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London, Manchester & Bristol: 1st Choice Destinations for Freelance Developers

Vincent de Jonghe
Vincent de Jonghe
Deputy CTO Pentalog Freelancers

If you still think the very best of tech & digital innovation can only be found in North America, think again! London, Manchester & Bristol are home to some of the hottest European start-ups and businesses. But, what is it that makes these places so alluring to talented freelance developers?

freelance developers

3 cities. 3 Unique Business Environments.

Each business requires different environmental factors in order to successfully grow and thrive. So, what are the highlights of each city that will help you take the right decision for your business?

Let’s start with London. As the UK’s capital, this city led the industry in 2018, playing host to over 40% of all UK tech startups. And to no surprise, the Eastern part of the metropolis has been dubbed as “Silicon Roundabout”, Europe’s take on Silicon Valley and attracting the attention of many tech business headquarters including giants like Google and Microsoft.

But, other equally promising UK cities shouldn’t be underestimated by potential investors or freelance developers. Manchester, for example, is the single biggest technology hub in the country outside of London. Fourteen out of the 50 of fastest growing companies in northern England are rooted in Manchester. In 2018, the city took 5th place as UK’s most entrepreneurial city.

Each city has something to make it stand out from the other.

When comparing Bristol to other UK towns, the city has the highest digital tech turnover per person, at £320,000. Meanwhile, the average number of startups born is 225 a year, while the city’s population stands at approximately 500,000 people, more or less. Local digital GVA has reached £1.7 billion which represents a 2% growth in 2018, while the rest of Britain’s came in at 1.3%, respectively.


Education Opportunities. Capacity to Deliver the Best Professionals

All three cities are home to highly prestigious institutions that serve as the main water well of young, ambitious specialists on the British job market.

At the UK’s heart and center, London has 5 out of 15 UK institutions mentioned in the Global University Employability Ranking 2018:

  • Imperial London College
  • King’s College London
  • London Business School
  • London School of Economics and Political Science

In Manchester, the youth have the opportunity to study at high-profile educational institutions like The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford.

When it comes to Bristol, the city is a point of attraction for young aspiring digital creatives among these 4 notable universities:

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Bath
  • University of the West of England
  • Bath Spa University


Local Clusters – Buzz Generators

In London, the most booming fields are tech, cybersecurity, Fintech, design & creative industries. Since 2011, London investors have supplied the tech sector with £28 billion. The capital supplies 21% of Europe’s fast-growing unicorns to the market. Meanwhile, the London tech sector registered a £1.8bn investment in tech. Seedcamp, a European seed fund, provided $2 Bn+ to over 300 startups.

In Manchester, 170 companies prosper in the following fields: life sciences, biotech, digital and creative sectors. According to the Tech Manchester initiative, the development of early-stage technology businesses is highly supported and the tech sector generates £3 billion a year. MSP (Manchester Science Park) is home to over 300 innovative businesses from different industries of varying sizes.

Giants like Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems are devoted residents of Bristol. Bristol and Bath Science Park main contributions are supporting Science & Technology businesses, while SETsquared Partnership offers a wide range of programs for different kinds of projects (Student Enterprise, Researcher to Innovator, etc).


Comparison of Freelance Developer Average Daily Rates

Freelance Profiles London Manchester Bristol
PHP Developer £400 £400 £313
Java Developer £550 £450 £425
JavaScript Developer £500 £425 £438
Mobile Applications Developer £465 £369 £475
QA Tester £438 £438 £250


Skilled Freelance Developers from London, Manchester & Bristol – ready to take on your next project?

Each one of these 3 cities has a thriving tech community making them attractive places to freelance developers.

Are you a business looking for freelance developers qualified enough to join your mission? Tell us about your project and Pentalog Freelancers experts will find the right profiles for you in one of these cities.

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