City Spotlight: A Quick Guide to Franchising in Newcastle

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Have you overlooked Newcastle as a location for your next venture? The thriving city is home to the infrastructure needed to support fast business growth, so it could be a wise move to consider franchising in Newcastle. 


With more than 1.7 million people living within a 30-minute drive of the city, Newcastle has huge potential for business owners building a talented workforce. It also has a reputation for excellence in science and research, as well as its large student presence and affordable property prices. 

An overview of Newcastle

As a city with a relatively low population of under-18s, Newcastle’s residents have a higher-than-average age, at 41.2, compared to the 40.3 average in England and Wales. But it also has a higher proportion of working-age people, as 63 percent of the population is between 16 and 64 years old.

Average salaries in the region vary between £30,500 in Gateshead and £35,800 in Newcastle upon Tyne. These figures are slightly lower than the UK average, which sits at £38,600. 

There are two universities in the city, and three more within an hour’s drive, putting the region’s student population at over 100,000. Newcastle has one of the UK’s highest graduate retention rates, at 55 percent, and the North East has the lowest employee turnover rate. In total, there is a skilled workforce of over a million people within just a half-hour drive of Newcastle. 

Did you know? There are 1.1 million skilled workers within a half-hour drive of Newcastle. 

Across the city, there are over 8,000 businesses. They benefit from the comparatively low property prices in the region. High-quality offices are roughly 30 percent cheaper than in other UK cities, and 68 percent cheaper than in London. Business owners who select Newcastle as their location of choice over other UK cities can save up to 40 percent in operational costs.  

Houses are also more affordable in the area, with the average Newcastle upon Tyne residential property coming in at £182,000, compared to £310,000 in England and Wales generally. 

The region also has convenient transport links to other locations in the UK and across the globe. Newcastle International Airport offers flights to more than 85 destinations worldwide, while over 30 trains leave for London every day, getting to the capital in 2 hours 45 minutes. In fact, Newcastle workers enjoy one of the lowest average commute durations in the UK, at 26 minutes. 

Newcastle is also well connected digitally. A recent £12.5 million investment improved the region’s technological infrastructure, gave it one of the UK’s fastest broadband speeds and provided free Wi-Fi in the city centre. 



Running your own business in Newcastle 

Keep reading to find out more about Newcastle’s leading sectors and the areas holding high potential for business owners. 

  • Research and innovation - Organisations in Newcastle are pioneering research into ageing, smart data, urban sustainability and digital technologies. The city has no fewer than four national centres for excellence, including the National Innovation Centre for Data. And the North East has a higher proportion of students in STEM and computer science than any other region in England. 

  • Technology and digital - In Newcastle, more than 40,000 people work in 3,000 digital and creative businesses. Their specialities include e-commerce, software development, data analytics, immersive technologies and video gaming. You’ll find offices for Sage and IBM in the city, as well as Ubisoft’s largest UK Games Studio and the new BBC Tech Hub. 

  • Life sciences - Newcastle’s £1.1 billion life sciences sector conducts groundbreaking work in pre-clinical research, diagnostics, rare diseases and ageing. The city has The Biosphere, the first purpose-built commercial laboratories in the region, as well as around 7,000 skilled professionals working across just under 200 organisations. 

  • Business and professional services - This sector creates roughly a quarter of the region’s entire economic output. It provides jobs for more than 130,000 people in around 19,000 businesses, including the ‘Big Four’: PWC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG. 

  • Law - Newcastle has a population of over 3,000 solicitors, thanks, in part, to the 21 law-related university courses provided by Newcastle and Northumbria universities. The city also has almost 100 different firms in the sector, as well as a Business and Property Court, reducing travel for the city’s legal professionals. 

  • Offshore and marine - The city offers fantastic opportunities for businesses working in renewable, offshore and subsea energy. It has access to three deep sea ports and 400 hectares of riverside development land. Plus, North Sea developments such as Dogger Bank are just a short journey away. This sector has grown by 60 percent in the area over the past four years, and benefits from a combined workforce of 28,000 people. 

  • Logistics - The Port of Tyne and its storage and distribution solutions are a significant asset for Newcastle, and the facility has benefitted from £130 million of investment over the past decade. Every year, more than 350,000 Nissan cars are exported to 90 countries through the port. Nearby, goods worth a further £310 million pass through Newcastle Airport. 


Franchising in Newcastle

Newcastle has a rich climate for business growth, thanks to its extensive infrastructure and focus on education and innovation. For prospective franchise investors, potential could lie in the technology, professional services and logistics sectors, which have seen growth in the franchise world. 

If you’re interested in franchising in Newcastle, you could take advantage of the various business events held in the area every year. The region hosts The North East Business Expo, while the Northern Franchise Exhibition is usually based in Manchester. By attending these high-profile events, you can mingle with like-minded entrepreneurs and share tips and advice. 

To find more information on running your own business in the franchise industry, visit our article catalogue. We publish data-driven guides twice daily, covering every aspect of entrepreneurship, and you can use the search box to find the pointers you’re looking for. 

*Statistics taken from Plumplot.co.uk and InvestNewcastle.com

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