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London Vs Out of London – The Great Architecture Debate

out of london blog farmland

Every region has its pros and cons and deciding where to work or live can be a challenge to say the least. Whether it’s a decision of relocating or just simply wanting a change of scenery in the work place, it can be difficult to weigh up the financial and work life benefits when making a decision.

If you’re hesitant to relocate out of London as you want to keep the City lifestyle it’s important to remember that London is not the only busy City to work in, there’s Bristol, Manchester, Cambridge, Slough and many more.

A recent article posted by RIBA Appointments states:

“In the RIBA Future Trends Survey we have noted one stand-out statistic over the last few months – the North is the most positive region about future workloads, and by some way.

When we look at growth over the last five years, we can see regional hotspots. While London has grown by 12% in the last five years, this is notably outstripped by other cities and regions: the North West has grown by 29%, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear by 28%, Merseyside by 29% and Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bath/Bristol area at 32%. Opportunities for architects are not restricted to London.” (1)

Architectural Recruitment Consultant, Miranda Butler and Architecture Lead, John Watson have gained some inside knowledge through talking to candidates out of London over the years. Here’s some top reasons our candidates have relocated.

  1. Value for money, salary to property
  2. Commute
  3. Lifestyle (rural hobbies)
  4. Quality of life for family
  5. Improved work life balance
  6. Areas of growth in major cities
  7. Countryside

Let’s elaborate on the benefits of working out of London…


It’s very rare that working in London will involve a short amount of travel time. If you’re not jumping on the underground or having to catch a train from out of London, you’re sat on a bus in a heap of traffic. Saying this, a healthy and quicker option many of our candidates take is cycling or walking depending on the proximity from home to work and this option is available wherever your location.


Working in London has an exciting buzz to it but it’s not for everyone. If you prefer a quaint and calm environment, then somewhere out of a big City may be the better option for you. If you’re thinking of going somewhere coastal or rural, an ideal location would be somewhere like Oxford, Cornwall, Cheshire and Cumbria. If you’re struggling with the busy lifestyle of London then a quieter location may be the answer to some of your problems.


When making the decision to relocate there is always the question of one main aspect, money. Whether its house prices or living costs, it plays a big part in our personal lives and can affect our work life balance, because let’s face it, it’s great to have time off work but it’s even better when you can enjoy going out for the day with the family.

“In 2016, the prices of goods and services in London were on average 7.0% higher*** than the UK average. The median house price in London is £467,500; this compares with £139,950 in the North East, £160,00 in the North Wes, and £249,00 in the South West****. While few enter architecture solely to maximise their income, it’s still worth thinking about the quality of life a place can offer on the salary you might expect.” (1) (see the results of our Architectural Salary Survey here).


As a result of London being considered the best place to work in this industry, the candidate market is incredibly competitive making it harder for you to secure that dream job. Looking at recent application figures on our website, 32.25% of our candidates are from London, with the other 67.75% located in other cities, counties and countries. This shows how fierce the competition is to work in London, meaning it’s significantly harder to land that dream job in the big City, but also how popular it is living and working outside of London.


For Architecture specifically, practices outside of London are gaining traction with their work, and many projects are now outside of the city. Last year the Architecture Journal Awards, saw winners in Liverpool, Cambridge and Manchester.

Have no fear that there are plenty of reputable firms out of London that you could work for. Here is a brief list of some of the AJ practices we work with out of London.

DLA Design
Levitt Bernstein
Ryder Architects
Stride Treglown
Bond Bryan
ECE Architecture
Harris Partnership

Thinking of making the move? Here’s our top 5 jobs out of London.

1.       Associate Landscape Architect – Manchester – Negotiable
2.       Architectural Technician For Developer – Surrey – £35,000 – £42,000
3.       Senior Architectural Technician – Dorset – £30,000 – £40,000
4.       Senior To Associate Landscape Architect – Bristol – Competitive
5.       Architectural Technician – Newcastle Upon Tyne – All salaries considered

To search our current jobs out of London visit the Hunter Dunning jobs section and use our search function to find that perfect job in Interior Design, or maybe a job in Property. Want to speak directly to the team? Great! Contact us here or on 01243 779789.


As one of the leaders in the Architecture Recruitment Specialist market, Hunter Dunning provide its customers with not only second to none recruitment solutions, but also the latest industry insights, statistics and news. Check back on our architecture blog regularly for updates such as these.

Want to submit your own architecture article with us? If you have written an article that you would like us to feature on our Architecture news, email marketing@hunterdunning.co.uk.


RIBA Appointments: https://jobs.architecture.com/article/the-view-from-elsewhere-working-in-london-and-beyond/