According to research by Barclays bank Bradford is the best city in the UK to start a business.

Research conducted by the banking giant saw Bradford top the leader board ahead of Leicester, Coventry Edinburgh and Liverpool.

Barclays SME’s Growth Factors Index looked at 12 key growth factors such as business rate relief, infrastructure, broadband speed and labour productivity, which are essential to boosting business productivity and growth. It is based on analysis of the 20 largest cities by population size across the UK in which Bradford was ranked first overall, reflecting good performances on road infrastructure (the top ranking), job vacancies (the top ranking), commercial rent costs (the top ranking), and business rate relief (the top ranking).

Caroline Pullich, Head of SME for Yorkshire at Barclays Business Banking said: “It’s really encouraging to see that so many areas offering growth potential are outside of London and the South East, particularly with Bradford ranking as the top city across the UK.

“We undertook this study because we support small companies right across the country, and are keen to help more people start and grow businesses wherever opportunities exist. We’re committed to investing in Bradford’s SMEs and entrepreneurs, evidenced through our recent ‘Invest in Bradford’ business roundtable events with local key business people.

“Entrepreneurs do need to consider the market for their particular company, but an environment that supports growth can make a real difference. The growth factors identified by the research can become even more valuable when small companies start looking to scale up and grow, which is something we particularly encourage.”

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is great news and reflects the hard work the council has put into creating the right business environment.

“Our award-winning City Centre Growth Scheme is recognised as the best rate relief scheme in the country, has supported over 220 companies with business rate rebates and capital grants, and has encouraged 45 new business start-ups.

“The council will continue to support the area’s strong entrepreneurial culture and next year will launch new schemes to roll out enterprise support and rate relief across our district.”

However, despite being ranked first, according to the research Bradford had fewer new start-ups launched in the past six years compared with other cities like Leeds, London and Birmingham. Just 16,800 of businesses have started in Bradford since 2012, 57,000 in London, and 45,000 in Birmingham.  Nevertheless, cities like Bradford have the strongest growth factors which are key to business productivity and growth.