Reading is the city with the lowest percentage of business closures (0.13%), suggesting this is a hotspot for talented entrepreneurs.  

Stoke-on-Trent lands in second place, with 6,228 new businesses opening in the last five years and just 13 reported closures.

Plymouth lands in third place with just 0.27 percent of new businesses struggling to survive, followed by Welsh capital Cardiff with just 58 closures.

Scottish capital, Edinburgh, also makes the top five cities for successful businesses, with a closure rate of 0.41 percent.

Bradford also deserves an honourable mention, with just 11 closures out of 2,665 openings.

City No. of Reported Openings No. of Reported Closures Percent of Closures
Reading 6,877 9 0.13%
Stoke-on-Trent 6,228 13 0.21%
Plymouth 4,744 13 0.27%
Cardiff 18,232 58 0.32%
Edinburgh 17,372 71 0.41%
Bradford 2,655 11 0.45%
Bristol 17,043 94 0.55%
Northampton 8,993 49 0.55%
Derby 8,109 45 0.56%
Belfast 7,819 62 0.79%

The 10 cities with the least successful new businesses

City No. of Reported Openings No. of Reported Closures Percent of Closures
Southampton 5,337 162 3.04%
Sheffield 13,241 397 3.00%
Birmingham 16,330 333 2.04%
Leeds 15,377 276 1.80%
Manchester 35,525 622 1.75%
London 23,192 320 1.38%
Coventry 12,900 176 1.36%
Newcastle upon Tyne 7,988 96 1.20%
Kingston upon Hull 6,036 62 1.03%
Nottingham 9,863 95 0.96%

The data reveals Southampton is the city with the highest number of closures in comparison to openings between Dec 17 and Dec 22, with 162 of these businesses ceasing trading.

Sheffield is next with 3 percent of closures, followed by Birmingham (2.04%) and Leeds (1.80%).

Interestingly, despite having the highest number of new business openings overall with a staggering 35,525, Manchester is also on this list, as 622 of these companies closed down within five years.

The city of London is also amongst the areas with the least successful new businesses, seeing 1.38 percent of closures.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.