Brighton has long enjoyed a reputation as a creative, dynamic city, regularly coming at the top of lists for the best places in which to live or work in the UK. More recently, Brighton has achieved the status of a thriving business hub, providing a number of opportunities, particularly for SMEs and tech companies. So what is it about this city that makes it so attractive to entrepreneurs?
Here are 5 reasons why Healys LLP suggests that Brighton is one of the best cities to be if you want to be successful in business:
In Brighton there really is something for everyone …
You don’t have to travel far in Brighton to get a sense of its individuality and understand its wide and enduring appeal. The historical lanes and boutique shops are popular with residents and day-trippers alike; and whether you’re a student, a tech-savvy geek, an enterprising entrepreneur or none of the above, there really is something for everyone. With a vibrant music and arts scene and renowned diversity, it is little wonder that it is known as London-by-the-sea. Brighton is an inclusive and progressive city, offering choice for all, especially with regard to alternative lifestyles and emerging trends.
The way that Brighton caters for the ‘alternative’ is also apparent in how business is done. In 2018, Cityscapes reported that millennials in particular are embracing more sustainable lifestyles and this is reflected in how they do business. Peter Madden, chief executive of Future Cities Catapult, recently cited Brighton when reporting that, “the greenest cities correlate quite well with economically successful cities.”
Start Up Business Opportunities
Despite a climate of uncertainty in the run-up to Brexit , Brighton’s economy has experienced strong growth in recent years. The economy as a whole comprises over 16,000 businesses and 140,000 jobs, representing 1 in 3 jobs in the city region.
In the last 4 years, Brighton has received some remarkable accolades. It has been named the UK’s most entrepreneurial city and was judged by the Association of Accounting Technicians to be the UK city best suited for starting a business. Last year, Brighton was not only ranked as the country’s start-up capital by Lloyd’s Bank, but was also named the best place to start a new business in a study undertaken by Informi.
There is a lot of support available to a start-up business in Brighton: Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, the Sussex Innovations Centre, Natwest Accelerator and Platform 9 are just a few examples of business communities that provide local entrepreneurs with advice, professional connections, office space and other support services that increase the chances of success for local businesses.
Karen Lord, a Corporate Partner at Healys LLP in Brighton, hosts regular legal advice clinics for tenants at the Sussex Innovation Centre.
Karen Lord says:
“I have been involved with SINC for nearly 20 years and I am always fascinated by the business ideas coming out of it. Having the opportunity to meet some of Sussex’s aspiring and leading entrepreneurs, explore their business plans and help them grow is fun and extremely rewarding too.”
A Digital Advantage
Seen as a fertile market for tech firms, Brighton has developed into a successful digital technology hub.
In the last 5 years the ICT and digital sector has grown by over 40%, and Brighton’s share of immersive technology companies is 4 times greater than the national average, according to an Immerse UK report. Companies in Brighton are more likely than those in other cities to specialise in content and media production. Brighton has strong digital connectivity; it is the 4th best provider of ultrafast broadband in the UK and was one of 6 cities chosen in 2018 to host 5G testbeds, allowing SMBs in the area to test the next generation network ahead of a national roll-out.
The Millennial Hustler
Brighton is a city that never sleeps. According to the BBC in 2018, Brighton is home to a generation of “side hustlers” – young entrepreneurs who operate their own business projects alongside their main job. BBC News have reported this to be a millennial trend, with 37% of millennials thought to be running some kind of side-line project and becoming more creative in terms of how they can earn extra income.
Recent statistics from the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership show that there have been nearly 100 commercial to residential permitted development applications in Brighton & Hove since 2014, the 7th highest figure for all local authority areas outside London.
Development supports jobs, creativity and economic growth and this is encouraged by Brighton & Hove Council, who work closely with organisations such as Wired Sussex and Design Brighton to achieve this.
Design Brighton is a UK festival recently launched in Brighton to celebrate the city’s revolutionary urban design and the role that architects, developers, creatives and designers play in shaping, defining and rejuvenating the built environment. The inaugural Design Brighton festival will take place in April 2020 with the aim of building on the city’s reputation as a fantastic place to invest, live, learn, work, stay and succeed. Such projects are indicative of Brighton’s status as a burgeoning local economy supported by a network of collaborative events, and demonstrate the close-knit, co-operative community.
Healys is Here to Help Your Business …
Whether you’re a technology-driven nerd, an arts lovie or a millennial hustler, there is a wealth of creativity and business opportunities to take advantage of.
Sophie Macarthy, Commercial Property Partner, at Healys says:
“Healys has a strong track record of working with local business but until recently this has been mainly through our head office in London. We recognise and are excited by the business opportunities Brighton has to offer and are responding by growing our team of commercial lawyers in our Old Steine office. We are here to help anyone who wants to start or grow their business especially those in the tech sector. We can answer your business and property law related questions to help your business thrive in Brighton.”
Healys LLP has been operating in Brighton & Hove for over 38 years. Their expert solicitors have extensive experience of helping businesses on a local, national and international basis. To find out more about how their commercial and corporate legal specialists can support your business, please contact Karen Lord and Sophie Macarthy today on 01273 685 888 or visit their website at: www.healys.com.