Bristol, Birmingham... Bournemouth? Surprisingly good places to do business

Management Today crunched the numbers and invited senior business judges to work out the 21 most business-friendly towns and cities outside of London. Read the full shortlist here.

by Management Today staff
Last Updated: 11 Jun 2019

Too many people think that London is the only place in Britain worth doing business in.  Yet while the capital is doubtless impressive on the world stage, the evidence clearly shows that great things are happening around the country. We just need more of it.

Management Today’s Best Towns and Cities for Business ranks the UK’s major urban centres, barring London, on how appealing they are as places to set up shop. Focusing on mid-large, talent-hungry, high-productivity firms, we examined towns and cities on various metrics including, among others, productivity, the depth of the talent pool, the strength of innovation, the scale of the private sector ecosystem and the rate of growth.

By weighing these measures carefully to ensure a fair competition between large and small cities, we have produced an initial shortlist of 21 – and they include some surprising results. Bournemouth and Warrington, for example, beat out Oxford and Sheffield to make the final cut.

Recognising that statistics do not tell the whole tale, we invited these towns and cities to tell us why they should win, and assembled a panel of judges to make the final decision: David Landsman, former executive director of Tata Europe; Anne O’Donnell, CEO of Procorre; Simon Rogerson, CEO and founder of Octopus Group; Tim Lloyd, MD of AML Group; Jim Hubbard, head of regional policy at the CBI; Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at the Centre for Cities; and Adam Gale, editor of Management Today.  

The final results will be revealed in the week beginning June 17, both online and in the next quarterly print edition of Management Today, along with a full methodology.  

To keep you going, here is the shortlist for the top 21 towns and cities, in alphabetical order:

--- Aberdeen

--- Birmingham

--- Bournemouth

--- Brighton

--- Bristol

--- Cambridge

--- Cardiff

--- Edinburgh

--- Glasgow

--- Leeds

--- Leicester

--- Liverpool

--- Manchester

--- Milton Keynes

--- Newcastle

--- Northampton

--- Nottingham

--- Reading

--- Slough

--- Southampton

--- Warrington

Image credit: Nicholas Hatherly/Pexels

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