Are pubs for sale or lease in Edinburgh a sure bet?

The City of Edinburgh ticks all of the boxes as a prime location for running a successful pub. Scotland’s capital is a vibrant city, and choosing the right pub here can provide a great profit-making opportunity for a hardworking and ambitious publican.

If you’re considering buying or leasing a pub in Edinburgh, current market conditions suggest you are looking in the right place.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of running a pub in Edinburgh, as well as breaking it down postcode-by-postcode. Just before you get into Edinburgh, you might want to check out our thoughts on running a pub for the first time, if you’re new to the industry.

Map of Edinburgh

There are four main reasons why owning a pub in Edinburgh is likely to be a good idea:

1. A thriving economy

2. The lifestyle

3. A dense population

4. A good level of disposable income

However, even within a compact major city like Edinburgh, it’s important to pay close attention to the very specific location of any advertised property.

In this article, we will focus on the central parts of Edinburgh, covering the postcode areas of EH1 to EH8.

First we’ll cover the relevant key facts and economic data you need to be aware of for the city as a whole…

1. Thriving economy

Edinburgh has been one of the strongest economic performers of any city in the UK for a number of years. Employment is growing and the financial services continue to prosper.

Last year, The Scotsman reported that Edinburgh was second only to London in terms of jobs growth in the combined public and private sector. Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s financial sector remains the second biggest in the UK.

While the financial sector has been Edinburgh’s historic economic powerhouse, these days it also has a thriving leisure and tourism industry. The industry is no doubt helped by the city’s historical sites and the lively artistic and cultural scene which has the world-renowned ‘Edinburgh Fringe Festival’ as its focal point.

A 2011 study revealed that the fringe festival alone contributed £245m to the local economy.

Edinburgh is also the second most popular city in the UK for international visitors. The 1.3m foreign visitors it received in 2013 was an increase of 50,000 from the previous year.

Current economic trends suggest that the City of Edinburgh is continuing to go from strength-to-strength despite its small geographical size.

2. Lifestyle and surroundings

There will be times when running a pub can get tough. Maybe you’re struggling to reach profit in the early stages of establishing your customer base. Perhaps your staff aren’t performing as you’d like.

Or maybe the breweries are failing to give you the kind of support they promised.

If you’re living in a place you enjoy being, then your motivation to succeed will be that much greater. Getting through the tough times will be well worth it.

And Edinburgh is rated as a happy place to be. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, it is THE happiest place to be in the UK.

There’s a long list of reasons for the city’s residents to be happy… No doubt, the lively arts and cultural scene, historical sites, high level of earnings and employment, easy access to green belt land and lowering crime rates are all contributing factors to the findings.

3. Dense population

The most recent data shows that there are 487,500 residents in Edinburgh. This makes it the second most populace city in Scotland and seventh in the UK.

And the number is rising.

On the face of it, a high population is good news for any pub. However, what’s more important is the population in comparison to space. So, it’s very good to know that Edinburgh has one of the highest population densities in the UK, behind only London, Brighton and Portsmouth.

The most recent census data (from 2011) demonstrates that these areas of population density are highest in inner suburban areas surrounding the commercial centre. This is in common with most other major cities. In fact, 55% of the city’s population now live within 4 km of the city centre.

That means a lot of potential customers, in a small area. The question then, is do they have money to spend?

4. Good levels of disposable income

Recent analysis by jobs website Adzuna puts Edinburgh at number three in the UK for average earnings.

According to Adzuna, the average resident earns £35,784.

When considering pubs for lease Edinburgh locations, it’s useful to know the potential beer money your likely customers will possess.

However, bear in mind that there are areas outside of Edinburgh which share the same postcode initials. So, when looking at pubs for lease in Edinburgh, check to see if they have the following postcodes…

Edinburgh post codes

The key central areas of Edinburgh lie between the postcode numbers EH1 – EH8.

Edinburgh postcodes-1

EH1: This mostly consists of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the historical heart of the city. It also includes areas down Leith Street and Broughton Street.

EH2: The New Town and central commercial area. Although it’s known as the ‘New’ Town, the style and architecture actually originates from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Just north of the old town, it also includes Prince’s Street.

EH3: A larger, peculiarly shaped area, which surrounds the Old Town and New Town. EH3 includes: parts of the New Town and north of Queen Street; the West End and some of the financial districts; plus the Tollcross and Fountainbridge areas.

EH4: Takes you from the older central areas, out to the suburbs and onto the north facing waterfronts. EH4 encompasses the areas from Dean Village and Comely Bank to Barnton and Cramford.

EH5: The northern tip of Edinburgh. One of the key districts is Granton which is part of the Edinburgh Waterfront redevelopment scheme.

EH6: Covers Leith which is also part of the redevelopment scheme, and Newhaven – another area of significant growth.

EH7: A largely suburban area which lies between the city centre and Leith. Includes Restalrig and Craigetinny.

EH8: Takes in the vibrant Southside area and spreads east around Holyrood Park to the primarily residential areas of Northfield and Mountcastle.

Pubs for lease in Edinburgh

*Coming soon…* we’ll publish a list of price ranges for buying, leasing or renting a pub in Edinburgh.

For now here are some popular links for leasing a pub in Edinburgh with some of the major pubcos:

enterprise pubs for lease

punch taverns pubs for lease

admiral taverns pubs for lease