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Five UK relocation ideas for millennials – Alexa Wang
With all the doom and gloom surrounding the economy, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s impossible to live alone as a millennial in 2019. Crippled with student debt and rising property costs, and facing a crisis in Brexit, no wonder people are leaving home later than ever.
Don’t worry though, as rising from the ashes of disaster are a number of cities that are fantastic places to work and live. If you want to work hard and play hard, you no longer have pay over the odds for a wardrobe-sized room in London, as the UK has a wonderful array of alternative destinations for you.
It’s easy to think of Edinburgh as a surprise inclusion. However, the ratio of rent to wages is close to outrageous for a capital city (£464/m), which explains why it was named as the best place to live by the Royal Mail in 2017. Jobs wise, the financial sector is a big employer, with a variety of other roles in technology also available to support it.
Culturally you have everything you need too. The Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, meaning for an entire month you’ll have the very best comedy, theatre and art on your doorstep. Neighbouring Leith is also undergoing huge regeneration, with two Michelin star restaurants for fine diners and loads of other affordable eateries.
Newcastle is a city with a reputation for a bustling social life; passionate football fans during the day turn into dedicated party animals at night. However, it also has a mellow side which makes it just as appealing to the more laid back person. Whether it’s taking in an afternoon at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art then a riverside walk along the Quayside, followed by cups of tea into the small hours at Quilliam Brothers, Newcastle caters for all tastes.
It’s an affordable place both to rent or buy (average monthly rent is £290) and has many companies relocating and expanding there, which means plenty of employment opportunities. North East accents are frequently listed as the friendliest in the country, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of sales and recruitment jobs in Newcastle. Frank Recruitment Group is one of the more established companies, and their headquarters is next to Central Station.
For culture vultures, Leeds is something of a destination in its own right. Hyde Park Picture House is one of the country’s oldest cinemas and is a quite beautiful hark back to yesteryear. With a good selection of indie movies and late night horror showings on weekends, you could quite easily make this a second home. As for somewhere to live, the average rental cost is £350/m, meaning it’s pretty reasonable, especially as wages are generally high.
Job opportunities are also good with a lot of new investment coming into the city, meaning the city has one of the best employment rates in the country. The University of Leeds is in the process of spending £520m on campus developments, with the aim of becoming one of the top research universities in the UK. This means there’s plenty of vacancies across a variety of roles, and with the job growth rate in the private sector well above the national average, Leeds is definitely a city on the up.
It might feel a little off the beaten track, but Cardiff is only a couple of hours from London on a train, Bristol is only an hour too and has one of the most perfect millennial vibes in the country. Cardiff itself is a great place to settle – a city full of curiosities and the feel of somewhere on the rise. For an unusual dining experience, how does dinner in a jail sound? The Clink is a restaurant based in and staffed by inmates from HMP Cardiff, cooking high-end food in an experience you’ll certainly remember.
With some of the most affordable office space in the UK, the city is attracting a large number of start-ups. This means employment opportunities are great and as a city it performs favourably in terms of salary. Big firms, such as GE, have committed to staying in the area post-Brexit too, so Wales could certainly be an attractive option if you’re looking at a career in engineering. Average rent will set you back around £371 per month. But, if you don’t mind the commute, then Newport will save you some money, with good public transport links into Cardiff too.
Swaggering in at the end of this list is super cool Manchester. The city has a thriving music hub that has produced an almost limitless supply of hall of famers, is home to two of the country’s biggest football clubs, and lays claim to some of the country’s best leisure facilities as a legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. If dinner in a jail in Cardiff doesn’t sound up your alley, what about a drink in a converted public toilet? The Temple fits that rather niche bill and is one of a number of super cool bars and speakeasies that could have been named.
And while Manchester has been churning out creative talent since time began, the emergence of MediaCity in nearby Salford has only enhanced its reputation as a hub for the arts. With the BBC and ITV just a couple of big companies to have relocated there, jobs in media and digital are the ones to look out for here. Rental prices are fair at £362 per month, and if a healthy work-life balance is important to you then Manchester is definitely worthy of your consideration.