Edinburgh is an ambitious business-orientated city region that has come of age. In the home of the Scottish Parliament, world-class businesses are employing the UK’s brightest workers and living in the UK’s best city. The region is thriving due to unprecedented investment and ongoing innovation – a long-held tradition in the city that was home to ‘the Enlightenment’.

The city’s growing list of prestigious awards is testament to Edinburgh’s success. The Scottish capital’s latest accolade is from fDi magazine, which named it Europe’s Top Small City and sixth best European City for 2008.

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Edinburgh has also received more than 12 UK Best City awards in the past seven years. The Work Foundation announced it to be the UK’s only ‘Ideopolis’ outside London. This recognised that Edinburgh is “a city of ideas, where knowledge, creativity, enterprise, connectivity and the quality of life combine to create a dynamic local economy”.

Beyond the stunning setting and lively cultured lifestyle, the Edinburgh city region works hard to create a place where businesses can thrive. It is home to two of Europe’s top 10 banks – the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland – and is the UK’s largest financial centre outside London. As the sixth largest fund management centre in Europe, it has overtaken the financial strongholds of Frankfurt, Milan, Zurich and Madrid.

Business attraction

Already, more FTSE100 companies are based in Edinburgh than any other area of the UK outside London, with key strengths in finance, science and technology and tourism.

Edinburgh is a green and compact city only an hour away from London by air. A modern and expanding airport serves more than 100 destinations worldwide. A world-class tram network will be up and running in 2011.

Skilled people

The talented population – about 1.2 million people in the city region – has a long history as innovators. It is no surprise that the mortgage and the world’s first cloned animal were invented here.

The city’s universities are some of the very best and produce highly skilled graduates. The city’s workforce is one of the most educated in the UK, with 45% holding a degree-level or equivalent professional qualification. In recognition of this, fDi magazine has just ranked Edinburgh’s quality of human resources as the second best in Europe.

Exciting opportunities

The heart of Edinburgh is the beautiful city centre. This is home to both elegant Georgian properties being flexibly used as office spaces and carefully planned areas such as the Exchange Financial District. This has 92,900 square metres (m2) of office space and its businesses provide at least 13,000 jobs.

Just 15 minutes from the city centre is the 58-hectare Edinburgh Park, one of Europe’s premier business parks. It is home to 7000 employees and more than 20 blue-chip companies including HSBC Securities, AEGON, Intelligent Finance and JP Morgan. Phase one is largely complete and provides 110,000m2 of office space, while phase two has planning consent for another 200,000m2 over the next 10 to 15 years.

Edinburgh’s 5.7 kilometre stretch of waterfront is being transformed into a new urban quarter. The area is already home to the modern, purpose-built headquarters of Scottish Gas and a new 30,000m2 college. Available here are 355 hectares of available land, 335,000m2 of commercial space and some 46,000m2 of new retail facilities.

To the south of the city, the Edinburgh Science Triangle is home to seven dedicated science parks, with more than 14,500 employees working in commercial research and development. At the heart is the Edinburgh BioQuarter. Already the UK’s largest life sciences real estate development, it will position the city region as one of the world’s top 10 centres for biomedical commercialisation.

Edinburgh is ambitious and wants to be the very best of the best. We are experiencing huge investment and prosperity that you too can enjoy. Invest in Edinburgh and you will be part of the success story.

For further information on Edinburgh, visit the website at: www.investinedinburgh.com/fdi contact us on tel: +44 (0)131 529 6600.