The best places for innovation in the UK

wazoku Blog

A recent survey, conducted by the Enterprise Research Centre, came up with some interesting (and surprising) results when it comes to which areas of the UK are most innovative. This survey was elaborated by looking at 14,000 SMEs and firms producing “cutting edge” technologies.


On top of the list we can find Oxfordshire, which can be in part explained by students finishing University and getting settled in the region. This is followed closely by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Next in line are Milton Keynes and South East Midlands (centred on Milton Keynes) and Gloucestershire.

London it seems, did not fare well in this survey, as can be attested by not even making it to the top ten. An explanation for this would be the fact that a great proportion of the businesses enquired operate in law and finance, industries that are very tightly regulated and therefore, less agile and able to innovate.


As for the least innovative areas, they are Eastern Scotland, Northern Ireland and Cumbria. Also Manchester, which is commonly thought as leader in the North came at a surprising low position, with the Tees Valley coming up in number seven on the list.

Professor Stephen Roper, who led the ERC research said: “Innovation is strongly linked to growth, exporting and productivity – all areas in which the UK economy needs to improve if we want to boost our international competitiveness. The significant variation between different parts of the UK suggests that some localities are succeeding in creating a more innovation-friendly environment than others.”