City Spotlight: A Quick Guide to Franchising in York

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Whether you live in the city or outside of it, choosing York as your business location of choice could be a wise move. It’s a hub of activity in the north-east of England, and home to plenty of exciting investment opportunities. Let’s find out more about franchising in York. 


If you’ve never considered running your own business in York, now could be the time to do so. The thriving city offers a wealth of benefits and opportunities to ambitious entrepreneurs, as well as lower property prices than other UK regions.

An overview of York

York is home to around 560,000 people, and contributes £5 billion to the UK economy. 

The city has a slightly older population than other regions in Britain, with an average age of 43.4, higher than the 40.3 average across England and Wales. Unsurprisingly, York also has a lower proportion of working-age residents, at 60.6 aged between 16 and 64, compared to 62.3 in England and Wales. 

Average salaries in the region stretch from £28,000 in Ryedale to £34,5000 in York, while the UK average sits at £38,600. However, property prices are also lower than in other areas, at £245,000 compared to £310,000 in England and Wales. Households have an average of 2.32 residents each. 

The city’s two key higher education institutions, the University of York and York St John University, establish partnerships with local businesses to develop key projects in the area. Thanks, in part, to the high-quality learning facilities in the region, almost half of York’s population is educated to degree level or higher, exceeding the national average. 


Did you know? Almost half of York’s population is educated to degree level or higher

Situated in the heart of the UK, York is extremely well connected in terms of transport links. Residents can catch direct trains to every major city in England and Scotland, and there are over 140 routes to other destinations across Britain. London is just two hours away from the city by rail, and you can get to Edinburgh in just 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Nearby, there are also several airports offering flights to international destinations, and HumberPort, the UK’s biggest multi-purpose port complex, home to some of Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics networks. 

This mini metropolis has a rich history and grand ambitions to be one of the best-connected hubs in Europe, with cool cafés, destination restaurants and innovative companies.
—The Sunday Times



Running your own business in York

Here are some of the leading industries in York: 

  • Bioscience and healthcare - York is home to hundreds of innovative businesses, as well as one of the UK’s top university bioscience departments, several centres of excellence and BioVale, a globally recognised bio-economy cluster. It became Britain’s first Science City and its organisations are now pioneering research and development in bio-renewable fuel, agricultural technologies and healthcare. 

  • Rail and transport - Railway infrastructure has played a significant role in York’s development since the 1840s, and many key transport companies still base their headquarters there. In the region, you’ll find offices for Network Rail, Northern Rail and Virgin Trains East Coast. Within York’s transport industry, businesses specialise in the advanced manufacturing of specific parts, rail consultancy and software systems, among other sub-sectors.

  • Creative and digital media - York is a UNESCO City of Media Arts and has developed an impressive media technology infrastructure. Its many arts facilities have benefitted from a £100 million investment, including the film and TV space at Heslington Studios. At York University’s Digital Creativity Labs, experts are driving innovation in the digital games and interactive media sectors, while other businesses develop software solutions for various industries.

  • Food and drink - The city and its surrounding regions are home to one of the biggest food and drink manufacturing clusters in Britain. Famous brands like Nestlé, Terry’s and Rowntree were first established in York, which now hosts an annual, 10-day food and drinks festival - the biggest in the UK. In fact, York produces roughly five million Kit Kat chocolate bars every single day.

  • Financial and professional services - These sectors are on the up in York, as more and more businesses establish offices in the region. The city’s organisations primarily occupy the finance, legal and insurance spheres, and major international companies including Aviva and Hiscox have settled in the area. 

Franchising in York

With specialisms in food and drink, as well as financial and professional services, York has fantastic potential for ambitious entrepreneurs who set up a business. There are countless investment opportunities available in these sectors, so the region could provide a healthy return on investment if you decide to start franchising in York.

As a York-based franchisee, you’ll have access not only to the city’s impressive business infrastructure and transport links, but also a wide range of high-quality events. You’ll be able to take advantage of many networking and professional development opportunities on offer nearby if you launch a franchise business in the city. 

Throughout the year, events such as York Business Week and The South Yorkshire Expo provide a chance to take part in virtual and in-person conferences, seminars and workshops. 

If you think York could be the ideal spot for your next business venture, why not browse the franchise investment opportunities currently on offer in the area? You can also find more tips and guidance on franchising in York and other UK regions in our catalogue of business articles. We publish new guides twice a day, focussing on all aspects of the franchising universe. 

Use the search box to find information on a specific topic or just stay up to date with our latest publications. 

*Statistics taken from Plumplot.co.uk, MakeItYork.com and VisitYork.org

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