Cumbria crowned the home of contractors

London might be the rate-richest region in the UK for contractors, but the borough features only once in a ‘Top 10’ league table of where such freelance workers are most likely to live.

In fact, Barnet is the only district of the capital to make it into Professional Representation Network’s 10 top areas where self-employed people reside, yet only just, as it is ranked tenth.

Brentwood, located in the London commuter belt, is the second nearest town to the city where contractors are abundant, as 19.5% of its working population are freelance, positioning it third.

It is beaten by the leafy Surrey suburb of Tandridge, in second place, and in first, Cumbria’s South Lakeland which, with a freelance population of 21.3%, is the ‘home’ of contractors.

“Contractors are choosing to locate in rural areas such as the Lake District, Dorset and West Devon,” said PRN, pointing to Cumbria in first, Dorset in fifth and Devon in seventh, and eighth (Torridge).

“Strict planning restrictions in these areas, which contain designated National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ensure that the housing stock is of unusually high quality.”

Improvements by providers to broadband, in terms of access and speeds, as well as the growth in Cloud Computing were said to have enabled contractors to live in such rural areas.

But PRN’s director Kristian Gourlay identified another big help: “Earning above national average incomes means that contractors can pick and choose where to live,” he said, adding that often “that means they are clustering in some of the most desirable areas in the UK.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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