Hull named as one of the top cities outside of London to start a business
Hull entrepreneur James Wilkins of the Blending Room
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Aug 2017
The annual Startups.co.uk list of the best 25 cities for starting a business featured Hull, describing the city as a “hotbed for green and renewable energy”.
The business magazine lauded the city’s Enterprise Zones which have seen significant recent investment, such as the Siemens Gamesa factory and the £23m Indivior development laboratory which opened on Wednesday.
In 2015, 870 new businesses were launched in Hull, although the report also states that only 36 per cent of start-ups continued to trade after five years, based on data between 2010 and 2015.
Naming Hull in its list, the magazine said: “Nestled in the North East’s Humber estuary, Hull is amongst the busiest port cities in Europe, offering excellent export opportunities with the continent through its low-cost ferry links.
“The city is also a hotbed for green and renewable energy, with plans to build a wind turbine manufacturing plant and waste-to-energy centre currently underway.
“With an extremely low cost of living, Hull represents an attractive option for low-carbon energy start-ups and digital businesses looking to trade internationally.
“You can expect additional business support and increased business activity this year too, given that Hull was named the UK City of Culture 2017.
“Following the government’s 2015 Autumn spending review, the city’s Enterprise Zones are to receive a significant boost , expanding to include additional employment land, and to stimulate investment in improving the quality and availability of office and industrial space in the city.”
It also highlighted the benefits of Hull’s business accelerator C4Di which which provides support to start-ups and has created partnerships with corporate brands such as Amazon Web Services and PWC.
Kathryn Shillito, city centre Manager at Hull Business Improvement District (Bid), agrees with the magazine's assessment and says there are plenty of opportunities for new businesses to develop within the city.
“Hull city centre provides opportunities for small start-ups with a variety of perfectly sized units for budding entrepreneurs,” she said.
“We’ve seen good examples of start-ups such as Cocoa Chocolatier progressing from a compact unit within Trinity Indoor Market and taking a bigger space on Humber Street as the business has grown.
“Essentially start-ups can test the market first before making a commitment to expand their stock and move to bigger premises. There is also help available with financing from organisations such as the Acorn Fund who offer loans at a reasonable fixed rate.”
Startups.co.uk’s feature and news editor Megan Dunsby said: “For too long, London has dominated start-up rhetoric as the UK’s enterprise hub and this index serves as an important reminder of the business activity that is flourishing in regions across the country.
“The Start-up Cites Index 2017 shines a spotlight on arguably lesser-known business hubs and we’re confident that this report will give both aspiring, and established, entrepreneurs more options for where to start and grow their business.”