful city in the world, beaten only by Paris, Florence and Rome.

Well connected

Edinburgh has never been easier to reach or better connected to the world. In September 2016 the airport handled 1,191,728 passengers, an 11% increase on the previous year, with the greatest growth area being international passengers. Getting to the city centre has never been easier, with direct tram services operating every few minutes.

Compact city

An eclectic mix of quality restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and clubs lie within the city centre alongside national galleries, theatres, and art house cinemas – all within a short walk of one another. In fact, Edinburgh was recently voted the UK’s easiest city to travel around.

UK’s ‘brainiest’ city

Edinburgh boasts the best qualified and most productive workforce of any city in the UK.

Third safest city in the world

It’s one of the safest cities in the world. In 2015, Post Office Travel Insurance customers voted Edinburgh the third safest city in the world.



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