This fact sheet summarises the key quality-of-life factors for international executives relocating to, and living in, the UK.
QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE UK
This information sheet summarises the key quality-of-life factors for
international executives relocating to, and living in, the UK.
The factors covered are:
1. Living in the UK
2. Residential property
5. Sport, culture, leisure and entertainment
6. Further information
The UK is a globally renowned destination for international businesses and,
consequently, attracts significant numbers of international executives and their
families every year.
1. LIVING IN THE UK
Foreign executives relocating to the UK have a wide range of living options.
With major cities (such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool,
Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff) located throughout
the country, executives have the choice of living in or around major population
centres, or to live in smaller towns or villages within easy reach of larger cities.
Indeed, travelling to work is relatively easy, with the average commuting time
in the UK taking just 27 minutes (Source: Department for Transport, 2009).
For detailed information on local location options available throughout the UK
and additional location-specific data on key quality-of-life issues, please see:
www.statistics.gov.uk/neighbourhood or www.upmystreet.co.uk
2. RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
There is a wide range of available property to buy or rent in cities, towns and
villages across the UK.
a) Buying residential property is a relatively straightforward process and
there are no separate procedures for foreign nationals. House purchase
prices vary substantially from location to location (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Average regional property prices in the UK
UK region Average selling
Greater London region, England £336,212
South East region, England £209,227
South West region, England £175,805
Eastern region, England £173,486
Northern Ireland £161,429
West Midlands region, England £138,094
East Midlands region, England £129,271
Yorkshire and Humber region, England £124,939
North West region, England £117,851
North East region, England £109,701
Source: Land Registry (January 2010); University of Ulster (Quarter 4,
2009); Registers of Scotland (Quarter 4, 2009).
*Prices can vary substantially at local level, depending on the type of
property being purchased and the specific location.
For further details on regional and local property prices, please see:
b) Renting is also a straightforward process in the UK and there are no
separate procedures for foreign nationals. House rental prices are
negotiated on a local and individual basis and vary substantially across
the UK. For further information please see: www.propertyfinder.com,
www.rightmove.co.uk, www.torent.co.uk or www.findaproperty.com
All locations throughout the UK provide a high level of healthcare, both state
funded and privately funded:
a) State funded: all residents of the UK are entitled to free medical
treatment via the National Health Service (NHS). Foreign nationals
living in the UK must register with the NHS via their local doctor. For
further information on the NHS, please see: www.nhs.uk
b) Privately funded: private healthcare is widely available throughout the
UK. The global reputation of the UK?s private healthcare service is
reflected in the fact that, in London alone, more than 20,000 overseas
patients attend private hospitals and clinics each year (Source: Think
London, 2010). For further information on private healthcare in the UK,
please see: www.privatehealth.co.uk
For international executives who are relocating to the UK with their families,
education is often an important factor:
a) There is an excellent range of state-run schools across the UK that
provide education opportunities for children of all ages. For further
information, please see:
b) There is also a wide selection of private schools across the UK. For
further information, please see: www.isc.co.uk/
c) In addition, there are several international schools in the UK that cater
for specific nationalities, including American and Japanese schools
(which provide their own respective teaching programmes). Many
international schools offer programmes of the International
Baccalaureate Organisation. For further information on international
schools, please see: www.ecis.org
d) There are numerous colleges and universities throughout the UK that
offer a wide range of courses. Of the 2.4 million full-time and part-time
students in the UK, approximately 370,000 are international students
(Source: HESA, 2010). For further information on university courses,
please see: www.ucas.ac.uk
For further information about the UK education system, please see the UK
Trade & Investment information sheet entitled ?Education in the UK?.
5. SPORT, CULTURE, LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
There are many opportunities to engage in sporting, cultural, leisure and
entertainment activities throughout the UK:
a) The UK is renowned for its commitment to sport ? the country will hold
the 2012 Olympic Games and already hosts a number of world-class
sporting events including Premier League soccer, tennis at Wimbledon,
the Open Golf Championship and Formula One motor racing.
For sports participants, there are thousands of professional and
amateur clubs throughout the UK that offer people the opportunity to
play whatever sport they may choose. For further information please
b) The UK has an internationally renowned cultural sector with many
world-class facilities across the country such as art galleries, theatres,
music venues, museums and libraries. For details of the wide range of
cultural attractions in the UK, please see: www.visitbritain.com
c) The UK has many areas of countryside that are of outstanding natural
beauty, including various National Parks. In addition, there are also
numerous world-class tourist attractions and theme parks throughout
the country. For details of places to visit in the UK, please see:
d) The UK?s extensive airline network also allows residents to take
advantage of short-break holidays throughout Europe to other major
visitor destinations such as Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona and
6. FURTHER INFORMATION
This information sheet was updated in March 2010.
As information changes from time to time, please contact the organisations
listed or UK Trade & Investment to confirm any item that you intend to rely on.
This information sheet was produced by the Marketing Group of:
UK Trade & Investment
66-74 Victoria Street
London, SW1E 6SW
Tel: +44 (0)20 7215 4957