One of the UK’s most beautiful cities, Edinburgh is a cultural powerhouse that boasts a strong economy – second only to London! – with a large population of creative young professionals and students.
The city is perhaps most famous for Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. Originally set up as an alternative for marginal acts to the Edinburgh International Festival, it has now overtaken it in both size and popularity. Comedy, theatre, music and A whole range of other performing arts acts take over the city for much of August each year. But Edinburgh is host to many other festivals throughout the year including the Edinburgh International Film Festivals, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Book International Festival.
The book festival is just one aspect of the city’s literary life and traditions, with a wide variety of libraries and literary places to visit. Indeed Edinburgh has been the birthplace of many famous writers including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Muriel Spark, Irvine Welsh. Edinburgh is also known for the Greyfriars Bobby, a book based on the true story of a Skye Terrier who kept watch over his masters grave in the city’s Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years after his masters’ death. And then there are the stories of how J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in an Edinburgh coffee shop! This rich heritage was celebrated when Edinburgh was named the first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004.
Alongside its many libraries, Edinburgh has a wide range of museums. These include the National Museum of Scotland, the National War Museum, the Museum of Childhood, Surgeons’ Hall Museum and the Museum of Edinburgh. Another much-loved attractions is Edinburgh Zoo, which is currently home to Tian Tian and Yang Guang, two giant pandas on loan from the People’s Republic of China.
The city has also been bestowed with another honour by UNESCO, with its Old Town and New Town areas being named as World Heritage Sites in 1995. Historic sites such as Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are also popular sightseeing spots.
With so much to see and do in the city, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is the 2nd most visited city by foreign visitors in the UK, second only to the capital, London. This has led to tourism being a key part of the city’s economy. In fact, the festivals alone generate £100m for the local economy!
With other key industries including scientific research, financial services and higher education and a number of top creative companies such as Rockstar North, makers of the hit Grand Theft Auto games, based in the city, all making Edinburgh the 2nd strongest economy of any city in the UK, again behind only London. This is buoyed by a young, well-educated population, with 43% holding a degree-level or professional qualification, and a student cohort of over 62,000 attending one of the 4 top universities based in and around the city.
Banking has also been a big part of the city’s history and economy, with the Bank of Scotland being established in 1695. In fact, with so many financial services companies, Edinburgh is the UK’s second financial centre after London.
Residents have a choice of a wide range of property types from Georgian townhouses to modern apartment developments. In spite of prices being a little higher than UK averages, the property market in Edinburgh is booming, with demand currently outstripping supply.
This historic creative city has so much to offer it is more than understandable why so many people look to visit, live and invest here.
If you want to learn more about investing in Edinburgh then why not read Why Invest in Edinburgh.