London loses out to cities such as Brighton, Cambridge and Leicester as the best location to build a business, despite the capital having the highest number of startups
If you talk to most people about Brighton, the associations that are most likely to pop into their heads are pebble beaches, gay pride and sticks of rock. But now the city has also become Britain’s startup capital, with new research revealing that it is the best place in the UK to start a new business.
Cross referencing data from seven key criteria such as density of SMEs, digital connectivity and the number of small business closures, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) ranked 64 of the UK’s biggest cities according to how well suited they are to starting a business. Brighton ranked in first place for its high number of startups, density of small- and medium-sized businesses and strong digital connectivity. Cambridge landed second place thanks to its comparatively high number and density of SMEs, as well as its low number of startup failures. Other close contenders for the crown included Leicester, Worthing, Reading and Bristol.
Perhaps the most shocking finding of the research, however, was the fact that London placed ninth on the list, despite being the city with the largest number of startups. Damaging the city’s place as the UK’s startup capital are the high number of SME closures, average broadband speeds and soaring property prices, meaning it ranked further down the list than cities such as Aldershot, Reading and Crawley.
Mark Farrer, chief executive of AAT, said: “The success of London as a global centre for business has been one of the UK’s biggest success stories of the past 20 years however the tables could now be turning. The opportunities available in the UK’s provincial cities make them an extremely attractive place to invest in and it’s encouraging to see the high number of new businesses opening and thriving across the country.”
So if you’re interested in building your own business, better pack the beach towel and head on down to Brighton.