Stoke-on-Trent has been named as one of the most attractive locations in the UK to launch a new business.
Entrepreneurs looking for premises will be attracted to its thriving high street and its affordability, according to a survey.
The city was ranked fifth in the rankings of a market assessment by asset finance brokerage Approved Business Finance.
The survey team took into account average commercial rentals and footfall recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The average monthly cost of commercial spaces in Stoke-on-Trent (£690) is by far the lowest of the top 20 locations.
Also factored in were its number of closed banks (0) and vacant commercial units (17).
Stoke-on-Trent notched up a Business Potential Score of 340 out of 500.
Judged to be the top three most attractive locations were Plymouth (381), Dundee (348) and Sunderland (346).
Mark Kozo, Marketing Director at Approved Business Finance, said: “It’s no surprise that the slightly smaller cities are looking more promising with cheaper rent and higher footfall.
“With the current financial climate, many people have relocated to more inexpensive cities to start a new business which can be pricey and using asset finance can help with increasing costs in rent and stock.
“There is a significant amount of pressure on retailers and as the data reveals the cities that tend to have the higher rental prices will most likely see the biggest increase in vacant retail spaces.
“With the impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, a significant number of businesses across the country are facing financial challenges and data like this reveals the cities that are bouncing back and the ones that aren’t.”