Ipswich named among best places in UK to start a business

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden have opened the Geek retreat in Ipswich, a games hub full of fun thin

Geek Retreat was one of many businesses which opened in Ipswich in 2021. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

New data suggests that Ipswich is the fifth-best place in the United Kingdom to start a business.

Analysis of ONS (Office for National Statistics) data by the School of Marketing shows a high success rate and entrepreneurial spirit in the town, with around 14 new businesses opened per ten lost in 2021.

It shows that last year, 925 new businesses were opened, while 635 were lost.

Geek Retreat, a board game café on Upper Brook Street, was one business that opened in the town in October 2021.

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden who opened the venue, said: "Ipswich is an amazing, vibrant and diverse town with so many brilliant people and local businesses.

"We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the amazing support of our local community.

"Ipswich Central, especially the rangers, have been so supportive, too. By having this group in our town they can support local businesses and assist if there are any issues,  promote activities going on and develop cooperative partnerships.

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden have opened the Geek retreat in Ipswich, a games hub full of fun thin

Sharon Lockhart and Rob Harden, who opened Geek Retreat in Upper Brook Street in 2021. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"We’ve also had brilliant support from local press and organisations.

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"Setting up and running your own business is extremely hard work but if you’re ready for the challenge Ipswich is a great place to have a crack at it!"

Chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce John Dugmore said: “Once again, in survey after survey, Ipswich proves itself to be a dynamic centre of entrepreneurial endeavour and true business grit.

"This 2021 figure is especially encouraging given how tough trading conditions were for many sectors due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is yet further evidence that Suffolk as a whole is a growing economic powerhouse.

"Suffolk Chamber works closely with other business bodies and local councils to ensure that there is as joined up and collaborative ecosystem as possible to help start-ups become the scale-ups of the future.

"We would urge these new businesses to contact us, if they haven’t already done so, to see how we – and others – might be able to help them.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce