Edinburgh has more coffee shops than any other town in the UK outside of London and one of the highest numbers of cafés per head of population, a report has revealed.

The Scottish capital has 232 cafes – one for every 2,082 people, with only Brighton offering more per head at one for every 1,605 people.

The study, from the Local Data Company, found that Scotland overall has seen a 7.4 per cent increase in the number of coffee outlets, resulting in a six per cent share of the UK’s dedicated cafes. The study included only outlets which are dedicated specifically to coffee, including independents and chains such as Costa and Starbucks – but did not count sandwich shops which also sell coffee such as Greggs or Pret a Manger, or bars, restaurants or bookshops which also sell coffee-based drinks.

Meanwhile, the figures showed that Glasgow has a total of 100 dedicated cafés, one for every 5,950 people living in the city and Aberdeen has just 29 – one for every 7,759 people. Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, which created the report, said that Edinburgh’s mix of tourists, locals and business visitors made it an ideal place for cafés to set up. He said that major chains, as well as small chains looking to expand out of other cities such as London, saw Edinburgh as a good opportunity.

He said: “The big guys who have targeted Edinburgh see it as an ideal location because of the residents, visitors and workers. It is also a fairly affluent city so people have the money to spend on luxuries such as coffee.”

He added: “Scotland has six per cent of Britain’s coffee shops, but it is very different depending on where you live. If you’re in the middle of the countryside in the Highlands, coffee shops just don’t feature, whereas in Edinburgh and Glasgow, they are everywhere.”

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Jane Bradley

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