Leeds named in start-up top 10, but Sheffield lags in most areas

Leeds has squeaked into a top 10 ranking of the best locations across the UK to start a new business.

Leeds ranks among the top 10 best cities tostart a business and the best cities for food lovers.  Picture: Tony Johnson.
Leeds ranks among the top 10 best cities tostart a business and the best cities for food lovers. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The city took tenth place in the list, which features in the Happiest Cities report compiled by online lettings agency Mashroom.

The ranking was based on a range of factors contributing to the success of a business, including motorway links, networking groups, co-working spaces, commercial properties to let, and airports in the county.

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Manchester took the top spot, followed by Cambridge, London, Oxford, Exeter, Norwich, Bristol, Liverpool and Brighton. Sheffield came 14th.

Stepan Dobrovolskiy, CEO of Mashroom, said: “Thousands of businesses have been born during lockdown, with the pandemic giving people the time and opportunity to explore their hobbies.

“These businesses thrived in periods of lockdown, in people’s garages, spare bedrooms or even taking over their living spaces.

“For successful businesses, they will be looking to expand their operation. Either by moving to a bigger property and continue working from home or to move to a more business-savvy neighbourhood – taking into account things like the number of co-working spaces, the number of commercial properties or even the number of networking events. They will look for the amenities needed to make their business a success.”

The report also featured non-business-related rankings, including the happiest cities, the best cities for families, the best cities to be single, the best cities for pet lovers, and the best cities for food lovers.

Leeds ranked outside the top 10 in all these areas except the last, where it took a creditable eighth place. This ranking was based on the number of restaurants, cafés, food markets, cooking classes and bakeries in each city. Sheffield came 15th.

Sheffield did not make it into the top 10 in any of the rankings, and beat Leeds in just one. It was named the 11th best city for pet lovers; Leeds came 12th.

The list of the best cities for families was based on the number of schools, parks, restaurants, shopping malls and swimming pools in each city. Leeds came 11th, Sheffield 13th.

Finally, Leeds and Sheffield proved to be remarkably similar in terms of what they offer to single people. In a ranking based on nightlife, concerts and shows, restaurants, shopping malls and Tinder usage, Sheffield took 13th place, pipped by Leeds in 12th.