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Brighton start-up businesses luring top talent from London
Go-getting entrepreneurs are deserting the capital to forge successful businesses in Brighton and Hove.
According to new figures from UHY Hacker Young, 1,450 new businesses were set up in the city’s BN1 postcode in the last year, placing the area 16th on the list of top 20 areas in the country for new business creation.
The national accountancy group said the growth is due to the area’s reputation as the UK’s technology hub, with the government making major efforts to promote the area as a centre for new technology businesses.
It highlighted tech start-ups headquartered in the area such as Hail-o the international taxi app, Mind Candy responsible for Moshi Monsters and Stylist Pick the online fashion boutique.
According to UHY Hacker Young, many of the hotspots for new business creation are internationally acknowledged clusters of expertise in a particular industry. Major regeneration such as new infrastructure has also been an important trigger.
The findings come as a previous survey focuses on the high number of business failures in the area which experts said was unavoidable given such a high rate of start ups.
Tony Mernagh, executive director at the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: “Unless you are rich and young, and the two rarely coincide, Brighton offers a better work-life balance than London for young professionals.
“Combine that with ambitious companies looking for a creative environment complemented by two of the best universities in the UK and it is hardly any surprise that Brighton is in the top 20 for start-ups.
“And with the recent allocation of Regional Growth Fund funding for business support in the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership region that situation can only get better.
“The UK economy is showing encouraging signs of being on the turn and Brighton is poised to ride high on the wave of recovery.”
Rochelle Rekowski-Donovan scooped the Argus-backed Young Start Ups award.
The young entrepreneur has launched Enjoy Arts, a series of arts and crafts workshops for children.
She said: “The thing about launching a business in Brighton and Hove is how creative and vibrant the business scene is.
“It has a strong sense of local community support. You know people will want try to help you as much as they can.”
Julia Chanteray, president of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brighton and Hove is seeing very high levels of new businesses being set up, with some great new names.
“Some of these are from people who have been in Brighton for a while and some are from people relocating from London.
“This is a very attractive city to do business in, with easy access to all the advantages of London, but with the double advantage of being a great place to live, raise a family and have a great life as well.”
Richard Simmons, partner at UHY Hacker Young’s branch in Church Road, Brighton, said: “The city’s vibrant economy is partly due to an influx of entrepreneurs quitting London in search of lower costs, a better work life balance and an active cultural scene but remaining in easy reach of the capital.”
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