A LIST of start-up hotspots has revealed Hove as one of the most dynamic postcodes outside London.

BN3 is one of only three areas outside the capital to feature in a top 20 for new firms.

Nearly 2,000 start-ups were registered in Hove in 2013/14 – up 27% on the previous year, according to research by accountants UHY Hacker Young.

The findings put Hove second outside London and 10th overall.

UHY Hacker Young said many would be one-man-band IT contractors.

Richard Simmons, a partner based at the Brighton offices, said: “Hove and Brighton are developing a very strong niche in providing outsourcing services to the financial services and media and technology businesses based in London.

“That has led to an ever bigger crop of small one or two-man band businesses being started up who do subcontract work for bigger suppliers. In time many of these small businesses will grow and take on new employees.

“The high ranking for Hove is really good news for the area.”

Tony Mernagh, executive of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: “It doesn’t surprise me that Hove is a hotspot. First of all the demographic of Hove has changed markedly from the days when it was considered a place for old people.

“It is probably full of bright young things who have fled London and have ideas coming out of their ears.

“It also probably benefits from Brighton overspill although I imagine that will be quite a controversial statement in Hove.”

Mike Herd, executive director of Sussex Innovation Centre, said: “It’s great to see the wealth of start-up and freelance talent in Hove recognised in this way.

“What we want to see is the most ambitious of these entrepreneurs finding the resources, investment and support to become real high-growth businesses of the future.”

But Darren Fell, MD of Crunch Accounting, a start-up success story from Hove, suggested a statistical anomaly could be at play.

The firm is responsible for Golimited.co which offers free registration for Crunch customers, meaning a disproportionate number could be registered at the firm’s Hove address.

He said: “Our own research has shown Hove is very strong with lots of micros. But I don’t think Hove is going mad with start-ups. We’ve been doing a lot of incorporations through Golimited and we definitely feel this could be skewing the results.”