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What does it take to get a small business up and running in the UK today? Well, apart from the right idea, it helps if you’re based in the right place – a location where you’ll find a ready market for your products or services, where good people are available for your workforce, and where the cost of doing business is not prohibitive.
Based on those criteria, new research from the payments business Paymentsense aims to identify the locations where your start-up has the best prospects of success. It looked at how businesses launched in each location previously have fared, as well the size of the local market – based on the population, employment rates and people’s spending power – as well as the costs of operating in the area such as average pay rates and rental prices.
The results, aggregated in an index created from these factors, may surprise you. London could manage only 15th place in the company’s research while the best locations for start-ups are all based some distance from the South-East. Here’s the top six according to Paymentsense’s analysis:
Sheffield is the best UK city in which to start a business in 2019 according to Paymentsense. The city is known for its rich, industrial heritage, but while steel production has been in decline since the 1980s, Sheffield still develops advanced manufacturing technologies through its two universities and other research organisations. It’s also a major centre for sport and its public sector is a reliable employer.
5-year start-up survival rate: 44.9%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £542.10
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £585
Number of employed adults: 227,822
Money available per week: £123.5m
Index score out of 5: 2.7
Historically, Nottingham was known for its bicycle manufacturing and lace-making. These days, it’s home to many major companies, while newer businesses are benefiting from the Nottingham Enterprise Zone and Creative Quarter. Digital media, life sciences, low-carbon technologies, finance, retail, and leisure are major contributors to Nottingham’s economy.
5-year start-up survival rate: 43.4%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £506.40
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £579.41
Number of employed adults: 112,861
Money available per week: £57.1m
Index score out of 5: 2.66
Though its roots are as a trading port, Sunderland is now a strong centre for the services, automotive, science, and technology sectors. Its success has been underpinned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, which is the biggest employer in the region.
5-year start-up survival rate: 41.9%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £517.20
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £550
Number of employed adults: 116,562
Money available per week: £60.3m
Index score out of 5: 2.46
Textiles and shoes were the bread and butter of Leicester’s economy in days gone by. Recent years have seen a resurgence in these areas, as some textile manufacturers have moved back to the city. Much of Leicester’s commerce also lies in the engineering, retail, and food and drink sectors.
5-year start-up survival rate: 40.5%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £487.90
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £568.75
Number of employed adults: 128,142
Money available per week: £62.5m
Index score out of 5: 2.42
Industries inclucing creative media, electronics and aerospace hold up Bristol’s economy. It’s a popular tourist destination, supported by its artistic and sporting influence. The government named it a science city in 2005 because of its contribution to innovation.
5-year start-up survival rate: 44.8%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £565.70
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £828.75
Number of employed adults: 197,915
Money available per week: £112.0m
Index score out of 5: 2.38
6. Stoke on Trent
Stoke-on-Trent has a long and proud history as the home of England’s ceramics industry. Although much of the production has moved out of the city, many pottery firms remain. Tours of the factories for these goods help to boost tourism in the city, as does the canal network.
5-year start-up survival rate: 39.3%
Average weekly pay for full-time workers: £497.10
Average monthly cost to rent a 1-bed city centre apartment: £427.78
Number of employed adults: 103,269
Money available per week: £51.3m
Index score out of 5: 2.35
February 13, 2019 at 11:48AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs