Edinburgh proves capital choice for lifestyle

Edinburgh's historic architecture and thriving cultural and academic reputation have earned it the moniker Athens of the North. Now it has been named the best city in the United Kingdom for quality of life.

The Scottish capital, with a population of just 400,000, has been voted the most desirable place to live by company executives in a survey of 33 of Europe's leading business cities.

One of the fastest growing cities in Europe, "Auld Reekie" (Old Smoky), as it was known, is also considered top for freedom from pollution, providing an ideal environment to bring up a family and enjoy life.

"We have always known that the quality of life is terrific in Edinburgh and that it has an extremely attractive city centre, so we are not surprised that it has scored well in this category," said David Davidson of Cushman & Wakefield, the global property firm that published the report.

"The beautiful architecture coupled with major international events such as the Edinburgh Festival and the new year celebrations keep Edinburgh on the map."

However the survey, which has been published for the first time as part of a wider European Cities Monitor, assessing the views of senior managers and board directors from 201 UK companies, found that Edinburgh still has some drawbacks.

The city was ranked as the most expensive place in which to park a car, faring even worse than London in the poll. It is also considered less desirable than its arch-rival Glasgow when it comes to being the best city to locate a business today. Glasgow was also ranked first choice of destination if setting up a new call centre, and first for relocating a new back-office function, beating Leeds and Manchester.

"Glasgow markets itself on the European stage and attracts a lot of positive publicity. For example by attempting to win the 2014 Commonwealth Games and trying to attract a supercasino to the city. Edinburgh, on the other hand, could be accused of being a bit complacent," said Mr Davidson, who claimed that some businesses were put off relocating to Edinburgh because of high property and staff costs.

Amanda Kremer, managing director of Thrive for Business, one of Scotland's leading networking organisations, said: "Edinburgh has been criticised in the past for being too parochial, but it isn't any more. Things have changed in recent years and are still changing. Edinburgh is a great place to start a business or relocate an existing one to. There has been huge investment poured into the city in recent years and many big names have moved here.

"Edinburgh is now almost universally recognised as a central location for businesses to flourish."

10 best cities

* The best UK cities in terms of quality of life for employees:

(1) Edinburgh

(2) Bristol

(3) Leeds

(4) Manchester

(5) London

(6) Cardiff

(7) Newcastle

(8) Glasgow

(9) Nottingham

(10) Sheffield

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore