Warrington has been named in a list of the top 10 locations to start a small business in the UK.
The research carried out by Informi studied a range of factors from the 63 largest towns and cities in the UK to determine which created the most friendly environment for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed.
The website focused on categories including amount of highly-skilled workers, affordability of housing and current business stock in the area.
Warrington came tenth overall, with the town having a high business stock of 375 businesses for every 10,000 people. It also performed well in the category of highly qualified workforce, with 37.7% of the working age population holding a qualification at NVQ Level 4 or above.
Brighton came top of the list, due to having high business stock, or total number of businesses, per 10,000 population, strong broadband figures and having a skilled workforce. Edinburgh was second due in part to also having a well-educated population of working age, while third-placed Northampton had a strong number of recent business start-ups.
Other towns and cities to make up the top 20 this year include Bristol, Crawley and Preston. London took fourth spot, but was held back by overall levels of digital connectivity and ranked poorly for the ratio of house prices to average wages.
Steven Drew, spokesperson for Informi said: “Small businesses provide the backbone for the UK’s economic strength, even – perhaps especially – during uncertain times, with the nation holding its collective breath for what any Brexit deal may look like.
“It is in the best interests of every town and city throughout the UK to create the right environment for entrepreneurs as thriving businesses contribute to the wealth and prosperity of local communities.
“However it’s all too well-established a fact that so many SMEs are doomed to fail, due not only to market conditions not working in their favour, but often a lack of awareness of the various steps that owners need to take to help their business get off the ground.
Those thinking of starting a business should seek out support – such as our how to start a business in 20 days eBook – to help them in their early days.”