The Best UK Cities to Start a Remote Business

New research reveals the best cities in the UK to turn lockdown hobbies into lucrative side hustles.


Best Conditions To Start A Side Hustle

With the public stuck at home for the best part of a year many have turned to hobbies to keep themselves entertained. Many entrepreneurs have taken this opportunity to turn their hobbies into a business. Expert analysts at Dojo, part of the Paymentsense brand, looked at the following criteria to see which UK cities have the best working conditions to start a side hustle:

  • Population – Number of people are living in the city
  • 5-year start-up survival rate – % of start-up businesses that last longer than 5 years
  • Internet Accessibility  – % of population with access to the internet within the city
  • Income  – Average pay for full-time workers
  • Unemployment Rate  – % population of the city that is unemployed
  • Post Offices – Number of post offices in each city


Best Cities

From the analysis, they ranked the top 10 cities for remote working.

Ranking City Population Region Remote Business Index Score
1 Gloucester 129,128 South West 162
2 Norwich 140,573 East 156
3 Southampton 252,520 South East 153
4 Carlisle 108,678 North West 148
5 Swansea 246,993 Wales 146
6 Peterborough 202,259 East 145
7 Portsmouth 214,905 South East 145
8 St Albans 148,452 East 143
9 Chelmsford 178,388 East 143
10 Lincoln 99,299 East Midlands 141
The top 10 cities for remote working – RANKED


Spotlight on Gloucester

Gloucester ranked BEST city to start a remote business! Gloucester is ranked as the best place to start a remote business with a total index score of 162 points. This South West city has one of the lowest unemployment rates out of all the UK regions examined at 4.1%.

With the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment standing at £558 and an average broadband speed of 39MB, self-starters could be on track to turn their bedroom into a business.



Rising Stars

Norwich in second place and Southampton close behind.  In second place is Norwich with a score of 156 points on the Remote Business Index. Boasting a large economy that ranks 15th out of 206 upper-tier authorities, and a five-year startup survival rate of 43.2%  – it’s no wonder that this cobble street city is in the top five.

Southampton comes in close third place with 153 points. Home to approximately 86,000 businesses, and with a broadband speed of 52MB, Southampton solidifies itself as one of the best cities to start a remote business.

Carlisle and Swansea are in fourth and fifth place respectively. Carlisle comes in fourth place with the average five-year startup survival rate sitting at 43.2% and 1,111 post offices within the city – it racks up 148 points.

Following closely behind and securing the top five spot is Swansea with 146 points. Even though they have a lower five-year survival rate of 38.3%, the Swansea Bay City region had 11 companies listed on the 2020 Wales Fastest Growth list.