Northampton hailed as UK’s “best performing” city for business in 2013

New data analysis reveals top 20 UK towns and cities for business success with East London “greatest” for start-ups

Northampton offered the best environment for business success in 2013, according to an index published today by Experian of the top 20 most enterprising UK towns and cities of 2013.

Surveying over 100 UK locations, the business performance index found Northampton to be the “best performing” city, followed by Southall, South East London, Aberdeen and Bristol.

Measured using start-up rates, insolvencies, financial health and turnover growth compared to 2012, performance scores were calculated by categorising each measure from one to five, five being the best and one the worst.

Along with Northampton, which achieved a score of 19, other areas rated in the top 20 included Cambridge, Brighton, Coventry and Kingston-upon-Thames.

Several London areas performed well in the overall study for having the highest proportion of start-ups; East London possessed the highest rate of start-up businesses in 2013 with 9,930 companies in the area having launched in the last two years – more than twice the national average.

South England also scored highly in terms of financial health with companies in Redhill, Surrey, reporting the highest average financial strength score of 57.2 out of 100, 4.5 points better than the national average.

In terms of insolvencies, Scottish city Aberdeen was found to have the lowest number of businesses becoming insolvent with 0.28% of the companies failing in 2013, less than the national average of 0.93%.

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Max Firth, managing director of Experian business information services UK & Ireland, discussed the findings:

“This study highlights that business conditions are starting to show real signs of recovery, not just for the capital but in towns across the UK.

“It is encouraging to see signs of positivity from areas like Northampton, Bristol and Aberdeen with a strong upward trend in the creation of locally formed businesses and the success of those companies.

“Growing businesses have a positive effect on the wider economy starting with increased employment prospects.”


Table 1- “Best performing” UK towns and cities

Northampton hailed as UK’s “best performing” city for business in 2013


Table 2 – Highest start-up rates

Northampton hailed as UK’s “best performing” city for business in 2013 start-up rate



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