SOUTHAMPTON has fallen just outside the top 10 in a league table of the UK’s most innovative cities.

The city beat Liverpool, Sheffield, Cardiff and Birmingham in a list compiled by card payments provider Paymentsense.

The report used several measures to rate cities for innovation, giving Southampton a score of 68.7 out of 100.

London topped the table with a score of 86.4.

The authors of the report said: “The port city of Hampshire scored well in all the innovation areas studied – beating cities such as Liverpool, Sheffield and Cardiff.

“With 79 new business start-ups per 10,000 people, the professional landscape in Southampton has continued to grow in recent years.

“The city’s dominant sectors include retail, hospitality, marine and maritime businesses, and professional and financial services.

“Many well known companies have moved into the city such as Starling Bank, PWC and the Department of Work and Pensions, who are all taking advantage of Southampton’s diverse economy, convenient location and talented workforce.” 

The report was based on measures that included the number of start-ups per 10,000 residents, the percentage of the workforce educated to NVQ level four and above, the volume of Google searches for how to start a business, and the number of ideas posted on the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter.

“In Southampton, 39.4 per cent of workers are qualified with an NVQ4 or above,” the report’s authors said.

“The city is often referred to as a university city with over 43,000 students attending Southampton’s higher and further education institutions.

“The University of Southampton also has many initiatives and schemes to support start-ups in the area – especially science and tech businesses,” Paymentsense added.

“Entrepreneurial spirit is also high in Southampton with 760 monthly searches for ‘how to start a business’ by residents each month.

“This is also reflected by the number of kickstarters, with over 319 ideas registered with an average of £12,516 pledged for each – the third largest out of the top 20.”