Experian reveals best performing UK towns and cities of 2013

news release

Experian reveals best performing UK towns and cities of 2013

Northampton hailed best performing city in the UK

  Nottingham, 6th March 2014 Experian®, the global information services company, today revealed which towns and cities in the UK provide the best environment for business success, based on how businesses in these areas have performed throughout 2013. 

The index reviewed performance against four key measures including; the number of start-ups; rate of insolvencies; the level of financial health; and turnover growth compared to 2012.  The performance scores were calculated by categorising the above indicators from 1-5 with 5 being the best performing and 1 being the worst [1] .

Northampton takes the top spot Northampton in the East Midlands took pole position as the best performing city in the UK with the highest overall performance score of 19 after taking top marks for turnover growth(5), start-up rate(5) and insolvency rates(5) whilst also scoring well on financial strength(4). It seems it is the second year the region has shone in terms of business performance as the county of Northamptonshire, was also named the most enterprising place in Britain in 2012 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the government department responsible for supporting economic growth in the country [2]

London suburbs outperform the city

Of the top 20 towns in the index only Aberdeen represented Scotland, with no entries from Wales or Northern Ireland featuring.  Towns in the South of England dominated the top slots with 65 per cent of the best performing cities heralding from the region, with only Crewe and York representing the North.

Whilst areas of London performed well in the overall index (particularly South East, West Central and East Central London), it was the outlying areas that outperformed the capital.  These included Southall, Croydon, Kingston-Upon-Thames and Sutton, demonstrating the prosperity of suburban London. 

Central London postcodes did, however, do well when looking at start-ups with East London, South East London and East Central London all featuring in the top 20 areas with the highest proportion of start-ups.  East London saw the highest rate of start-ups with 24.5 per cent of firms in the area having started up in the last two years - more than twice the national average of 11.6 per cent.

The South also fared well in terms of financial health with companies in Redhill (Surrey) having the highest average Financial Strength Score [3] of 57.2 (out of 100) - 4.5 points better than the national average of 52.7.

Insolvencies

Aberdeen took the crown as the area with the lowest number of businesses becoming insolvent with just 0.28 per cent of the business population failing in 2013, compared to a national average of 0.93 per cent.  The city performed equally as well when looking at high growth businesses with 54.7 per cent of the companies that filed turnover experiencing high sales growth (over 10 per cent).

Max Firth, Managing Director, Experian Business Information Services, UK&I said: “This study highlights that business conditions are starting to show real signs of recovery, not just for the capital but in towns across the UK.  It is encouraging to see signs of positivity from areas like Northampton, Bristol and Aberdeen with a strong upward trend in the creation of locally formed businesses and the success of those companies. Growing businesses have a positive effect on the wider economy starting with increased employment prospects.”

Table 1: Best overall performance

Rank

Area

Insolvency Score

Financial Strength Score

Start-up Score

Turnover Growth Score

Overall Performance Score

1

Northampton

5

4

5

5

19

2

Southall

5

4

5

4

18

3

South East London

4

5

5

4

18

4

Aberdeen

5

5

2

5

17

5

Bristol

5

5

3

3

16

6

Cambridge

5

5

2

4

16

7

Brighton

5

4

3

3

15

8

Worcester

5

3

2

5

15

9

Croydon

4

4

5

2

15

10

Western Central London

4

5

3

3

15

11

Coventry

3

4

3

5

15

12

Crewe

3

4

3

5

15

13

Dartford

2

3

5

5

15

14

East Central London

1

5

5

4

15

15

Ipswich

5

3

2

4

14

16

Kingston upon Thames

5

5

1

3

14

17

Oxford

5

5

1

3

14

18

Bromley

4

5

4

1

14

19

Sutton

4

5

4

1

14

20

York

4

3

2

5

14

 

Table 2: Lowest insolvency rate

Rank

Area

Insolvencies

Insolvency Rate

Performance Score

1

Aberdeen

47

0.28%

5

2

Northern Ireland

151

0.32%

5

3

Edinburgh

99

0.35%

5

4

Dorchester

30

0.47%

5

5

Glasgow

170

0.61%

5

6

Oxford

134

0.61%

5

7

Bath

91

0.63%

5

8

Ipswich

106

0.67%

5

9

Canterbury

87

0.67%

5

10

Bristol

231

0.69%

5

11

Northampton

138

0.71%

5

12

Shrewsbury

61

0.71%

5

13

Carlisle

53

0.71%

5

14

Brighton

233

0.72%

5

15

Southall

76

0.73%

5

16

Norwich

123

0.73%

5

17

Cambridge

113

0.74%

5

18

Kingston upon Thames

215

0.76%

5

19

Torquay

64

0.76%

5

20

Worcester

74

0.76%

5

Table 3: Best Financial Strength Score

Rank

Area

# firms with FSS

Average FSS

Performance Score

1

Redhill

28,217

57.2

5

2

Reading

41,586

57.1

5

3

South West London

73,021

57

5

4

Western Central London

29,402

57

5

5

Kingston upon Thames

33,201

56.6

5

6

St Albans

15,783

56.5

5

7

Hemel Hempstead

26,614

56.3

5

8

Aberdeen

20,479

56

5

9

Stevenage

18,202

55.9

5

10

Bournemouth

27,477

55.8

5

11

East Central London

68,905

55.8

5

12

Slough

23,096

55.7

5

13

South East London

45,988

55.6

5

14

Oxford

25,658

55.5

5

15

Watford

16,971

55.4

5

16

Salisbury

7,827

55.3

5

17

Bromley

13,695

55.2

5

18

Bristol

39,865

55.2

5

19

Sutton

9,530

55

5

20

Cambridge

17,364

54.9

5

Table 4: Highest start-up rate

 Rank

Area

# Start-ups

Start-up rate

Performance Score

1

East London

9,030

24.54%

5

2

South East London

7,807

22.51%

5

3

Southall

2,326

22.25%

5

4

Ilford

3,213

21.60%

5

5

Romford

2,553

21.30%

5

6

Lincoln

1,366

20.72%

5

7

North London

9,614

20.38%

5

8

East Central London

11,833

19.91%

5

9

Blackpool

1,387

18.94%

5

10

Croydon

2,471

15.95%

5

11

Cleveland

1,465

15.73%

5

12

Northampton

2,925

14.95%

5

13

Dartford

1,878

14.95%

5

14

Manchester

5,721

14.86%

5

15

Luton

1,387

14.50%

5

16

Warrington

3,375

14.22%

5

17

Bradford

1,786

14.22%

5

18

Twickenham

2,835

14.01%

5

19

Chester

2,189

14.01%

5

20

Liverpool

2,723

13.96%

5


Table 5: Largest proportion of high-growth businesses

Rank

Post Area

# firms with 10% sales growth

High growth rate

Performance Score

1

Aberdeen

501

54.69%

5

2

Newport

179

48.38%

5

3

York

302

47.63%

5

4

Llandudno

191

47.28%

5

5

Stoke-on-Trent

252

46.32%

5

6

Sheffield

621

46.21%

5

7

Taunton

160

45.85%

5

8

Dudley

183

45.52%

5

9

Cleveland

187

45.28%

5

10

Hull

235

45.02%

5

11

Blackburn

206

44.98%

5

12

Northampton

424

44.77%

5

13

Coventry

573

44.77%

5

14

Dartford

373

44.62%

5

15

Worcester

214

44.31%

5

16

Wolverhampton

213

44.28%

5

17

Walsall

210

44.21%

5

18

Cardiff

713

44.15%

5

19

Leeds

621

43.98%

5

20

Crewe

143

43.73%

5



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ENDS

Performance Score ranges

Performance Score

Insolvencies

FSS

Start-up

Turnover

5

0.28% - 0.76%

57.15 - 54.85

24.53% - 13.95%

54.69% - 43.73%

4

0.76% - 0.86%

54.82 - 53.04

13.68% - 11.17%

43.45% - 42.34%

3

0.86% - 0.98%

52.97 - 52.23

11.07% - 10.20%

42.34% - 41.07%

2

0.98% - 1.11%

52.20 - 51.26

10.17% - 9.11%

41.07% - 39.43%

1

1.11% - 1.35%

51.25 - 39.81

9.09% - 5.60%

39.18% - 35.46%

Insolvencies – Percentage of business population becoming insolvent

Financial Strength Score - Predicts the likelihood of a business failing in the next 12 months, with 100 being the least likely to default and 1 being the most likely

Start-up – The percentage of the business population that started in the last two years.

Turnover – The percentage of business that have experienced turnover growth of 10 per cent or more


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[1] Performance Score range table at end of release

[2] http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Northamptonshire-named-most-enterprising-place-in-Britain-6805a.aspx

[3] Businesses with a Financial Strength Score of  between 57.151 - 54.859 scored highest (5)