Northampton is 'the best place' to run a business

Experian unveils the top 20 towns and cities for business success.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 07 Mar 2014

Northampton has topped the list of UK towns and cities that provide the best environment for business success based on the number of start-ups, rate of insolvencies, financial health and turnover growth.

The East Midlands town, once the UK's shoe making capital, scored 19 points out of 20, after placing highly in each of the four criteria.

In the poll by Experian, Southall took second place, followed by South East London, Aberdeen and Bristol.

Towns in the South of England accounted for 13 of the top 20, with just Crewe and York representing the North. Aberdeen was the only city to represent Scotland, while there were no places in Wales or Northern Ireland that made the cut.

Top 5 places:

Rank

Area

Insolvency score

Financial strength score

Start-up score

Turnover growth score

Overall performance score

1

Northampton

5

4

5

5

19

2

Southall

5

4

5

4

18

3

South East London

4

5

5

4

18

4

Aberdeen

5

5

2

5

17

5

Bristol

5

5

3

3

16

‘This is the second year Northampton has shone in terms of business performance, as the county of Northamptonshire was also named the most enterprising place in Britain in 2012 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,’ the report said.

However, Northampton ranked only 12th in terms of start-up rate. Some 15% of firms in the area were started in the last two years, or 2,925 in total.

That compares to top ranked East London, which had a start-up rate of 25% with 9,030 new companies. Second placed South East London had 7,807 businesses less than two years old, a rate of 23%. In third place, 22.3% of businesses in Southall are new start-ups, with 2,326 firms recently created.

Highest start-up rate:

Rank

Area

Start-ups

Start-up rate

1

East London

9,030

24.54%

2

South East London

7,807

22.51%

3

Southall

2,326

22.25%

4

Ilford

3,213

21.60%

5

Romford

2,553

21.30%

‘Business conditions are starting to show real signs of recovery, not just for the capital but in towns across the UK.  It is encouraging to see signs of positivity from areas like Northampton, Bristol and Aberdeen with a strong upward trend in the creation of locally formed businesses and the success of those companies. Growing businesses have a positive effect on the wider economy starting with increased employment prospects,’ said Max Firth, Managing Director, Experian Business Information Services, UK & Ireland.



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