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Revealed: the best place to start a business in the UK

by jcp

Redditch has been revealed as the best place in the UK to start a new business

Research reveals the Worcestershire town tops the rankings for key indicators of business success

Analysis of eight different factors puts Redditch top

Redditch is the best place in Britain to start a new business, new research has revealed.

The analysis by cloud accounting company Ember revealed that the Worcestershire town tops the rankings after scoring highly in a number of key indicators for business success.

The research assessed more than 350 districts, counties and unitary authorities across Britain on a range of details. The factors included the average rate of new business births compared to new business deaths, the number of high growth enterprises, the median salary and the qualification levels of the working age population.

Redditch scored well for having one of the country’s best rates of new business births compared to new business deaths. The latest data shows that in 2019, for every new business that failed in the area, two new enterprises were started – the second highest ratio in Britain. Redditch also has a low median salary, enabling access to a low cost workforce.

Wyre Forest, also in Worcestershire, placed second on the ranking of Britain’s best places to start a business, thanks to the country’s best rate of new business births compared to deaths, with three new companies started for every one that failed.

Kingston upon Hull ranked in third, performing particularly well in the categories measuring the number of successful business in the region, as well as a median wage lower than much of the UK.

Corby in Northamptonshire placed in fourth, while Telford and Wrekin in Shropshire came in fifth.

The best places in Britain to start a business, by Ember

National rank Area County/Region Overall rating
1 Redditch Worcestershire 8.145
2 Wyre Forest Worcestershire 8.020
3 Kingston upon Hull East Yorkshire 7.854
4 Corby Northamptonshire 7.849
5 Telford and Wrekin Shropshire 7.834
6 Burnley Lancashire 7.796
7 Kensington and Chelsea London 7.779
8 Thanet Kent 7.774
9 Southwark London 7.770
10 Westminster London 7.770


At the other end of the scale, Barrow-in-Furness ranked at the bottom of the list. It is the only area in the study in which none of its businesses registered as high growth enterprises, which is defined as company with average growth greater than 20% per annum over a three year period.

In second to last place is Copeland in Cumbria, which also has a low rating for its proportion of high growth enterprises, while its median salary is the second highest in the study – a challenge for would-be entrepreneurs.

The Shetland Islands was third last, with a ratio of only two new businesses being started for every three that failed in 2019.

Na h-Eileanan Siar, also known as the Outer Hebrides, was fourth from bottom, while Ribble Valley in Lancashire rated as the UK’s fifth worst place to start a new business.

Commenting on the study, Ember co-founder Daniel Hogan said: “There are so many factors that go into building a successful business, so it’s intriguing to crunch the numbers and see which areas perform best across multiple metrics. Any person who decides to start their own business deserves the best chance of success.”

The worst places in Britain to start a business, by Ember

National rank Area County/Region Overall rating
382 Ribble Valley Lancashire 6.832
383 Na h-Eileanan Siar (Outer Hebrides) Scotland 6.594
384 Shetland Islands Scotland 6.429
385 Copeland Cumbria 6.168
386 Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria 5.867


The figures follow news uncovered by Ember that the first quarter of 2021 saw nearly 100 new businesses created every hour. In total 211,368 companies were incorporated at Companies House in January, February and March this year, which equates to 2,349 brand new businesses each day, or 98 every single hour.

The research was conducted by Ember, the cloud accounting company which automates accounting and tax to help make business admin simpler and more cost effective for freelancers, contractors, start-ups and small businesses.

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