UK business hotspots for architecture

After London, Manchester has the highest employment rate within architecture

  • After London (26,395), Manchester has the highest employment rate within architecture (3,695).
  • Out of the top six towns and cities, Leicester currently has the highest gross added value (GVA) within architecture in terms of employment at 1.75%.
  • Unsurprisingly, London has the highest number of businesses with an above average specialisation in architecture at 4,128 businesses.

According to more than £20 million is being injected into the UK’s increasing number of creative industries, in order to attract new talent, scale up businesses, boost skills and provide further education.

The creative industries are currently a motor of growth within local economies spanning across the UK, not just in London and the South East of England. With increasing productivity and growing workforces, creative industries have the potential to play a role in closing the UK’s productivity gap.

Moreover, British creative industries have made another record contribution to the economy in 2018 with £101 billion (Creative Industries Policy and Research Centre). This comes as no surprise considering film, TV, radio, music, IT services, publishing, photography and advertising are all part of this dominating sector.

British business and consumer marketplace, sought to identify which areas across the UK have an above average specialism within the creative industries detailing the highest employment rate and number of businesses.

The data was obtained using the NestaCreative Nations’ interactive tool, selecting each  creative industry (seven in total) and using the tool to collate data and statistics on the towns and cities with an above average local specialisation in each selected industry.

The industries included in the tool are as follows: Advertising and Marketing, Architecture, Design (product, graphic and fashion design), Film, TV, Video, Radio and Photography, IT Software and Computer Services, Music, Performing and Visual Arts and finally Publishing.

Where can you find the most architecture specialists in the UK? discovered that the following six towns and cities had the highest employment*, with an above average number of employees specialising in architecture:

London (26,395 employees), Manchester (3,695), Glasgow (1,695), Leicester (1,835), Edinburgh (1,510) and finally Bristol with 1,140.

Furthermore, OnBuy assessed the areas with the highest employment rate, and its overall added value to the local specialism. This revealed that although London has the highest employment number, Leicester has the highest gross added value (GVA) in reference to the number of people employed in this sector. Indicating that the value of architecture within Leicester has increased by 1.75%. Thereafter the order is as follows: London (1.74%), Edinburgh (1.44%), Glasgow (1.38%), Manchester (1.35%) and finally Bristol (1.24%).

The top towns and cities with the highest opportunities in architecture with the most businesses with an above average specialisation include:

London (4,128), Manchester (525), Glasgow (285), Edinburgh (228), Guildford & Aldershot (238) and Bristol with 205.

* Creative Nation uses official, open and web data to map the creative industries in the UK.
Employment, businesses and growth figures are based on data from the Interdepartmental Business Register, and the GVA statistics draw on Annual Business Survey data. Research data has been obtained from the Gateway to Research, and Networking data comes from

* The figures represent the most up-to-date available statistics surrounding the UK’s creative industries.