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East Anglia: Cambridge, Norwich and Ipswich among UK’s top 25 locations for business

15:02 06 February 2013

Ipswich has been ranked among the UK's top 25 places for business competitiveness

Ipswich has been ranked among the UK's top 25 places for business competitiveness

IPSWICH, Cambridge and Norwich all rank among Britain’s top 25 towns and cities for business, according to a new study.

Cambridge is ranked top out of 74 urban centres outside London in the Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking’s UK Town and City Index, with Norwich in 22nd place and Ipswich in 24th.

The rankings are based on 20 factors which drive private sector business competitiveness, which the report groups into the five broad headings of Enterprise, Talent, Connectivity, Costs and Well-being.

Ipswich received its highest ranking, 14th, for Connectivity, which is based on broadband speeds. It was also in the top half for Costs including house prices and Council Tax (equal 21st), Enterprise including sectoral diversity and business start-up and survival rates (23rd), and Well-being including earnings and satisfaction (26th).

However, the town’s overall position was dragged down by being ranked only in 60th place in terms of Talent, covering unemployment, the proportion of people with NVQ4 qualifications and the proportion with no qualifications.

Nationally, Cambridge emerged as the UK’s top town or city outside London for business competitiveness, ahead of its long-term academic rival Oxford in second place and Edinburgh in third.

Cambridge was ranked top for both Enterprise and Talent, equal seventh for Connectivity and ninth for Well-being, its lowest position being equal 27th in terms of Costs.

Norwich was ranked 17th for Well-being, 19th for Enterprise and 25th for Talent, but its overall standing suffered as a result of being placed only equal 44th for Costs and equal 55th for Connectivity.

The other East of England locations included in the study were Southend (ranked 31st), Peterborough (35th) and Luton (46th).

Completing the top rankings nationally, occupying fourth to 10th places respectively, were Crawley, Worthing, Brighton, Reading, Aldershot, Bristol and Solihull.

At the other end of the scale, Sunderland was ranked last in 74th place, with the bottom five being completed, in ascending order, by Barnsley, Oldham, Walsall and Middlesbrough.

A similar study of the 32 London boroughs saw Westminster placed first, Kensington and Chelsea second and Richmond upon Thames third.

Martyn Dawson, regional director for Santander Corporate and Commercial, said: “The future of the economy depends on our businesses and their success and growth.

“Ipswich has many of the key ingredients that help to support its business community and will have an important role to play in its future success.”

The study was conducted by Professor Francis Greene from the Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham,

He said: “This report utilises an extensive range of official data to build a unique picture of the UK, examining the business ‘building blocks’ that help make a town more or less business competitive.”

1 comment

  • Norwich ranked in the top 25 for business ? Is that why in the 21st centrury the main road from London to Norwich the A11 is only just being upgraded from the width of a 2 lane horse and cart track ?

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ipswich’s role as the county town of Suffolk is being questioned, with some suggesting Bury St Edmunds is more deserving of the title.

Arlington’s Brasserie, in Ipswich, has an historic link with the women’s suffrage movement and next week it will host a celebration of International Women’s Day.

A new push is underway to recruit more ‘on call’ firefighters to make up a shortfall of around 40 across the county.

TV antique experts will be at a Suffolk estate today to film an episode of Flog It for the forthcoming series.

Highways England chiefs have said an update on whether the Orwell Bridge will be open or closed to drivers today has been delayed again until around 9.30am.

An unlicensed driver must pay more than £2,500 in compensation after damaging a work colleague’s car before causing a crash and driving off.

Highways England chiefs have said the Orwell Bridge is “highly likely” to close between 10am and 6pm today with gusts of up to 65mph expected on the A14.

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