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.

RankingCityPopulationRegionRemote Business Index Score
1Gloucester129,128South West162
3Southampton252,520South East153
4Carlisle108,678North West148
7Portsmouth214,905South East145
8St Albans148,452East143
10Lincoln99,299East Midlands141
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.