Luton has been named among the UK’s best destinations for entrepreneurial activities, with investors now flocking to the area.
According to the fifth annual UK Vitality Index report from property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), Luton now stands 15th in the UK for its support of entrepreneurial endeavours – a stunning rise through the rankings from 30th position last year.
LSH cited the considerable rise in new businesses opening across the Bedfordshire town as a significant indicator of the growing appetite for investment in Luton. At the same time, the ongoing expansion of Luton Airport is further helping to bolster investor confidence in the local area.
Overall, the £110 million expansion of the airport is predicted to create an additional 10,000 jobs for Luton by the end of the decade, with a 50 per cent increase in capacity for the facility and an associated uplift in travellers passing through the area to boost the local economy.
LSH also stated its belief that Luton is now showing the first signs of a positive response to being granted official Enterprise Zone status in 2015. This combination of factors is therefore helping to drive positive investor sentiment around Luton at present.
Lloyd Spencer, head of office for LSH Milton Keynes and Luton, told Insider Media: “It’s great news to see Luton ranking in The Vitality Index’s Most Entrepreneurial list … and is testament to the inward investment that it is attracting, as well as the commitment to improving the local economy.”
Achieving first position in LSH’s rankings this year was Cambridge, but arguably one of the headline-grabbing features of the report has been the growth in entrepreneurial activities across the north of England.
Manchester in particular has fared extremely well during recent months, now rising to third in the overall LSH rankings due to higher-than-average wage growth and an impressive volume of new business start-ups.
Isabel Watterson, senior analyst at LSH, stated: “While Cambridge has stolen the headlines again, the most striking result this year is the meteoric rise of Manchester.
“The unofficial capital of the Northern Powerhouse is really cementing its position as the UK’s second city, boasting a growing reputation as a hotbed for creative talent and new businesses.”
Indeed, investors in many Northern Powerhouse cities will benefit from improved investment opportunities in the months ahead, with 2018 expected to be a standout year for new developments across the north.