Nottingham has been recognised as a leading European business destination, winning awards for connectivity and business friendliness, according to the FDI European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19.
The awards seek to identify ‘the most promising cities and regions across the whole of Europe’, assessing international cities on economic potential, business friendliness, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness, and connectivity, to identify the key business destinations across the continent. Nottingham’s double successes are testament to two of its key strengths.
Nottingham was ranked the second highest in the UK for connectivity. It has long been regarded as a very well-connected city in terms of transport, with an award-winning public transport system; NCT holds the record of being the only bus operator to have won UK Bus Operator of the Year four times. Nottingham is less reliant on cars than other UK cities, and was recently held up by the Guardian as an example of a city that is pioneering in its approach towards city centre parking and public transport (Oxford and Cambridge are now following Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy model).
This connectivity is excellent for Nottingham’s business, allowing workforces to travel quickly and efficiently into the city on the expansive tram, bus and rail network, avoiding rush hour traffic and high city centre parking charges. This makes it more eco-friendly and a model for others to follow in the years to come.
Its technological infrastructure is also impressive. Nottingham boasts Gigabit status; it has the second highest UK percentage of properties achieving ultrafast broadband (89.5%), and superfast broadband is now available to 98% of properties in Nottinghamshire – two points higher than the national average, according to BT. Nottingham was also selected as one of the UK cities to receive 5G mobile broadband in 2020, which is expected to have a positive impact on areas such as virtual business conferencing.
Nottingham also ranked highly for business friendliness. The UK performed well overall in this area, with Nottingham ranked as the ninth best city in Europe. Nottingham has attracted several new businesses in the last year such as Malcolm Hollis, and has seen a major expansion of HMRC. The business friendliness ranking includes the ease with which businesses are able to grow, and Nottingham was the only Midlands city with businesses featured in Deloitte’s UK Fast 50 2018 – Impression and Lockwood Publishing. Nottingham were also recognised as a tech scale-up location within the 2018 Tech Nation report.
Invest in Nottingham have been instrumental in attracting new businesses to the region, supporting them to locate suitable office premises and providing information about the area, as well as working hard to strengthen existing relationships with local businesses. Nottingham is an appealing destination for businesses, thanks to its large pool of working age residents, its world-class universities (and associated talent pools) and the quality of life of its inhabitants, who benefit from affordable house prices and comparatively high disposable income.
Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive of Marketing NG, said:
“It is no surprise to us that Nottingham has been recognised as a leading city in these areas. These awards help to strengthen Nottingham’s identity as a well-connected and business-friendly city, which will be further reinforced by the transformational developments in the southern gateway of the city centre in the next few years. We look forward to driving further growth and innovation in the years to come.”