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Bradford named the best place to start a business

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13 Dec 2017

Bradford tops the list of the best cities in the UK in which to start a business, according to Barclays’ SME Growth Factors Index.

Bradford came in at the top of the list ahead of Leicester, Coventry Edinburgh and Liverpool. The Index, created by Barclays Business Banking, reflects the strength of 12 key growth factors such as business rate relief, infrastructure, broadband speed and labour productivity, which are essential to boosting business productivity and growth.

Analysing the 20 largest cities by population size across the UK, the index ranks each city based on the strength of each factor.

The cities with the top growth environments for UK start-ups were named as:

  1. Bradford
  2. Leicester
  3. Coventry
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Liverpool

Bradford came first overall, reflecting good performances on road infrastructure (the top ranking), job vacancies (the top ranking), commercial rent costs (the top ranking), and business rate relief (the top ranking).

Leicester featured in second place thanks to its strong business survival rate, distance travelled to work and level of business rate relief. Coventry came in third place, with the highest net migration into the city.

Additional analysis by Barclays revealed London, Birmingham and Leeds – areas with the highest populations – have seen the highest number of business start-ups over the last six years. In the capital, almost 577,000 start-up businesses have launched since 2012, while Birmingham has seen 45,000 new businesses, and there have been 26,400 in Leeds.

16,800 businesses have started in Bradford since 2012, yet they have the strongest growth factors which are key to business productivity and growth.

Caroline Pullich, head of SME for Yorkshire at Barclays Business Banking, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that so many areas offering growth potential are outside of London and the South East, particularly with Bradford ranking as the top city across the UK."

Kersten England, chief executive at Bradford Council, said: “We’re delighted to find Bradford at the top of this league table of business friendly cities. It is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the city and wider district. Businesses choosing to base themselves in Bradford will find themselves in a really supportive business community and working with a local authority that backs business.”