Where are the best places to start a business in the UK?


Leeds was named the top place in the UK to start a business because of its skill set, affordability and great business appeal.

Spanning three years, research by Bark looked at numerous factors, including costs, broadband quality and 4G coverage, quality of life, young population, and talent pool size, to determine the top 10 places to launch a start-up in the UK.

Leeds took the top spot with a low unemployment rate of 4%, a large population of young people with 222,673, a high average of annual pay at £33,245, a low average rent per square foot at £30, and an impressive quality of life score of 7.76.

With Channel 4 and Sky making the move to Leeds and more creative and digital jobs coming to the city, a growing number of professionals and businesses are being attracted to the Yorkshire powerhouse. This is likely to bring more investment and people to Leeds.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark, commented: “When it comes to starting a business, choosing where to set up shop is always one of your first decisions. For decades, London has been the obvious choice for new businesses, however, we’re seeing that more and more people are opting to start their enterprise outside of the capital.

“Like Manchester and Birmingham, Leeds is fast becoming recognised as a business hotspot, so it’s not a surprise that it tops our list. It’s great to see the north of England getting the business accolade it deserves.”

The places with the most affordable and most expensive rent

Boasting the lowest average rent per square foot at £13.50, Kirklees, a borough in West Yorkshire, was ranked the second-best place to start a business in the UK. This shows Yorkshire as a whole has become a top business hotspot.

On the other end of the spectrum, London has a 344% higher average rent per square foot with a whopping £60+ average. Despite this, the capital was named the third best place to start a business.

The north is home to the best places to start a business

Besides London, each place on the list of the top places to start a business are located in the north of England or the Midlands, showing these regions are becoming extremely attractive for businesses. Bradford, Liverpool and Birmingham were ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively with Wakefield, Coventry, Manchester and Sheffield rounding out the top 10.

Regional cities in the north are attracting more businesses with cheaper costs for office space and larger populations of young people. An increasing number of professionals and investors are choosing to live, work and invest in the north, which will bring more growth, development and investment to the Northern Powerhouse.

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Where are the best places to start a business in the UK?


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