Where in the UK has the best and worse business survival rates?

The best spot in the UK to launch a new business in terms of survival rates is Winchester in Hampshire, according to new research. Those most likely to fail are located in Cardiff.

The research was undertaken by cloud-based business communications providers Vonage, using information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and business data provider CompanyCheck.

The study looked at all UK Limited companies incorporated in 2014 – a record year for start-ups with 581,173 new businesses launched – that had a registered postcode within a city and that had filed at least one year’s worth of accounts. The number of businesses that had faced insolvency or were otherwise wound up were then calculated and used to create an interactive map.

The top spot for starting a new business was Winchester, which had a 2-year survival rate of 77.6%. This was followed by Hampshire neighbour Portsmouth with a survival rate of 76.9%, then St Albans (73.8%), Carlisle (73.5%) and Chichester (73.4%).

The reasons for Winchester’s high survival rates could be due to a combination of factors. It is situated in a prosperous part of the country and there does appear to be something of a north/south divide when it comes to survival rates.

Winchester is also close enough to London to stay connected but with cheaper rents and other business overheads. It also ranks as the fourth best city in the UK for recruiting top graduates – the city has its own university, as well as nearby institutions in Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. Even the talent pools from Oxford and Cambridge are in reach.

The worst place for business survival in the UK was Cardiff, which had a survival rate of just 58.9%, followed by Manchester (60.7%), Swansea (60.9%), Birmingham (61.3%) and Wakefield (61.4%).

The research also looked at start-up survival by industry type. The most likely to survive were nursing homes (91.4%), road freight services (90.9%), GP services (90.1%), dentistry (905) and engineering design activities (89.7).

The least likely to have survived were external building cleaning (77.9%), film production (78.2%), recruitment agencies (78.3%), sports activities (78.9%) and art & design (79.3%).

By Phil Smith

If you would like to have a free no obligation chat with one of our advisers please call us on 0207 186 1144.

View all Business Insights