Nottingham is UK’s Number 1 Ranked city for co-working centres

co-working centres

The rise of the co-working centres

Today 4.69 million British people work on a self-employed or freelance basis, up 23% from 3.8 million in 2008. In fact, the Telegraph predict that “going freelance” could eventually overtake the public sector as a source of employment.

While some may opt to work from home with occasional trips to their local Wi-Fi connected coffee shop, others have chosen to preserve their work/life separation by joining one of the growing number of co-working centres springing up to service the self-employed across the country.

The UK’s best co-working cities

Where in the UK are the most favourable locations for co-working centres? Whether you’re working from “home” once a week, a freelancer in need of a change of scene, or a three-person start up that requires centres to grow, where will you find the best workstations and the best prices? We’ve run the numbers, designed an algorithm and built a smart co-working map of the UK so you can find your perfect, productive spot.

We used a weighted index to calculate and rank the top cities in the UK, as well as London districts for co-working centres. This relied on three key metrics:

  • Number of start-ups per 100k population
  • Number of working centres per 100k population
  • Average desk price

We then scored each metric for each city or London district, on a scale of 1-10. The scores for all three of the metrics were totalled up to give the overall score and it is this score that determines a city’s/ London district’s ranking.

Here are the top 16 locations:

1. Nottingham

2. Northampton

3. Milton Keynes

4. Bristol

5. Manchester

6. Edinburgh

7. Glasgow

8. Belfast

9. Newcastle

10. Leeds

11. Sheffield

12. Birmingham

13. Oxford

14. Aberdeen

15. Liverpool

16. London

Price & Choice

The cost of co-working workstations was our number one ranking factor when we assessed the UK’s top co-working cities. The better value of workstation rates offered, the better the city performed overall. Although not the cheapest co-working city on our list (that title goes to Sheffield where average rates are £199.00 per month), Nottingham still provided one of the cheaper rates, with a £218.00 per month average rate against the national average of £286.50, 24% lower.

Choice of centres was our second crucial ranking factor. To assess choice, we looked in detail at each city’s population, the number of start-ups per city and the number of start-ups and co-working centres per 100k population. Nottingham scored highly here too, with 10.5 co-working centres per 100,000 people, versus the national standard of 7.8, serving the local entrepreneurial community well.

Why London lost out

The performance of London, the lowest-ranking city on our list at number 16, may come as a surprise to readers who view the capital as a hot bed of entrepreneurial energy. Its low rank is a result of the incredibly high volume of start-ups in the city and the comparatively low number of affordable co-working centres choice to them.

London’s 183 centres may outstrip those of other cities offering less choice by a considerable margin, but London is not the highest-ranked option where price is the most influencing decision factor, with a high average workstation pricing of £613.00 per month, 114% above the national average.

For more complete information and the full stats, take a look at the interactive map.