Staines is better known for Sacha Baron Cohen’s iconic parody Ali G. But news broke today that the sleepy, Surrey, commuter belt town has enjoyed the biggest increase in new businesses per capita in the last year.
According to a study carried out by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, 43 new businesses were created. This is three times the UK average of just 14.
Allegedly it is the town’s proximity to the ‘Silicon Corridor’ – perhaps the latest UK location to adopt the moniker – along the M4. This, apparently, is responsible for boosting the town’s revenue, and for attracting tech talent.
“Staines offers the perfect mix of proximity to London, low rents, and a fast-growing community of start-ups” says Colin Jones, partner at UHY Hacker Young.
But Staines’ success is not as unusual as it seems. It seems the home counties dominate when it comes to business growth. Indeed Sleaford, Lincolnshire, is another unassuming town that registers as a hot spot for start-up growth – according to the study.
In spite of Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse drive, the study found only two of the top twenty areas for start-up growth to be in the North. These were Trafford, outside Manchester, and Sefton, outside Liverpool.