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Top 10 UK cities to start a business in 2022

Business can be like a ride at a theme park. Post-covid most starts ups are cautious in their investments. Certain challenges have been perceived such as utilities increasing, rent, staff and most of all demand. Today we will discuss the top 10 UK cities to start a business in 2022

One of the key triumphs in 2022 to businesses succeeding is where they are best placed with their business. Let’s explore the top 10 UK cities to start a business in 2022 as every city offers something like no other, this can vary from industry expertise, councils, financial support or it’s just a perfect location to enjoy a good brew and work from.

10. Liverpool

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 34.3%
  • Average Salary – £1,641.61
  • Universities – 3
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 14,690

The home to two premier league football clubs, Beatles and a great scenic dock it’s now a favourable place for someone to set up a business in Liverpool. It has the 10th highest active business in 2022 of the cities surveyed and with three universities there is a lot of footfall for a business to draw from.

For restaurants and fast food, they have made their name on some great streets such as Bold Street which has cuisines from the Middle East to American New York Style Pizza. With social media, the street has evolved with influencers regularly attending.

Like many other cities, Liverpool has gone through extensive redevelopment and regeneration, this goal is to encourage businesses to base themselves in the city.

Liverpool is known to back businesses when it comes to funding and support. This gives you greater encouragement if you’re considering starting up in Liverpool.

9. Cardiff

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 37.8%
  • Average Salary – £2,002.39
  • Universities – 2
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 11,975

Cardiff, the Capital of Wales. Not only do the Welsh population have the world cup to look forward to but with Cardiff being placed in 9th of business start up’s they certainly have something else to cheer for as well. Cardiff is renowned as a key force of the Welsh Economy.

Cardiff’s income is down to many sectors including professional services, advanced manufacturing, retail, media, tourism and finance.

Transport is not an issue with a good rail system to other cities along with great public transport within the Cardiff city area.


8. Manchester

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 33.8%
  • Average Salary – £2,306.35
  • Universities – 2
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 23,565

Manchester for years has been a good competition to Birmingham’s claim as the UK’s second city. Historically rising through the textile trade to which the City flourished in work. In 2022, Manchester is the UK’s most invested when it comes to apartments in the city with working professionals preferring the balance of working and starting a business in the comfort of their own home.

Sporting city with football teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Salford FC. Manchester is not short of hosting sporting events with swimming competitions to athletics you can be sure of a sporting event all year round in Manchester.

The Trafford Centre has expanded with more offices around the vicinity, leisure parks, golf and a Skiing range. The shopping centre itself attracts shoppers across the world.

Salford is another great driving factor, home to the BBC, ITV and other media and broadcasting companies it has prominence as a city for media outside of London.

The Hospitality sector in Manchester is another great reason for businesses to start, with areas such as Chorlton, Rusholme, Longsight and Prestwich offering delicacies to attract tourism and families and most of all a good working culture after a long day!

7. Coventry

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 38.1%
  • Average Salary – £2,250.00
  • Universities – 2
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 10,210

Coventry has been a large settlement for centuries. Coventry City Council is helping and backing new businesses with innovation, funding and support.

In recent years gaming professionals and businesses have operated from the city with over 75 active gaming companies. If you’re considering operating in this sector, it would be useful to collaborate or reach out in the area.

Coventry is not short of events, in 2021 it was appointed UK’s City of Culture. In May 2022, Coventry hosted Radio 1’s Big Weekend with A-List stars such as Ed Sheeran, Mabel, AJ Tracey and Harry Styles performing.

The transport links in Coventry are impeccable with strong connections to Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester commuting between is easier than ever.

6. Sheffield

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 41.1%
  • Average Salary – £1,700.00
  • Universities – 2
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 16,345

South Yorkshire’s “Steel City” was made during the Industrial Revolution. Due to the high demand once upon a time for steel and iron manufacturing, Sheffield’s driving income for the business is more diverse with strongholds in advanced manufacturing, digital and creative sectors.

With multiple sporting venues such as Hillsborough, Bramhall Lane and the Crucible theatre for snooker, Sheffield is also home to Meadowhall, a key shopping centre in the region.

The HS2 northern powerhouse scheme is set to improve transport links throughout the UK giving Sheffield businesses easier commute locations.

5. Birmingham

  • 5 Year Survival Rate – 29.9%
  • Average Salary – £2,285.82
  • Universities – 5
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 36,925

Birmingham is the second largest city outside of London in the UK. Again another city which grew during the industrial revolution and became the centre of manufacturing and engineering.

“Brum” known by the local is something of an unknown hero to those living outside of the UK. It is known to have served the inspiration for Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Thomas the Tank Engine. Notably the FA cup was also manufactured first in Birmingham.

Birmingham is influent towards the UK economy, with a state-of-the-art shopping centre named Bullring, one of the UK’s largest and varieties of industries including finance, tourism, retail and digital technologies.

For Businesses, Birmingham is the place to be. When you consider the amount of population, footfall and tourism outside of London it is easily understandable why it is considered a good city to invest in.

4. Bristol

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 41.7%
  • Average Salary – £2,569.67
  • Universities – 2
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 18,725

Bristol’s rise as a city has been unbelievable and the growth is continuing at a rapid pace. It started as a Norman town, Bristol’s urban area population is now the eighth largest in the UK.

Bristol has amazing Victorian-style properties, and buyers and renters flock each to pick up a stunning Victorian terrace in the city’s best areas. The countryside is also at the doorstep due to Bristol being located in the southwest of England.

With a great survival rate for businesses starting up in the UK this can be down to its growth attributed to its amazing universities. The Universities are known for tech and digital talent year after year.

With all the superlatives around Bristol as a City, it is clearly home to a huge number of inspirational offices, corporations and business quarters.

3. Glasgow

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 35.6%
  • Average Salary – £2,805.67
  • Universities – 3
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 19,440

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland however it is not the capital of Scotland, albeit, the city is beautiful and has its own perks for businesses to start up in 2022.

The council has invested heavily known as “The Glasgow City Innovation District” this is their way of encouraging start up’s to invest, develop and bring their innovations to Glasgow. The offer is to make accessible effective technology and expertise across the hub. In 2013, Glasgow was given funding to become a “Future City”. This funding was to complete open data and smart technology using artificial intelligence.

Start up’s in Glasgow can benefit from transport links to nearby cities as well as other destinations in the UK.

2. Leeds

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 40.8%
  • Average Salary – £1,781.40
  • Universities – 4
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 30,390

‘Marching on together’ is the motto for businesses in Leeds. Leeds in 2022 is a good destination for a business to start up in.

For Legal and financial services, outside of London Leeds is the home this. Its economy continues to grow with its diverse industries.

Leeds is in the top 10 biggest cities in the UK, the overall feel does not feel the same like you’re in London where you experience traffic all the time.

Leeds for businesses to travel is ideal with regional and national travel and accessible motorway networks.

1. Edinburgh

  • 5-Year Survival Rate – 40.8%
  • Average Salary – £2,312.50
  • Universities – 4
  • Businesses Active in 2022 – 18,695

Capital of Scotland and the home of government, Edinburgh has plenty of appeal to prospective business owners. A leading financial hub and thriving space in the digital, science and tech industry which is partly down to the University of Edinburgh.

Historically known for some dark arts from Harry Potter and historical interests it is a very popular tourist destination, particularly during the city’s arts and cultural festivals held in August.

Edinburgh prides itself on quality of life and well-being despite its cost of living is high.

In Summary

Location, Location, Location! When starting a business location is an important factor in your success in the long term. Each business has a different need.

Revenue and taking payments are key for a business. If you need a card payments device or a payment gateway then we can certainly help you with a key of products we have to offer for your business.