Is your city one of the top 20 in the UK to start a business in?

AAT examined information from 64 cities across the UK to find the best location to start a business
Thursday 15 October 2015 - 14:30

Brighton is the best location to start up a small business in the UK, according to new AAT research.

The city came top because of its high number of small business start-ups and its high density of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Brighton also ranked well for digital connectivity, coming second only to Luton for its superfast broadband penetration rate.

What makes a city ideal for business?

AAT examined information from 64 cities across the UK to determine the best location to start a business in.

To compile the list, AAT cross-referenced data from seven key criteria including the density of small and medium sized business, digital connectivity, and the amount of SME closures in 64 of the UK’s biggest cities.

Best cities to start a business in the UK

In second place, technology hub Cambridge got good marks for its high SME density, low number of SME closures and the relatively large number of high growth SMEs in the city.

Other cities in the top twenty include Leicester, Bristol, Aberdeen and Blackburn. London made it to number nine on the list, ranking first for the number of SMEs start-ups.

However, the capital’s high number of SME closures, middling broadband speeds and astronomic property prices makes it a less attractive place to start a business than cities such as Aldershot, Reading or Crawley.

The top 20 cities are:

1. Brighton
2. Cambridge
3. Leicester
4. Worthing
5. Reading
6. Bristol
7. Aldershot
8. Crawley
9. London
10. Derby
11. Northampton
12. Coventry
13. Bournemouth
14. Aberdeen
15. Blackburn
16. Portsmouth
17. Oxford
18. Southend
19. Rochdale
20. Nottingham

AAT Chief Executive Mark Farrar 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.”

Top 20 cities infographic