NEW research shows Brighton has the highest proportion of creative small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

The city was ranked ahead of London (2nd), Oxford (3rd) and Cambridge (4th) in the Centre for Cities index.

The think-tank found Brighton had the highest proportion of creative SMEs relative to the size of its total SME base, with one in eight SMEs operating in the sector.

Hastings and Worthing also had a high proportion of creative SMEs and were ranked sixth and tenth respectively.

In other measures, Brighton had the third highest density of SMEs overall, with 370 per 100,000 of the population.

It also has the fourth highest number of start-ups per population, with 66.4 per 100,000.

The research showed cities with high numbers of of digital SMEs tended to have wide coverage of superfast broadband.

In Brighton 86 per cent of postcodes have access to super-fast broadband and 12 per cent of SMEs are in the digital sector.

The research shows UK cities which have high numbers of small firms in creative, professional and digital sectors, are also the most successful places in terms of jobs growth, productivity and average wages.

Average productivity per worker ranking the city 19th out of 64.

On average earnings the city was ranked at a lowly 43rd at £447 per week.

As well as showing significant growth in ‘new work’ SMEs, the report highlights these firms have a big impact on the wider city economy by increasing demand and jobs in other sectors such as service-based businesses, retail and leisure.

Phil Jones, managing director of Wired Sussex, said: "Creativity drives the success of our digital sector, but also our independent retailers, our music scene and much more.

"The challenge now is to help those businesses get fair value from their creativity.

"This is what the digital catapult centre in Brighton is focussed on - ensuring digital businesses turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and reap real benefit from them when they do.

"If they are able to do that they will be better able to reinvest in their businesses and also pay the salaries that great talent demands."