Lincoln has been ranked as the sixth best place to start a new business in the UK, according to business solutions company Quality Formations.
After assessing 69 cities across the country, Lincoln was revealed to be in the top 10 cities for business startups based on eight different categories; commercial property, energy, virtual office services, public transport, broadband service, workforce demographics, access to finance and quality of life. Subcategories also included broadband download speeds and the current availability of prime office space.
All aspects were given a mark out of 10 for each city in order to create a national league table. Derby was ranked top of the table with Stoke and Belfast coming in second and third. Wolverhampton and Sunderland were ranked fourth and fifth ahead of Lincoln. A full list of all cities rankings can be found on the Quality Formations website.
The research showed that Lincoln was one of the cheapest places to rent commercial property at a cost of £10.92 per square foot, with 111 commercial properties available and also its broadband download speeds.
James Howell, Compliance Executive at Quality Formations, said: “Lincoln isn’t a city that tends to make international headlines – but we think that needs to change. In terms of business potential, the city is rife with opportunity.
“For a city its size, Lincoln has an incredibly vibrant commercial property sector. Average rent prices are among the UK’s lowest, while selection and availability are superb. Meanwhile, overhead costs are cheap-as-chips compared to more traditional business hubs like London or Manchester.
“Virtual office services and private accommodation fees in Lincoln both run almost a third below the UK average. The city’s business energy rates also tend to run noticeably cheaper than some of England’s bigger industrial capitals.
“Yet one of Lincoln’s biggest draws from a startup’s point-of-view is its brilliant broadband service. With speeds of up to 310Mbps and wide superfast availability, Lincoln offers virtual companies and home-based entrepreneurs a number of ways in which to succeed in business on a global scale.”
The analysis also showed that Lincoln’s workforce includes 22.6% of the population which is educated to a level of BA degree or better and an has an unemployment rate of 5.9%. The city has been noted as having a good range of financial grants, specific to the region, with 29 available.
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Developments, said: “Lincoln is a great place to start a business, and that’s a message we’re keen to share. Our city is much more affordable than others, and there’s plenty of support from ourselves and our partners to help get things up and running. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of innovative new businesses set up shop locally, and I’m sure this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.”
The research also looked at the country’s worse startup cities with Inverness, Well and Hereford in the bottom three due to expensive office space and a lack of it, as well as slow internet speed and limited access to region specific grants.