Brighton Pier

Brighton has been named the best city in the UK in which to start a business, according to research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The south coast city was ranked the best for the high number of small businesses starting up there and its high density of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Brighton also ranked well for digital connectivity, coming second only to Luton for its superfast broadband penetration rate.

In second place, technology hub Cambridge got good marks for its low number of SME closures and the relatively large number of high growth SMEs in the city. Other cities in the top twenty include Leicester, Bristol, Aberdeen and Blackburn.

Surprisingly, London made only it to number nine on the list, ranking first for the number of SMEs start-ups. However, the capital’s high number of SME closures, middling broadband speeds and astronomic property prices makes it a less attractive place and more difficult place to start a business than cities such as Aldershot, Reading or Crawley.

AAT Chief Executive Mark Farrar said: “The success of London as a global centre for business has been one of the UK’s biggest success stories of the past 20 years however the tables could now be turning. The opportunities available in the UK’s provincial cities make them an extremely attractive place to invest in and it’s encouraging to see the high number of new businesses opening and thriving across the country.”

Top 20

1. Brighton2. Cambridge3. Leicester4. Worthing5. Reading6. Bristol7. Aldershot8. Crawley9. London10. Derby11. Northampton12. Coventry13. Bournemouth14. Aberdeen15. Blackburn16. Portsmouth17. Oxford18. Southend19. Rochdale20. Nottingham