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Revealed - best UK cities for start-ups

New research into the UK's most entrepreneurial cities has found that Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester are outperforming London.

Analysis of Companies House data by workspace providers the Instant Group has revealed wide differences in the number of new businesses starting up in leading UK cities when judged against population size. The most entrepreneurial cities, it has found, are Liverpool (pictured) and Birmingham, ahead of Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow and London.

Liverpool, for instance, has a population of 400,000 and 134,569 companies have been started there over the past two years, giving the city an "entrepreneurial population percentage" of 16%. Birmingham and Manchester are close behind with 14.5% and 14% respectively. This compares to 2% across the UK as a whole and 7.5% in London.

Tim Rodber, CEO of the Instant Group, said: 

"The strongest demand for space has come from the large cities outside of London where, proportionately-speaking, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh are outperforming the capital. SMEs are hungry for space in these regions … enquiries for flexible space were up 21% for the UK in total and 39% in the regions."

Also this week, researchers at University College London's School of Management have studied the availability, quality and cost of amenities available to entrepreneurs in different cities across the UK, including broadband speeds, office space and the number and value of start-up loans.

Overall, they found that the top ten cities by these measures are: Bristol, London, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Belfast, Cardiff and Leeds.

Topping the table for broadband speeds are Bristol and Portsmouth while reasonably-priced office space is available in Belfast, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter and Leicester. London gets first place for the average value of funding accessed by start-ups, at £1,038 per new business.

Chris Coleridge, Director of the UCL MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship, said: 

"Entrepreneurs whose aim is to start a business this year should invest plenty of time in the planning phase, in order to research the pros and cons of not just their product or service, but of their hometown in order to counteract any hurdles."

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