Study shows varying start-up infrastructures across the UK

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Bristol averages out as one of the best infrastructures in the UK in which to start a new business

Establishing a successful start-up comes down to a lot of variables, but the place you choose might best affect prospects, according to new research from University College London’s School of Management (UCL).

The team analysed broadband speed, the cost of central office space and the number and value of government funded Start Up Loans in the UK’s most highly populated towns and cities.

With broadband speeds averaging 33.8Mbps Bristol and Portsmouth, these cities were above the UK normal of 26Mbps – an advantage in an economy increasingly relying on connectivity.
Cities below the UK average include include Leeds (25.3Mbps), Cambridge (23.5Mbps) and Sheffield (20.9Mbps). Hull is at the bottom of the table of cities tested with 14.1Mbps.

Office space was at its highest price per square foot per month in London, at an average of £52.50. Outside of the capital, offices cost an average of £31.60 per sq ft, with only Belfast, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter and Leicester falling below this cost.

Start-up funding is a big deal, with London providing a potential £1,038 per new business. This was followed by Sunderland on £720 and Hull at £552. New businesses in Leicester receive on average only £132.


“A great business idea is just the start of succeeding as an entrepreneur, and we’ve found some surprising differences in the facilities available to them across the UK,” said UCL’s Chris Coleridge.

“The factors we have explored, from basic funding to broadband speed, can have a real impact on the direction and growth of a business as it gathers pace.

“Entrepreneurs whose aim is to start a business this year should invest plenty of time in the planning phase, in order to research the pros and cons of not just their product or service, but of their home town in order to counteract any hurdles.

“Business networking groups and collaboration with other local entrepreneurs shouldn’t be overlooked, as it can help with knowledge and insight sharing particularly in the early stages.”

Data first published by

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