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Leeds has 72% more startups than Manchester (& more than the City of London)

By wizu | 02 September 2021

New data released today (2nd Sept 2021) from the Office for National Statistics has shown that Leeds is home to a staggering 72% more startups businesses (between 0-5 years old) than Manchester, despite having a 31% smaller population size.

And it’s not just Manchester. Even more intriguing is that Leeds has 24% more startups than the City of London (17,920 vs 13,540) and 25% more businesses overall in comparison to the capital city. 

Largest cities in the UK

The data below compares the population sizes of the top 5 cities in the UK. We can see that Leeds has a population of 1,889,095 compared to Manchester’s much greater 2,730 076.

Position City Population
1 London 9,304,016
2 Manchester 2,730 076
3 Birmingham 2,607 437
4 Leeds 1,889,095
5 Glasgow 1 673, 332

Population data taken from Statista for 2020.

Cities with the highest number of startups in the UK

The below table details the number of businesses between 0-5 years old, 5+ years and the total number of businesses in the top 5 cities in the UK.

Number of businesses between 0-5 years Number of businesses over 5 years Number of businesses overall
Birmingham 18,375 19,995 38,370
Leeds 17,920 12,265 30,185
City Of London 13,540 10,480 24,020
Manchester 10,390 12,455 22,845
Glasgow 10,515 8,900 19,415

Data taken from the Office of National Statistics showing the count of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises by age of business.

What does this mean for Leeds?

Tom Almas, Joint Founder of leading Yorkshire flexible workspace provider, Wizu, which has four sites in Leeds explains:

“The latest data demonstrates how Leeds is an engine for growth and a city which continues to be a thriving hub for growing businesses.”

“We’ve seen from our own experience over the last year how businesses have gone from strength to strength despite the struggles of the pandemic; it’s a testament to Leeds’ dynamic and hardworking attitude. It’s no wonder we’ve seen big brands like Channel 4 choosing to move their HQ here.”



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