BRIGHTON and Hove has ranked as the second best place in the country to start a business.

In a new report, Brighton and Hove was found to be in the group of leading “spearhead” cities for enterprise in Great Britain.

Research found the city performs 31.8 per cent higher than average for successful new business start-ups.

The report, titled Unleashing Great British Enterprise, was compiled by a former Bank of England economist for the digital firm Atos.

Brighton and Hove came in second to Reading, and ahead of Cambridge, Cheltenham and Oxford in the top five.

The research concentrated on how 43 towns and cities performed according to six factors which influence the success of start-ups, such as skills levels and population diversity.

The analysis also looked at overall business survival rates.

Brighton and Hove scored highly in four of the six indicators, including having a high rate of self-employed workers and workers holding good qualifications, as just over half of the skilled workforce was found to have qualifications of NVQ level 4 or above.

Brighton was also in the top ten towns and cities for population diversity, which has a positive effect on entrepreneurship, according to the World Economic Forum.

The report found that embracing digital technology is critical for SMEs and start-ups to flourish.

Adrian Gregory, chief executive of Atos in the UK and Ireland said: “We should be proud that the UK is a dynamic entrepreneurial nation, but we can always do more to help the whole country fulfil its potential.

“Embracing digital technology and helping businesses use it more effectively is key. If we can do that, then Great Britain could benefit from a £34 billion boost to the economy, as well as helping the country fulfil its entrepreneurial potential.”