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Milton Keynes is UK’s most competitive city

Milton Keynes has topped the UK Competitive Index for 2023, which ranks places on how well they’re set up to help businesses flourish.

Milton Keynes was named the nation’s most competitive city in the new study from academics at the University of Cardiff and Nottingham Business School.

They measured UK places for their attractiveness to investors and businesses, based on the number of business start-ups and ‘knowledge based’ businesses (including in finance and technology) and the productivity of workers among other factors.

Milton Keynes has high levels of entrepreneurship with 62.3 business registrations per 10,000 people compared to 54.3 in the UK as a whole. A third of MK businesses are classed as knowledge based, relying on innovative practices, technology and/or skilled employees. Nationally, less than a quarter of businesses are knowledge based.

Ten years ago, Milton Keynes was ranked 43 in the Index, and the city has risen steadily through the ranks since then, competing with long-established cities like Cambridge and Manchester (placed third and fifth this year respectively).

“We know that Milton Keynes is greatly attractive to business, especially the kind of innovative firms who are creating high-quality jobs to make the most of our local skilled workforce. We’ll keep encouraging investment, helping companies to put down roots and grow, and giving our support where it’s needed, such as our recent multi-million pound fund to promote economic recovery.” - Cllr Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of MK City Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Looking ahead, the report predicts Milton Keynes will have one of the highest long-term growth rates in the UK outside of London.


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