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Salford best for startups

Tuesday 9 May 2017

SALFORD has emerged as one of the best places to start a new business in the UK.

Between January and March this year, 1,393 new companies launched in the city, up 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to a study by DueDil, a business information company, if Salford maintains its startup growth rate, the city could be on course to produce 5,286 new businesses this year alone, a huge increase of 2,436 from the previous year.

Alex Fenton, lecturer in Digital Business at the University of Salford Business School, said: "The University of Salford plays a key role in supporting entrepreneurs to start-up new companies. We work closely with digital companies locally and our own graduates are contributing as well.

"Being based in Salford is brilliant, we have incubator spaces where students can set up companies and they are then happy to stay in the area because it is so well connected with the rest of the world, for example Salford alumni Jamil Khalil raised millions build his digital company Wakelet and he is making a great success of it in the city.”

Coming in second in DueDil’s study was Leicester, which experienced a startup growth rate of 34 per cent year on year. Salford and Leicester were joined by Norwich, Liverpool, and Oxford on the top five for UK’s startup growth hotspots list.

London, in comparison, witnessed a modest startup growth rate of five per cent year on year, with Manchester showing a growth rate of 1.9 per cent.

Overall 173,100 new companies started up in the UK between January and March 2017, representing an overall decrease from the same period in 2016.

The news was welcomed by Stephen Wild, managing director of MediaCityUK, which is home to a number of business clusters such as The Landing and The Greenhouse, as well as the University of Salford.

Stephen said: “We have long recognised the innovation which happens here in Salford and it’s really great to see this being shown to a wider audience.

“At MediaCityUK, we have been working with a whole host of startups. Since we opened The Pie Factory in 2007, and as other spaces such as The Landing, The Greenhouse and more recently have opened, we have seen this go from strength to strength.

“We are also seeing an increase in gaming companies, people working in virtual and augmented reality, and fashion startups. This plethora of creatives makes MediaCityUK and Salford a really exciting place to be.”

Head of development at Salford City Council, Shelagh McNerney said: "This is an incredible story and yet not surprising because this is Salford's time.

"Salford City Council and its partners have created an atmosphere of growth and positivity which is encouraging a new breed of entrepreneurs. They are attracted by the accessibility and affordability of the city but also its culture and spirit."

Find out more

Sam Wood

0161 295 5361