Business travel to the capital from Northampton by train has increased by 130 percent over the last four years, according to a new study of small and medium-sized firms.
Trainline for Business, which completed the survey, said the resuts showed that Northampton was "one of the fastest growing hubs in the country for budding entrepreneurs and growing enterprises".
SME rail business travel across the UK has increased by 65% since 2012. Other cities on the list of top emerging business hubs across the UK include Brighton, Swindon and Oxford.
Top of the table with 230 percent growth was Brighton, while Peterborough had a 166 percent rise and Leamington Spa was up by 121 percent.
According to Dr Alasdair Rae, Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, who verified the Trainline for Business data, the growth in travel to and from these destinations suggests a growing appetite for SMEs to be based outside of London:
“Trainline’s data on rail business travel provides a compelling and timely insight into the geography of SMEs across the country. It’s clear that something significant is happening in terms of the growing number of SMEs choosing to do business outside London.
“With cheaper rents, quick access to the capital and highly skilled local labour markets, many SMEs appear to be taking advantage of key cities across the UK, with Northampton proving particularly popular. Yes, the capital remains the brightest star in the UK economy, but there is a constellation of smaller towns and cities upon which our economy also depends," he added.