It can be argued that there’s never been a better time in history to start up a business in the UK. We are inundated with stories of successful startups in the UK. There are more resources available than ever before – such as this handy little blog you’re reading – and more types of funding available, meaning that just about everyone has the opportunity to make their business dreams flourish. Additionally, the number of new technology startups in the UK has hit an all-time high and if that’s not a positive signifier, then we don’t know what is.
Obviously, the process of crafting a startup is a long and complicated, but ultimately rewarding, one. We’ve touched on a lot of the stuff you need to consider when it comes to launching your own business in previous posts, but there’s one key point that’s gone unmentioned till now: where should you start it? The UK is full of fantastic cities, all unique and all filled with their own pros and cons, making the process of settling on one pretty difficult… But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Could you be one of the up and coming companies of 2018?
Years ago, London may have seemed like the only viable city when it came to starting up a business in the UK, but nowadays there are plenty of different options and we’ve put together a list of our recommendations. From bustling metropolises to cosy coastal cities, here are our top picks for the UK’s most startup-friendly locations.
Due to its location, sitting pretty close to London, and high new business survival rate, Reading has been a solid choice for startup businesses for a while now. It’s a fantastic pick if you still want to stay in the general area of the capital but can’t be bothered to put up with London’s high cost of living. Definitely a location worth bearing in mind!
Ah, Brighton… What’s not to love? The city carries many of the same benefits as Reading – again being situated pretty close to the capital – but also comes with a few different ones as well. Brighton has been characterised as a young person’s city, thanks for its hipster-ish culture, making it a great place to launch a business. It’s also been dubbed ‘Silicon Beach’ by The Guardian which is just about as good as endorsement for startup-friendliness get.
Moving further up north, Leeds has long been seen as one of the top locations for new businesses. Not only does it have a disproportionately high new business survival rate, much like Reading, but it also topped Business Advice’s list for best startup cities last year. So, if you’re looking for a city that has plenty of hard data to back it up, then you can’t do much better than Leeds.
Bristol has always been seen as one of the south-west’s key hubs when it comes creativity and bright thinkers and we don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. Like Brighton, the city also has a great culture and – compared to most of the UK’s other major cities – is affordable to live in. It’s definitely a place worth considering.
Cambridge is a bit of a no-duh city for new businesses for a number of reasons. The city has become one of the UK’s hotspots for startup businesses partially because it’s home to one of the country’s most prestigious universities. And why wouldn’t you want to start up your business in a city where you can easily snap up some of the UK’s brightest young minds?
Our second coastal city of the list, Plymouth is another definite highlight from the south-west of the country. The city has been described as forward-looking and supportive when it comes to startup businesses, which we think you’ll agree is pretty appealing! Another benefit of the Plymouth is that it doesn’t have quite as much bustle as some of the other locations on this list (like Leeds and the city that’s up next…) making it a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere a bit more laid-back.
Moving way, way, way up to the other end of our island, Edinburgh is another city with a lot of buzz when it comes to supporting startups. Additionally, it’s also got one of the UK’s highest proportions of qualified workers, which is pretty great. Basically, Edinburgh is a good choice if you’re looking for a huge, busy city but don’t really want to deal with London.
What, Milton Keynes? At first, this one might seem like an odd choice, but Milton Keynes is actually one of the UK’s fastest growing cities making it a fantastic location for your startup to takes its first baby steps. Like Reading and Brighton, it’s also located comfortably close to London, making it just that extra bit appealing!
For our final pick, we thought we’d return to the good ol’ south-west one last time. Exeter has been home to a slew of successful startups over the past few years and is a solid location choice if you want to go somewhere a little more under-the-radar. Like a lot of the places we’ve listed, it’s also just a generally great city (also being home to prestigious university) making it an appealing place to start your business’s journey.
So, there you have it, our top picks when it comes to where to start-up your new business. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions of your own? We’d love to hear from you, so feel free to hit us up at all the usual places – a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.