Northampton hits back at claim town is among worst places for start-up businesses in UK
Business leaders in Northampton have hit back at the suggestion that the town is in the bottom five places in the UK for start-ups.
Roughly 36 per cent of the 1,445 companies launched in Northampton in 2013 were still going five years later, according to a new study from Office of National Statistics figures.
The rate places the town fourth-worst in BusinessComparison.com's analysis - the national average is 42.3 per cent.
“Northampton is ideally placed for businesses because it has great links, particularly to the industrial capitals of London and Birmingham," he said.
"There is a great spirit amongst the entrepreneurs in the area and a fantastic ‘can do’ attitude.
“As a result in recent years the town has often been cited as one of the most popular places in the UK to start a new business and this may in part account for some of these figures.
"In addition, we often see new businesses merge with other new start-ups.
"In these instances, it would appear as though two businesses have closed when actually they have joined together to create a larger, more successful firm.
"Figures can often fail to give you the true picture.”
Friends and Northampton locals, Josh Codner and Nathan Clarke, started Flux Media, a video production and drone services company, just over a year ago.
Josh said being based in Moulton has helped their growth as the borough is less crowded than some of the more popular tech hubs like London, Bristol and Manchester.
"The main challenge in Northampton is getting people to spend money," he said.
"While there are a lot of businesses that would like our services, many are reluctant to spend money.
"But I do think Northampton is quite a good place for the sort of stuff we do in the digital sector and it's got good transport links too."
Flux has benefitted from grants the founders discovered through the University of Northampton and help from Northampton Borough Council and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
Josh said he completely disagrees with BusinessComparison analysis: "There are plenty of opportunities here at least in the digital sector and lots of other businesses doing well."
Kerry Fawcett frpm BusinessComparison.com said its research had some unexpected findings, with London not making the top 15.
"It doesn’t mean that Northampton itself is a bad place for a startup; it’s just behind other cities and towns in the UK for five year success rates according to the latest data we have analysed; meaning many acting still in business a few years altering setting up," she said.
"Northampton has the potential to improve as long as there is the support network and opportunity; as location and connectivity wise it is a great placed town.”