Businesses seek lower costs in regional areas

Northampton is revitalising itself and attracting businesses away from London with its lower costs.

Once the shoe manufacturing capital of Britain and a post-war engineering hub, Northampton, like many other regional cities, was hit hard with the decline of UK manufacturing. But lower costs are now attracting Londoners to set up shop.

“You pay a premium for commercial property in London,” says Valeria Mizuno-Turner, founder of The Incredible Bakery, which started in London, and one business which has relocated to Northampton to secure a viable future.

She spotted a poster for the Northamptonshire Locate campaign, while attending a start-up workshop, and began to consider the option of relocating and started to compare the cost of setting up a business outside of London.

Jo Lappin, the chief executive of Locate, says Northampton is “well placed for logistics and has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK.”

The city is home to 25 footwear manufacturers with brands such as Stamp Shoes. The industry employs 9,000 people in the region and the total value of footwear sales is estimated to be £8bn per year.

Household names such as Carlsberg, Weetabix and Barclaycard reside in Northamptonshire. There is also a burgeoning high performance technology industry which employs 21,000 people and contributes £2bn to the UK economy.