The ‘Home of the British Army’ has marched into ninth place in this year’s Best Place To Start A Small Business In The UK.
Over the next two weeks, Informi is counting down the top ten locations for entrepreneurs to head to – and we’ve considered a range of issues, including access to skilled workers, house prices against local wages, and digital infrastructure to determine who has finished where.
The Hampshire town of Aldershot finished inside the top ten on our list – despite having a relatively low population of around 183,000. It has housed a nearby garrison town (Aldershot Military town) since the 1850s, around the time of the Crimean War, and this was expanded thanks to a £100 million investment from the Ministry of Defence back in 2013.
Why is Aldershot a good place to start a business?
For a relatively small place, Aldershot ranks particularly well in the area of business stock – simply, the number of businesses operating in the area for every 10,000 population. Aldershot’s figure stands at 436, with only Milton Keynes, Reading and London posting stronger figures.
This suggests businesses are able to exist and thrive with a captive consumer audience, and in addition that companies from across sectors can co-exist to the benefit of the local and wider economy.
Aldershot also performs well for the number of businesses that have recently started up in the area, and for access to talent; over 38% of working age locals hold at least an NVQ Level 4 qualification, the 15th best in the country.
Where can Aldershot improve?
In a theme that will continue to be apparent among much of the rest of our top ten as we go along, Aldershot’s greatest weakness is around affordability of housing. In Aldershot, it will set you back over 11 times the average wage to buy a property, which won’t help your chances of locating yourself there or indeed of attracting outside employee talent as your business begins to grow.
At home in Aldershot
“My grandfather set up his independent business in Aldershot 95 years ago, and we have been successfully trading in the town ever since,” said John Jerome of Edgar Jerome, who sell menswear and supply uniforms to local schools in the area.
“The growth of new houses being built right on our doorstep – 3,800 in total – is going to offer a lot of possibilities for individual new shops in the near future as well.”
Keep an eye on Informi’s blog site over the days to come as we gradually reveal who’s next in our top ten. On Monday, there’ll be eight maids a-milking…
The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2018
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