City Spotlight: A Quick Guide to Franchising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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Newcastle-upon-Tyne, often known simply as Newcastle, is the most popular city in North East England. It’s also a great place to franchise, with lower-than-average property prices and plenty of local colour on offer. Here’s a deep-dive into franchising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 


Newcastle-upon-Tyne is a compact yet exciting place to live, work and grow. You can walk across the city in 15 minutes, discovering all kinds of local culture and activity en route. From heritage sites a short drive away to a thriving nightlife and diverse range of retail opportunities, there’s nothing this city doesn’t have. We’re going to take you through just some of the reasons why Newcastle is an excellent place to open a franchise, whether it’s your first branch or an additional location. 

An overview of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne is home to over 1.2 million people. The average resident is just over 40, and it’s home to some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

Spend an afternoon down at the pop-up beach, or walking around Town Moor, a park situated in the city centre which spans over 1,000 acres. Explore museums and theatres. Check out one of the seven stunning bridges, all within half a mile of each other. In the centre of this special city, you’ll be a short metro ride from the sea, and under an hour’s drive from the beautiful Northumberland National Park. It’s an amazing, affordable place. 

If you’re wondering how to open a business in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, look no further than our guide to franchising in this unique city. 

“Newcastle is family-friendly and safe, with heaps of culture and makes visitors soon feel like locals. The atmosphere in Newcastle and beyond is hard to match, with a homey feel and locals who go the extra mile to welcome tourists.”
—Big7 Travel

Running your own business or franchise can be a daunting task. But if anywhere is the perfect place to set up base, it’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 86% of North East-based companies said the area boasted strong business networks [Tech City UK].

There are many different pros to this city, including…

1. Good transport links

Not only is Newcastle International Airport just a 15 minute drive away (connecting you to over 85 destinations), there’s also over 30 trains travelling from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to London each day, making it a fantastic destination for cross-country travellers and commuters.



2. A large, active population

As mentioned, the city has over 1.2 million residents. Included in this number are 100,000 students. If you’re on the fence about franchising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, know this: The customer base is there and waiting. You just need to get out and meet them.

3. Lower-than-average property prices, and more savings beyond

Hiring an office space in Newcastle-upon-Tyne comes 30% cheaper than a similar space in London. It’s also a more affordable place to buy a home. The North East also has the lowest labour turnover rate in the UK, and standard operational savings tend to come in at 40% in comparison, again, to London.

4. A vibrant, supportive local business community

The city is full of businesses new and old, and the range of different communities available for businesses is extensive. Here are just a few of those communities:

  • Digital Union

  • Ignite 100

  • Federation of Small Business

  • BIC

  • Dynamo

  • North East Growth Hub

  • Converge

  • Entrepreneurs Forum

  • Entrepreneurial Spark

  • Tech North

5. Home to young talent

The city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne is home to two different universities: Northumbria and Newcastle. Both of these educational institutions focus on proactively engaging with the local business community, and encourage students to get involved. Each year, these universities produce thousands of talented, qualified graduates with knowledge and enthusiasm in all kinds of areas, from medical and life sciences to business management and law.

“Geordies are world-renowned for their warmth and friendliness and a recent survey by the European Commission (February 2016) voted Newcastle the happiest place in the UK and 10th in Europe.” - InvestInNewcastle 



Running your own business in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

  • Tech and digital - The booming Newcastle tech sector employs around 40,000 people and hosts many high profile companies, including Sage PLC, Ubisoft’s biggest UK Games Studio, and a brand-new BBC Tech Hub. The £2 billion industry couldn’t be better placed, as Newcastle has the highest proportion of STEM and computing students in the country. 

  • Life sciences - Around 7,000 people are employed in the field of life sciences in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The city is home to the first purpose-built commercial laboratory, The Biosphere, and the scientific network that the city enjoys is unparalleled. The life sciences work being done in the city is so well-regarded that Pfizer chose to open its first UK INSPIRE site here, in partnership with Newcastle University. 

  • Offshore and marine - Newcastle is a key city in the offshore, subsea and renewable energy landscape. 28,000 employees currently work in this sector in the city. This sector has actually grown by 60% in just the past four years, and continues to expand with time. The location is ideal for such innovation and research, as Newcastle-upon-Tyne has access to three different deep sea ports and a huge stretch of riverside development land.

  • Business and professional services - About a quarter of Newcastle’s wealth is generated in this area, and over 132,500 people are employed in business and professional services in the city. The four largest professional services networks in the world all operate in the city, as do law firm Womble Bond Dickson and customer specialists Concentrix. Norton Rose Fulbright’s Legal Process Innovation Hub is also based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne - their only UK site outside of the city of London.

  • Logistics - As mentioned above, the city of Newcastle boasts excellent transport links. For logistics companies, nothing is more important than a solid transport infrastructure. In fact, in terms of logistics, Newcastle is the best connected area in the whole country [Legatum Institute]. Nissan, for example, exports roughly 350,000 cars out of Newcastle every year. 

Franchising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

You might be wondering: What franchises are there in Newcastle-upon-Tyne? How does the existing landscape look? Plenty of franchises have opened their doors here, and yours could be next.

If you’d like to do further research into franchises based in the area, take a look at our UK Franchise Directory. And if you’re more open about location, take a look at our creating a franchise - cities in focus articles, which spotlight cities across the United Kingdom, from Stoke-on-Trent to Edinburgh to Cardiff.

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

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