The Top 25 UK Cities to Start a Side Hustle

2020 is the year of the side hustle, but London may not be the top hub as people flock to other cities to launch their innovative new projects.

Starting a Side Hustle

A new study by The UK Domain analysed the anomalous spike in UK web domains during lockdown in order to assess where these new entrepreneurs are choosing to set up their side hustles. This refers to pieces of work or jobs that you get paid for alongside your main job. Despite the floundering economy, rising unemployment, surge in redundancy and dependence on furlough, many independent new businesses have flourished across the UK. Many entrepreneurs have used lockdown as an opportunity to launch a new business, project or side hustle.


The best cities to start a side hustle were assessed by various criteria. These included city specific factors including population, cost of living, broadband speed, general life satisfaction and disposable income. It also took into account work life balance looking at average time working and average time commuting. Finally, it looked at the number of new registered domains during lockdown as an indication of how many new projects were being set up per region.

The Best UK Cities

Brighton and Hove came out top of the list for starting a side hustle. The city is known for its vibrancy and diversity, as well as its myriad of creative shops and independent stores and cafes. With a population of 290,885 and a Side Hustle Index Score of nearly 70, Brighton and Hove swept the board for all index ranking factors, scoring especially highly on life satisfaction scale, disposable income and average working hours. During the peak of lockdown (March-July), the study revealed that 7,377 new domains were registered in this region, showing the burgeoning entrepreneurial scene. Edinburgh and Gloucester came second and third, respectively. Scotland’s capital had a grand total of 5504 registered domains during lockdown and Gloucester had 4909.

Where Does London Fit In?

London scored number 12 in the list of the best cities to begin a side hustle. Although not in the top 3 cities for starting a side hustle, London did see the biggest increase in domains registered, with 66,436 registered between March and July 2020. The most domains were in South West London (10,493) followed by North London (10,309) and East London (10,275).