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Best Place To Start A Small Business In The UK 2018: 10. Warrington

This year is the third time that Informi has looked at where is the Best Place To Start A Small Business In The UK. Each time we’ve studied a range of factors to determine which UK town or city has the ingredients to create the perfect environment for starting a small business.

While the digital age means that its increasingly easy for anyone to run a small business from any location, turning that business into a success story requires investment, a certain degree of luck, and often support from the local community.

And some towns and cities achieve this better than others. 

Over the next two weeks, we will be counting down the top ten locations to find out which UK town or city will follow in the footsteps of Brighton, our 2016 winner, or Ipswich who took the crown last year. 

A footnote – following discussions with leading research tool Centre for Cities, we’ve revised the factors we are focusing on. The following factors have been removed from our calculations:

  • Business closures
  • Churn rate
  • Number of patent applications
  • Pollution levels
  • House prices

The factors we are now focusing on are:

  • Access to highly skilled workers
  • Current business stock levels
  • Number of business startups
  • Digital connectivity
  • Housing affordability

So let’s start our countdown at the beginning. Here’s who made number 10….



Big names at home in Warrington

Where can Warrington improve?

Warrington didn’t do particularly badly in any of the categories we focused this year’s research on – although it doesn’t have great online connectivity, with only 72% of the town covered by ultrafast broadband. 

When looking at wider factors, however, Warrington ranks poorly for pollution with carbon dioxide emissions totalling 6.74 tons per capita – worse than everywhere in the country with the exceptions of Doncaster, Newport, Middlesbrough and Swansea. 


At home in Warrington

It’s a little-known fact that Warrington was home to Britain’s first Ikea when the Swedish giant set foot on British shores back in 1987. Initially intending to open near London, Ikea was invited by the local Warrington and Runcorn Development Corporation to instead plant itself in the North West. 

Nine of the original employees still work for the firm, which remains a thriving hub of activity despite widely reported falling trends affecting the majority of high street firms. 817 million customers visited an Ikea store in the year ending August 2017, and the company boasts 355 outlets in 29 different countries.

And while the prices remain refreshingly low, back in 1987, a mini chest of drawers could be bought for just £5.70 while you could purchase three storage pots for just £3.50!



Keep an eye on Informi’s blog over the coming days as we reveal this year’s top ten in reverse order and gradually fill our list. Tomorrow, number nine…


The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2018


  UK town/city
10. Warrington


For a comprehensive guide to getting your business up and running, download our how to start a business in 20 days ebook

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