When you consider the hotspots for contractors and freelancers working within the digital sector, you immediately think of London and Manchester for obvious reasons such as MediaCityUK. However, a report from Centre for Cities implied popular locations for contractors to find work are actually in places you would least expect.

The location that topped the list for small businesses in the creative and digital sector was Aberdeen. This was followed by other unexpected locations such as Reading and Cambridge. The top ten was then made up of popular destinations such as London.

Furthermore, Cities with a higher activity of new work companies are more likely to have higher average wages across all sectors, proving that businesses are beginning to benefit from a wider community of people. Half of the top ten also were in the top ten performers for job creation.

Jason Eatock, Head of SME at Zurich who supported the research, commented:

“This report is a fascinating insight into the development of one of the most exciting and rapidly growing sectors for the UK. It describes how creative, or ‘new work’, SMEs are playing a huge part in the UK’s ever-changing business environment.

“But we must also pay attention to the report’s findings of economic disparity between UK regions, and continue to provide the support that SMEs need as they encounter new risks whilst they evolve and grow.”

The growth of freelancers and contractors outside of ‘traditional’ cities such as London and Manchester has caused people to question whether the government should consider expanding plans to spread across more areas so individuals are able to benefit from this.

Furthermore, Centre for Cities’ chief executive Alexandra Jones said:

“Most importantly, the government needs to give cities greater control over skills, infrastructure and spending, to help them become more responsive to the needs of local businesses.”

“By doing so, cities can ensure they are in the strongest position to support the kinds of businesses which offer the best route to long-term growth and prosperity.”

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