It’s profitable t’up North – Why more and more businesses are heading up

There’s nowhere in the world that we’d rather be than based in Yorkshire. But, being born and bred, we would say that (us Yorkshire people are notoriously loyal).

Yet it seems that many businesses are coming around to our way of thinking, with more and more businesses making the move t’up North. So what are the driving forces behind this shift?

Welcome, big business – we think you’ll like it here

In recent years there seems to have been an endless stream of household names setting up in our local neighbourhoods. The BBC, HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and KMPG are just a few of the companies you might have heard of.

Part of this trend can be explained by the booming growth of the digital economy, which is free from the traditional ties of business that rooted a company in or close to London. These companies are practically digital nomads, with 70% of the industry based firmly outside of the capital. 

A further force that could be pushing people northerly is the sky-high rents and costs of the south. To provides some idea as to the numbers, consider these average rental prices in towns and cities across the UK (from north to south).

  • London £650 – £1500
  • Bristol £350 – £500
  • Leeds £200 – £450
  • Manchester £300 – £400
  • Birmingham £250 – £450
  • Edinburgh £250 – £550
  • Liverpool £150 – £300

For more insight into these, and other, cities, read our guide: Flying high: the best cities to set up shop.

A thriving region for world-class learning 

The many amazing universities of the north are also playing a key role in businesses that are hoping to attract freshly graduated talent. 

Leeds is home to three top-tier universities, with the University of Leeds scooping University of the Year in the Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide. This institution alone educates more than 32,000 students (from 147 countries) at any one point in time.


“Three-quarters of graduates from Leeds Beckett stay in Leeds….[and] typically a third of Leeds University graduates get a job and stay locally”.

Simon Brereton, head of economic policy and sector development at Leeds City Council

Come in, experts and professionals, this is a great place to work and live

Infrastructure improvements in Manchester, city-centre facelifts, good living standards and low rents are all attracting more talent to our northern towns and cities. In one year alone, Manchester invested £280m on transport – just one of many examples that has placed Manchester on the worldwide stage as a global digital leader. Liverpool, too, has enjoyed sustained regeneration projects – those in business can now be found in the Knowledge Quarter (for science, health and technology), and Ten Streets (for creatives).

More and more start-ups are starting up north 

Liverpool is one of the hottest spots for start-ups right now, especially for those in the digital industries. Putting this into figures, the city has enjoyed a 112% growth in start-ups compared to London’s 92%. This impressive rate of growth is reflected around the wider north, as the number of incubators and co-working spaces continue to sky-rocket.

Ready to follow suit? Van Man York could be the first friendly Northerners you deal with in your bid to shift business our way.

“Really helpful and efficient, made a stressful situation a lot less stressful. Ralph and our van driver were nothing but polite and helpful”.

A James

“Great company, great service. Staff were pleasant, helpful, very efficient and the whole move was extremely well managed. I was especially pleased that you were able to provide this service at very short notice”.

Maggie C

Talk with Ralph today about your business move or use our fast and free quote tool.

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