London. The capital. The place to fulfill your dreams. Well, not necessarily!
There was a time when any business with big ambitions had to have a London base. But, thankfully, this is no longer the case. Many companies now avoid ‘the big smoke’ - with its over-crowded streets - in favour of offices in the North West.
Chancellor George Osbourne has praised this kind of enterprising attitude. Over a year ago, he coined the phrase ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and described it as ‘a collection of northern cities sufficiently close to one another that combined can take on the world’.
But, apart from offering the chance of world domination, there are many other benefits to living and working in the north. And research shows that people are beginning to realise this. A report from Reallymoving.com - which analysed 10,000 moves over 8 years – found that: ‘There has been a consistently higher number of people moving from London to Manchester than from Manchester to London.’
So why should you choose the North over London? Here are just a few reasons…
Time is precious. And we don’t want to spend too much of it on a bus or a train – especially when travelling to work. But London property prices mean that many who live in the capital have to cope with an arduous daily commute. According to 2011 census data, they have the longest journeys, at an average of 74.2 minutes. But that’s perfectly understandable, given that an hour on a train can save Londoners an average of £380,000 on a house, according to data from Lloyds Banking Group.
The cost of house prices in the north doesn’t just have a positive effect on your work life, it can also be advantageous if you are a parent of a school child. The Blue Coat school in Liverpool, for instance, sees 99 percent of its pupils receive A* to C grades, but the average house price in the catchment area is £132,866, according to data from the online estate agent eMoov. A school in London achieving the same results would be surrounded by much more expensive housing.
Apart from being home to top notch football clubs, Manchester and Liverpool are cultural hotspots – known for their great bars, theatres and galleries. They present the perfect hang-out, especially for a cold one after a day in the office. Plus they’re also good to look at – from an architectural point of view. In fact, the Everyman theatre in Liverpool won the Stirling prize for best building of the year in 2014. In the process, it beat impressive rivals, including two London venues, The Shard and the Olympic aquatic centre.
Living in the North West can give you easy access to many green spaces, including impressive parks, National Trust country homes and the Lake District. Speke Hall, Dunham Massey and Tatton Park are all beautiful locations nearby, but if you’re prepared to drive a little longer you can find yourself in the wilds of the Lake District. Maybe a hike up Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain) takes your fancy. It’ll certainly get your blood pumping and leave you rejuvenated for when you return to the office.
Of course, this all proves that the old phrase ‘it’s grim up north’ is far from the truth. And maybe it’s inspired you to get some northern soul by taking a look at where your business could be based, in an office space in Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool that is perfectly tailored to you. Feeling that northern love? Then call us on 0800 731 0300.