Home » Preston one of the best places in Britain for small business jobs, new research reveals

Preston one of the best places in Britain for small business jobs, new research reveals

Preston one of the best places in Britain for small business jobs, new research reveals

A view down at Society1 on the co-working area Pic: Society1

Preston has been ranked as the second best city in which to work for a small business in Britain, according to new research compiled by iwoca, one of Europe’s largest small business lenders.

iwoca’s ‘Top 25 Towns and Cities for SME Jobs’ ranks areas using data based on average wage, commute, job density, house price and growth in the number of small businesses, with Peterborough, Preston and Newcastle making up the top three.

Preston scores well for its healthy ratio of jobs available per worker and low house prices. There are 1.11 jobs available for every worker in the city and the median house price in Preston is £155,000.

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For Preston entrepreneurs such as The QS Company owner Jake Suthers, the city’s affordable commercial property and great transport links are just two of the benefits it provides.

Back in December last year, Jake bought Alliance House in Ormskirk Road and has transformed the building into not only the headquarters for The QS Company, but also a number of other consultants.

He said: “There are a lot of buildings in Preston that look great, are affordable and, with a little bit of care and attention, mean you can have a great base in a growing city.

“Preston has great transport links and it was such a proud moment for me to be able to have a proper base here in the city.

“To then be able to handpick other consultants we work with to come and join us at Alliance House was so important as well. It creates a circular economy and is vital as we seek to compete against bigger firms.”

The iwoca research reveals that Preston boasts a high rate of SME growth, with 10 per cent more small businesses in 2023 than in 2018.

Co-working spaces, such as Society1, have become increasing popular post-pandemic Pic: Society1

Average hourly pay has risen by £0.93 in the last year to £18.41, helping Preston rise seven places this year, from ninth to second place.

Mark Whittle from Preston BID, added: “We’re proud to see Preston rising in the ranks and taking the second spot in this national survey. Preston’s small business community continues to grow; showing grit, resilience and passion.

“A huge amount of work has been undertaken of late, and the city has benefitted from significant private sector and government investment in recent years, which undoubtedly has helped Preston on its journey to realising its full potential.”

The city has a number of co-working and small office spaces in the city centre and surrounding areas which have started to grow in recent years, with Society1 on Cross Street, the W_rkspace group which has premises in Ribbleton Lane, Winckley Square, Old Docks House in Ashton-on-Ribble and No.3 Fulwood on the Caxton Road business park.

The W_rkspace group are also due to be part of the Amounderness House development and another major player arriving in the city’s office space scene is OneCoWork with their fit-out of the former Catholic College in Winckley Square.

Local rival Blackburn ranks seventh on the list of hotspots for SME jobs this year, down three places from  2023. Blackburn employees enjoy the second shortest commute in the country, at just 15 minutes, with the town having a low median house price of £132,000, ranking eighth across the UK.

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