Procurement · 5 May 2017

Salford revealed as UK’s new startup hotspot

startup hotspot
Overall, 173,100 new firms were registered in the UK between January and March 2017

Britain’s big city dominance of entrepreneurship could be in decline, after a new study revealed the regions producing new businesses at the highest rates, with Salford coming out on top as a new startup hotspot.

Business risk advisor DueDil collated new business registration figures across Britain to produce a league table of emerging startup hotspots, comparing year-on-year data from the first quarters of 2016 and 2017.

The table suggested the Greater Manchester area of Salford could be a future home of entrepreneurship. The city registered an impressive year-on-year startup growth rate of 85.49 compared to the first quarter of 2016, with 1,393 new companies founded in the first three months of 2017 alone.

Leicester and Norwich followed Salford in the rankings, with new business growth rates of growing by 34.45 per cent and 22.12 per cent respectively.

Alongside the rapid growth of new business registration in smaller cities, the data indicated London’s dominance as a major startup hotspot in the UK could be reducing.

The capital saw a small year-on-year increase of just 5.12 per cent. However, the city continued to produce the highest number of new businesses in the first quarter of 2017, with 57,235 companies registered since January.

Commenting on the findings, Justin Fitzpatrick, co-founder of DueDil, said unexpected regions had started to challenge the big cities to each become a key startup hotspots in Britain.

“Interestingly, just a handful of the UK’s major cities made the overall top 20 for startup growth, with cities such as London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds all absent from the top rankings, suggesting that they are slowly losing their grip on their status as the UK’s startup growth,” he said in a statement.

Overall, 173,100 new firms were registered in the UK between January and March 2017. The projected figure at the same rate by the end of 2017 was 668,759 new companies – 17,096 fewer than were registered throughout 2016.

Explaining why some areas saw such a significant drop in new businesses at the start of 2017, Fitzpatrick suggested uncertainty regarding Britain’s economic future could be a factor.

“The overall decrease in startup growth across the UK, is perhaps demonstrating a cautious attitude towards enterprise with Brexit looming. Banks and alternative finance providers have an opportunity to play a role in growth through investment,” he added.

How many new businesses each new startup hotspot is producing

Town/city Year-on-year change
Salford 85.49 per cent
Leicester 34.45 per cent
Norwich 22.12 per cent
Liverpool 21.71 per cent
Oxford 18.32 per cent

The five towns and cities with the greatest decline in new business registration

Town/city Year-on-year change
Portsmouth -17.64 per cent
Warrington -18.86 per cent
Brighton and Hove -19.11 per cent
Bournemouth -19.24 per cent
Luton -75.02 per cent

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.