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North West Overtakes London as Best Place to Set Up a Business, Latest Data Confirms

Recent data analysis shows capital is failing to keep up with North West

Contrary to popular belief, new data analysis by Love Energy Savings has shown that the North West could be the best place to set up a business this year, challenging beliefs that London is the best place to start a new venture.

According to the most recent government data, the North West currently has the highest business birth rate of any UK region, with 15.9% of all new businesses in the UK launching in the North West in 2018. This outranks both London’s 15.2%, and Wales’ 13.7%.

The North West was also the fastest growing region overall between 2012 and 2017, with Manchester being the UK’s fastest growing city between 2015 and 2018.

The analysis shows that investment in the Northern Powerhouse may be attracting UK entrepreneurs to cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield, and the looming fear of Brexit has dissuaded foreign businesses owners from opening up shop in the Capital.

London Struggling to Keep Up

Although London still remains the area with the most UK businesses, a competitive marketplace and extortionate living costs have lead to it having the highest percentage of business deaths in the UK – a whopping 14.2%. Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of business deaths in London jumped by 71% from 50,200 to 86,000. Worse still is that in 2016 and 2017, business births in the capital decreased by 10%.

Top reasons to start a business in the North West in 2019

  • Cheaper office and retail space
  • Access to new talent (Manchester alone has five universities in total)
  • A wide variety of investments have been targeted at the region for the next decade
  • Great transport links
  • Lower cost of living

Fewer businesses are being founded across the UK

There were fewer business births across the UK in 2017 compared to 2016 – the first time this figure has decreased since 2012.

There has been a decrease in business investment since 2016, which is likely to have discouraged entrepreneurs from starting new ventures in the last three years.

There’s also more uncertainty about the future of UK business following the EU referendum; UK entrepreneurs could be awaiting a more stable economic climate before launching their next business.

Phil Foster, CEO of Love Energy Savings, said:

“The data we’ve analysed paints an interesting portrait of the UK business world. The North West has recently become a key destination for businesses, being the only destination that weathered the uncertainty that followed the 2016 referendum.

“It’s also fantastic to see how investment has played a role in growth, specifically in Wales and Northern Ireland: when government funding is put into the hands of the UK’s entrepreneurs, regions thrive.

“Love Energy Saving will continue to support business throughout the UK and hopefully, we’ll see the North West grow even more, with the rest of the UK following suit.”

Interactive map: How is UK business performing in 2019?

Love Energy Saving analysed UK government data on business activity, size and location. Through the data, they created a map that highlights the number of business births, deaths, average company turnover, average household income and average energy costs in the UK.

They also analysed industry data, including construction, transport and energy.

The data used for the content was taken from a range of different reports. Some of these reports include data for 2018, whereas others do not. Therefore, some of the date ranges used may differ. We have, however, used the latest available figures in every instance.

Editors notes

Love Energy Savings hit the energy market in 2007 with one mission: to help businesses save as much money as possible on their gas and electricity. Since then they have helped over 200,000 customers switch to a cheaper deal – saving over £80 million. In 2018 they received £25m investment from LDC to help further diversify their services and help their customers save even more money.


For more information please contact: eve@bringdigital.co.uk

James Caldwell
Editor for the Business Bible. James took on the role in March 2019 and shares his vast experience of International Business and Trade. James was previously Director of an international events company in Manchester and still remains active in the events industry.
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