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Tech City tops UK startup chart: 15,000 new businesses last year

Tech City map

The EC1V postcode, home to London’s Tech City, was home to more than 15,000 new businesses in the last year, outstripping any other area in the UK

Tech City is the most prolific area of new business generation in the UK. Some 15,720 new businesses were set up in EC1V in the 12 months to March 31, 2013, according to research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

This growth is largely due to the area’s reputation as the UK’s technology hub, with the government making major efforts to promote the area as a centre for new technology businesses. Successful tech startups headquartered in the Tech City area include Hailo, Mind Candy and Stylist Pick among many, many others.

The area around Old Street has been an emerging business destination for some time thanks to historically cheaper rents, but since tech and creative startups have started to colonise the area, new business creation has really taken off.

Behind Tech City

Behind the EC1V Tech City postcode were the areas of Borough and Bermondsey (SE1, with 5,190 new businesses), Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf (E1 and E14 with 4,900 new firms – which could increase faster in the next year, as Level39 takes off) and St James’s (SW1Y with 1,830 new startups).

UHY Hacker Young says that many of the hotspots for new business creation were internationally-acknowledged clusters of expertise in a particular industry, Major regeneration, such as new infrastructure, has also been an important trigger of new business creation.

“Clusters of expertise can be highly effective in driving new business creation,” says UHY Hacker Young partner Colin Jones. “The example of London’s business creation hotspots shows how influential clusters of expertise can be in attracting more businesses to set up in an area.  Identifying the industries and sectors that a particular area should target for growth is clearly bearing fruit.”

“It’s also interesting to see how influential the City and finance still are in driving new business creation, despite the battering they took during the financial crisis.  St. James’s is no longer the preserve of gentlemen’s clubs, it is now the backyard of the international super-rich and many former City bankers are setting up shop in the area to service that community,” says Jones.

Outside of London, there are far fewer real hotspots for new business creation. The top postcode outside of London, WA1 (Warrington), accounted for 1,510 – only a tenth of the number of new businesses as Tech City.