These 10 facts prove London is still open for business
London has been a global nerve centre for nearly 2000 years and has no plans to abdicate now.
England’s capital is a beehive of culture, cuisine, knowledge and business. So it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the world’s best cities for homegrown and foreign talent.
But don’t just take our word for it, here are ten facts that prove it.
1. It’s one of the world’s most connected cities
London is one of the most influential cities in the world, a title it couldn’t lay claim to without fantastic connectivity (we’re not just talking about its broadband connection which, incidentally, is everywhere).
The city has six major airports; Heathrow, its biggest, handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world. Collectively, London’s airports offer direct flights to 369 international destinations, including 9,340 flights from Europe and 1,029 from North America.
The timezone means business, too - you can start your work day with a conference call to Tokyo and end it with an online catch up with Los Angeles.
2. It’s one of the world’s top two financial centres
London has been a behemoth of global trade and finance for centuries. It laid the foundations for modern banking and devised the first modern international capital markets. These days, it’s also shaping the future of finance in fields like blockchain, Fintech and green finance.
A staggering 37 percent of global foreign exchange trading happens in London and it’s home to more bank HQs than anywhere else in the world; nine of the world’s top 100 banks are based in the capital, employing 150,000 workers.
London continues to dominate the European tech investment landscape. According to end of year investment data by London & Partners and PitchBook, Britain’s tech sector attracted more venture capital investment and tech IPOs than any other European hub in 2018, with the capital’s firms receiving £1.8 billion (72 per cent) of the total £2.49 billion raised by British tech firms. These high levels of growth capital are helping London’s businesses to grow and scale.
3. It’s a global centre of learning
Ranked the best city in the world for international students, London is home to four universities in the world’s top 40 - more than other other city. Each year, 380,000 students study in the capital, with 112,000 international students from over 200 countries.
4. It has a diverse talent pool
Of course, along with hundreds of thousands of skilled graduates comes an inevitably diverse talent pool. The city is a melting pot of highly-skilled workers hailing from across the globe.
Tech companies can take their pick: London is the number one destination in Europe for international technology workers, according to recent figures from LinkedIn and Stack Overflow. In 2018, it welcomed more European and non-EU tech professionals than any other major European city and is second only to the US in the number of highly-qualified AI experts. Its deep talent pool is among the reasons global VC firms put more money into London than any other technology hub.
5. It’s home to world-class expertise
London is, and always has been, a bastion of innovation. It fosters a creative climate with 181 incubators and accelerators feeding into Europe’s largest concentration of tech companies. 37 percent of Europe’s total unicorn companies are in the capital which is one of the world’s richest and most open data cities. But it’s not just tech where the city excels. It’s a world-renowned medical research centre, a creative vanguard and hosts a buoyant legal sector.
6. There’s a lively international environment
London is a cultural melting pot with 233 languages spoken by a daytime population of 10 million people. Intercultural influence is evident everywhere - from the city’s cuisine and culture to knowledge and innovation.
As such, it’s a magnet for international entrepreneurs. Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the Estonian co-founders of TransferWise, Portuguese founder of Farfetch Jose Neves and American banker and founder of Deliveroo, William Shu, all call London home.
7. There are endless opportunities
There are 5.92 million jobs in the capital with 235,000 new high-skill jobs added between 2013-2016. New startups are constantly forming in the city with the average early-stage startup funding coming in at €392k ($451k) compared to the global average of €219k ($252k). The opportunities are there, you just have to take them.
8. There’s plenty planned for the future
If you thought London was done developing, you’ve got another think coming.
King’s Cross, a district in the heart of London and the city’s Knowledge Quarter, is an ever-expanding nucleus of technology and research. In November 2016, Google confirmed plans to build a new HQ in the district, its first wholly-owned and custom-designed campus outside of the United States. Social media giant Facebook has also leased three new offices in the King’s Cross area, due to open in 2021.
Of course, there’s more to the city than tech companies. The new Elizabeth line, which opens later this year, will connect London’s major airports; a 750,000 sq. ft expansion of Westfield shopping centre in West London will mean more bars, restaurants and boutique shops; and innovative new venues like Red Bull’s Gaming Sphere in Shoreditch promise to root London even more firmly on the gaming map.
9. Its lifestyle and culture is second to none
London is one of the world’s most culturally exciting cities. World-class theatres, 857 art galleries and 215 museums draw in culture buffs from across the world. The capital also has four UNESCO world heritage sites: the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace and Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Its food and drink scene is among the best and most bountiful in the world; there are 71 Michelin starred restaurants and over 3,530 pubs - so you’ll never have to walk too far for a pint.
10. It actively wants to continue being diverse and international
Which is why it’s developed the Jobs and Talent toolkit, an online portal providing guidance on talent for businesses and individuals, busting myths and demonstrating that talent remains strong in London.
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by London and Partners.
This content was paid for by an advertiser and produced by The Local's Creative Studio.