UK Cities for Product Design?

Hi everyone!

I’m a long time lurker, but a first time poster. I’ve found myself with a bit of a conundrum!

For the past couple of years I’ve been living in a small UK city, working at a town down the road. On the surface my job seems great, but honestly, I hate it. I’m the only designer here, there’s no room for progression (both personally and in terms of promotion) and frankly the way the company is run is horrendous. The staff are treated badly, the office atmosphere is completely nightmarish and it’s rare for someone to stay for more than a couple of months. I guess I’ve stayed because it was the first design job I could get out of uni, and it’s been stable for me. Complacency I guess.

However, I was served a notice of eviction on my flat this month, and for the first time in my life I actual have enough in the bank to cough up for a deposit and couple of months rent somewhere new. I’d really like to move somewhere with better prospects. So, excluding London, where would you guys recommend in the UK for potential design employment?

I have 2 years with this company, working for a major UK high street shop, 1 years internship with BMW and not the greatest degree, but it’s served me so far! Portfolio is a work in progress.

Thanks for any advice you guys have!

In house or consultancy?

There’s product / industrial design businesses across the UK. If you want a consultancy gig have a look at the design directory: But it’s worth noting that the majority are small companies with only a few staff so most won’t be hiring.

There are a limited number of big manufacturers with design/engineering centres in the UK. You may need to be open to travel to get the best career opportunity, even if it’s not in the most exciting part of the country.