DueDil, one of the UK’s best-known business information services, has announced details of a recent study – which show the UK’s best places for starting up and growing a new business. Interestingly, the top place doesn’t go to London, or even to a southern city.

Who got the No. 1 spot?

The DueDil study found that Salford, Manchester was top of the rankings, showing an increase in new business start-ups of over 85% on last year’s figures, during the same quarter. That equates to almost 1,400 new companies coming into existence in Q1 2017, compared with just under 750 in the same period in 2016. Looking at the whole year, the figure for 2016 was 2,850 new businesses – and the forecast for 2017 is a huge 5,286. So if you’re thinking of setting up as a limited company contractor, this could definitely be the place to do it.

How did the rest of the UK fare?

In second place on the DueDil report was Leicester – but way behind, with a year on year growth in new business start-ups of just under 35%. Still a great achievement but rather overshadowed by Salford. Next on the list was Norwich, with just over 22% increase, and then Liverpool and Oxford make up the rest of the ‘top five’.

Looking at some of the more obvious candidates – London only showed just over a 5% increase in growth of new businesses, but it’s still very much the hub for new businesses – a vast 57,235 new companies were formed in the capital in the first quarter of 2017. Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester are the other four in the ‘top five’ of cities with the newest start-ups, but Justin Fitzpatrick, COO and co-Founder of DueDil, thinks that may change also.

“Interestingly, just a handful of the UK’s major cities made the overall top 20 for start-up growth”, he said. “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 start-up growth hubs.”