York has proven itself to be a hotspot for new business creation

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The CITY of York is creating 20 per cent more new businesses per head than the rest of the UK, with 17 new start-ups being set up per 10,000 of population compared to an average of 14 nationally.

The data is revealed in research by UHY Calvert Smith who say York’s rate of net new business creation was higher than many regional competitors, as Leeds, Doncaster, and Hull only saw respective increases of 16, 12, and 12 net start-ups per 10,000 of population.

It said that the city’s established reputation as a national hub for financial and professional services is a key driver, creating a raft of opportunities for ambitious, innovative entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. Major insurance companies Aviva and Hiscox already have large offices in the city.

York’s transport links are a significant factor in attracting financial and professional service firms to the city offering fast rail links to numerous cities across the North of England, such as Manchester and Hull.

UHY Calvert Smith adds that business creation in York is also boosted by the availability of a well-educated labour force largely provided by its two universities. The University of York and York St. John University have both expanded rapidly in recent years and have approximately 22,000 students.

These universities attract and cultivate new businesses, with the University of York’s Catalyst business centre being home to several start-ups. Their Student Internship Bureau gives funding for SMEs to provide internships for current undergraduate students, boosting employment and retaining well-educated graduates in the area.

Nevil Pearce, Partner at UHY Calvert Smith, says: “These figures highlight York’s status as a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship which is playing a key role in powering UK plc.”

“York is in an excellent position to nurture and develop new business creation and take advantage of the strengthening economic climate to cement its reputation as an important enterprise centre.”

“Home to a range of financial and professional service firms, with a real creative buzz and a rich seam of talent, plus its appeal as a great place to live – yet still within easy reach of clients in the capital – are all key factors enabling new businesses to put down firm roots.”

“The universities also help create more opportunities for other creative entrepreneurs to set up technology start-ups around the city, in turn boosting start-up numbers.”

Nationally, out of the 20 areas in the UK that have experienced the strongest net growth of new businesses in the last year, 13 are located within the Home Counties.

Staines is the number one town for business creation, with 43 more new businesses per 10,000 people than a year ago. UHY Hacker Young says the commuter town has established itself as a hotspot for new business creation, attracting many high-technology businesses with its proximity to the “M4 Corridor.”

UHY Hacker Young explains that Government proposals to rebalance the economic gap between the North and South include the “Northern Powerhouse” scheme, which aims to boost economic growth across Northern England partly by devolving economic decision-making and improving transport links.