BRIGHTON has been named as the best place to start a small business in the UK.

The Informi website studied a range of factors from the 63 largest towns and cities to determine which created the most friendly environment for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed.

Brighton had the fourth highest business stock, or total number of businesses, per 10,000 population, of 453 businesses.

We ranked highly for digital connectivity and for the percentage of our population holding a qualification equivalent to NVQ Level 4 or above.

Mick Taylor, director of Brighton gift voucher scheme Goodmoney, said: “Collaboration is at the heart of the sharing economy in Brighton.

“We’re just scratching the surface of what we can achieve, working together for mutual benefit.

“But there’s a huge base of proud independent stores, and locals are keen to support them to ensure that the area continues to thrive.”

Worthing came 15th in the report with Crawley one place below.

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 to help them in their early days.”

Five criteria were researched to put the study together.

These included the number of business start-ups in 2016 per 10,000 population and the housing affordability ratio for 2017.