New study reveals the top UK cities for Start-Ups in 2021

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  • Fasthosts reveal the top cities in the UK for start-up businesses by looking into a large variety of regional metrics from business survival rates to the cost of office space.
  • Luton is the UK’s top city to start a business right now, study finds.

WITHOUT a doubt, the pandemic has changed our economy forever; and it may not have felt like the most obvious year to launch a business, but with Britons locked down entrepreneurial spirit seems to be inflated as 2020 saw a 12.3% increase in new businesses, the highest growth on record1.

But, have you ever wondered where the best places are in the UK to set up a new business or follow your entrepreneurial enterprise? Analysing average download speeds, business birth and death rates, five-year survival rates, office renting costs, and average working productivity across the nation, Fasthosts have conducted a new study to reveal the top 15 cities for business opportunities.

Luton crowned top UK city for start-up businesses.

Luton crowned as the best-all round UK location to start a new business with an overall index score of 3.375 – prove to have one the best rates of production, office prices, and business survival rates out of any other UK city.

Next up is Reading who boasts a super high productivity rate – even higher than Luton – but falls short at office costs and internet speeds. In 3rd place is Nottingham, a major midlands player that takes third place on the index.

The Bedfordshire town ranks marginally higher than fellow southern start-up hotspot Reading (3.312), which can only claim second spot.

In the battle of the capitals, its pride for Scotland as Edinburgh outperforms Central London by the slimmest of margins, to rank as our 4th best city for overall enterprise opportunities, while the English metropolis takes 5th.

The top 15 UK cities to launch a business can be seen below:

RankingCityAverage download speed (Mbit/s)Business Death rateBusiness Birth rate5 Year Survival RateCost of Office Space per sq. ft. (£)Productivity level
1Luton631040145541022102.97
2Reading54930114543538126.9
3Nottingham69141015102014.8886
4Edinburgh6325402885115035104.8
5Central London515750519032895112132.3
6Liverpool62244531108052391.7
7Portsmouth55845127532016.994.3
8Coventry581410162060518.591.6
9Wolverhampton61111012453801684
10Bristol602370289511403597.6
11Birmingham585970787020803491.5
12Newcastle upon Tyne56110512954552490.9
13Stoke-on-Trent538109653851685.5
14Northampton441275200052013.693.6
15Bradford491875230594514.686.2

Michelle Stark, Sales and Marketing Director at Fasthosts comments:

“Even in a vastly increasing digital world, choosing the right city to launch a business is an important decision. And it’s great to see such a variety of cities across the country among the top 15 from Portsmouth to Edinburgh and Bradford to choose from. It’s important to be strategic when deciding in your business location and we urge all start-ups to check out our rankings before choosing their desired location for business.”

The full Fasthosts study can be found here: https://www.fasthosts.co.uk/blog/best-uk-areas-for-startups/

What is next?

Now you know the most popular UK cities to start your own business in from the study done by Fasthosts. However, you are probably wondering what type of business I can start in these areas? If you want to run your own business in one of the locations listed in this article without going through the tedious startup process, we recommend you browse an online directory of business opportunities, such as businesses-for-sale-uk.co.uk.

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