Experian reveals best performing UK towns and cities of 2013

Experian has revealed which towns and cities in the UK provide the best environment for business success, based on how businesses in these areas have performed throughout 2013.

The index reviewed performance against four key measures including; the number of start-ups; rate of insolvencies; the level of financial health; and turnover growth compared to 2012. The performance scores were calculated by categorising the above indicators from 1-5 with 5 being the best performing and 1 being the worst.

Northampton in the East Midlands took pole position as the best performing city in the UK with the highest overall performance score of 19 after taking top marks for turnover growth (five), start-up rate (five) and insolvency rates (five) whilst also scoring well on financial strength(4). It seems it is the second year the region has shone in terms of business performance as the county of Northamptonshire, was also named the most enterprising place in Britain in 2012 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the government department responsible for supporting economic growth in the country.

Of the top 20 towns in the index only Aberdeen represented Scotland, with no entries from Wales or Northern Ireland featuring.  Towns in the South of England dominated the top slots with 65 percent of the best performing cities heralding from the region, with only Crewe and York representing the North.

Whilst areas of London performed well in the overall index (particularly South East, West Central and East Central London), it was the outlying areas that outperformed the capital.  These included Southall, Croydon, Kingston-Upon-Thames and Sutton, demonstrating the prosperity of suburban London.

Central London postcodes did, however, do well when looking at start-ups with East London, South East London and East Central London all featuring in the top 20 areas with the highest proportion of start-ups. East London saw the highest rate of start-ups with 24.5 percent of firms in the area having started up in the last two years – more than twice the national average of 11.6 percent.

The South also fared well in terms of financial health with companies in Redhill (Surrey) having the highest average Financial Strength Score of 57.2 (out of 100) – 4.5 points better than the national average of 52.7.

Aberdeen took the crown as the area with the lowest number of businesses becoming insolvent with just 0.28 percent of the business population failing in 2013, compared to a national average of 0.93 percent.  The city performed equally as well when looking at high growth businesses with 54.7 percent of the companies that filed turnover experiencing high sales growth (over 10 per cent).

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