Setting up shop

Setting up shop
Setting up shop

If you are looking to start a new business, where do you begin deciding which city is best suited to your needs? Letitia Booty weighs up the options…

Which is the best city in the UK for a start-up? It’s probably fair to say that this is a hugely subjective question as the criteria for an HQ will vary drastically from business to business. However, it is probably also fair to assume there are some things the majority of businesses will require – such as broadband connection and transport links – that can serve as a yardstick by which all cities can be assessed in a broader sense.

In 2015, the local authority with the most start-ups was Westminster, with 19,578 new businesses that year. Birmingham, ranked fourth for total number of start-ups with a still-impressive 14,152 businesses, is the first local authority outside of London to make the list. In addition, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow all made the top ten. This is perhaps not surprising as they are among some of the most densely populated cities in the UK.

If we take a look at the figures ranked by population density, the picture changes – albeit not drastically. The first non-London local authority to rank in the list of total start-ups per 1000 people in 2015 in eighth place is something of a shock entry – Bolsover, a small town near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

It is to be expected that the nation’s capital would prove to be the home for a vast number of start-ups, but in terms of other major cities in the UK this muddies the waters a little. Data such as this can be interesting, but is often more useful when you drill down and look at cities assessed by criteria that is useful to you.