Contracting in Bristol

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In 2018, research revealed that by 2021, Bristol is set to become one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities. If you’re thinking about becoming a contractor, Bristol could be the ideal city for you to start your career. If you’re looking for advice about where to find contracting roles and what you can expect working in Bristol, our guide is here to help.

Find a contractor accountant in Bristol


SJD Accountancy is the UK’s largest firm of contractor accountants providing tax advice to over 15,000 contractors, all of whom work through their own limited company.

We have offices across the UK including Bristol and have won more awards for customer service and accounting excellence than any other firm in the contractor accountant sector, including three Accountancy Age Awards, six Contractor UK ‘Best Contractor Accountant’ reader Awards and two National Customer Service Awards.

To find out how we can help you, get in touch with our team of experts.

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Why should I contract in Bristol?

Bristol is a vibrant and historic city offering a wide range of activities. It boasts many awarding winning well-known attractions such as the SS Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, as well as having a number of museums and theatres – and a 21st-century science centre, situated near the IMAX cinema on the waterfront.

There is a range of shopping areas to explore including Broadmead in the centre, the Mall on the outskirts of the city at Cribbs Causeway and smaller areas such as Park Street, the Triangle, St. Nicholas’ Market and Corn Street. Clifton Village also has lots to offer in the way of boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Living and working in and around Bristol makes a healthy work-life balance both achievable and enjoyable. Another major benefit of being in this part of the world is the close proximity to both the coast and idyllic countryside. There are good rail links to the South West and beyond, as well as the convenience of an international airport on the doorstep. Major industries include IT and especially software development, insurance, tourism, FMCG and facilities management.

Contracting opportunities in Bristol

There are a number of contracting opportunities available in Bristol, including:

  • Imperial Tobacco – One of the world’s leading tobacco companies, which makes, markets and sells a comprehensive range of cigarettes, tobaccos, rolling papers, filter tubes and cigars in over 160 countries worldwide. It owns a range of leading brands including Embassy, Gauloise, John Player and Peter Stuyvesant amongst many others, and has 2,600 employees in the UK alone.
  • MITIE Group plc – A strategic outsourcing and asset management company that offers facilities, property and asset management services. It has grown through acquisition over the last few years and now offers many opportunities for employment in the area.

Rates of pay for contractors in Bristol

Typical rates of pay for contractors in Bristol will vary depending on individual skillsets, but as an example, an IT Project Manager could expect to earn around £400 per day, whilst a less specialist contractor might expect to command a daily rate of around £325 to £350.

Finding contracting roles in Bristol

Most UK-wide recruitment agencies will carry some Bristol-based contractor jobs, so try all the usual options and then search for positions in Bristol specifically. A good place to look for roles is by using a region-specific board such as BristolJobs. It’s also worth keeping an eye out in the local papers to find roles.

What to consider about working in Bristol:

Advantages of working in Bristol

On the upside, however, Bristol offers a lower cost of living than comparable cities in other parts of the country, with culture, entertainment, nightlife and shopping in bucket loads! An international airport and great rail links are nearby, and you’re never far from the sea or from the great countryside.

Disadvantages of working in Bristol

On the downside, it’s a bit remote, and despite good rail links, it’s still a good couple of hours’ journey to London or the cities of the Midlands and beyond. The West Country region can also be seen as being quite ‘touristy’ and not quite real life, yet Bristol still suffers from being less ‘cultured’ than its nearest neighbour, Bath Spa.

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Looking to find a contracting role?

Our free guide to finding a contract will help you secure your next role.

What’s in the guide?

  • Finding the right contract – Agencies or job boards? We’ve got you covered.
  • Seven secrets to optimising your income – From experience to presentation skills.
  • CV’s, e-CV’s and CV databases – How to make sure your CV is picked up.
  • Five tips when writing your CV – why it is important to keep it up-to-date.

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