If you want your start-up to succeed, move to Bristol

Bristol has the highest number of start-ups surviving beyond the five-year mark, as shown by new research. Where does your home city rank?

Bristol has the best five-year business survival rate, according to new statistics from BusinessComparison.com.

Supported by recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, the study shows that just four in ten UK start-ups survive their first five years in business.

To identify the most prosperous city for start-ups, researchers looked at the how many businesses were started in UK cities in 2013 and how many were still going in 2018.

In Bristol, 44.4pc of new start-ups survive to the five-year mark, with an economy based on the creative media, electronic and aerospace industries. The only other cities who were above the UK average of 42.43pc were Brighton and Hove (44.1pc) and Leeds (42.9pc).

RankTown/cityNew start-ups in 2013Five-year survival Five-year survival rate
1Bristol2,5701,14044.36pc
2Brighton and Hove1,96086544.13pc
3Leeds3,8951,67042.88pc
4Sheffield2,14591542.66pc
5Cardiff1,66570542.34pc
6Bournemouth91038542.31pc
7Edinburgh2,7301,15042.12pc
8Bolton1,38058042.03pc
9Bradford2,25094542pc
10Aberdeen1,44560541.87pc

>See also: The essential guide to starting a business in Bristol

Plymouth is languishing at the bottom of the list with the lowest start-up survival rate in the UK. Fewer than one in three (30.7pc) new ventures last beyond five years.

RankTown/cityNew start-ups in 2013Five-year survivalFive-year survival rate
21Kingston upon Hull89034538.76pc
22Stoke-on-Trent87033538.51pc
23Nottingham1,33551038.2pc
24Newcastle upon Tyne1,19545538.08pc
25Manchester3,3851,27037.52pc
26Glasgow City2,8301,06037.46pc
27Northampton1,44552035.99pc
28Liverpool2,25080535.78pc
29Portsmouth90532035.36pc
30Plymouth1,09033530.73pc

Unsurprisingly, the south west was the region with the highest business survival rate at 45.6pc. Each of the three regions with the highest survival rate were located in the south, with 44.7pc in the east of England and 44.6pc in the south east. London contradicts this trend with a survival rate of 39.3pc, the lowest of any UK region.

Northern and Scottish businesses found it harder to reach five years, with 41.9pc surviving in the north west, 41.7pc in Scotland and 41.1pc in the north east.

Which industries have the best chance of survival?

Drinks manufacturers (53pc), residential care (52pc) and the creative arts and entertainment industry (52pc) had among the highest five-year survival rate in the study.

RankIndustryNew start-ups in 2013Five-year survivalFive-year survival rate
1Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products55100pc
2Activities of membership organisations 1,23073559.76pc
3Manufacture of beverages31016553.23pc
4Residential care activities55529052.25pc
5 Creative, arts and entertainment industries2,8451,48552.20pc
6Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products32516550.77pc
7Legal and accounting activities 8,5804,33050.47pc
8=Water collection, treatment and supply10550pc
8=Programming and broadcasting activities26013050pc
8=Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities1306550pc

Petrol and fuel refineries (100pc) undoubtedly performed well, but the industry is an outlier as only five such businesses started up in 2013, and all of them survived.

Meanwhile, insurance (13pc) and clothes manufacturers (30pc) are proving to have a tough time, as well as various niches within the mining sector.

Need to find the right city for your start-up? Check out these city guides featured in the top 10:

The essential guide to starting a business in Leeds
The essential guide to starting a business in Cardiff
Starting a business in Edinburgh: A small business guide

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Start-ups