SOUTHAMPTON is among the best places in the UK to work for a small business, research has found.

The city came eighth in a league table based on indicators such as the growth in small and medium-sized businesses, hourly wages and commuting times.

Glasgow came top of the first Top 25 Towns and Cities for SME Jobs, published by business lender iwoca. London, weighed down by high house prices and long commutes, was not on the list.

Southampton scored highly for growth in small and medium sized enterprises, which increased in number by 63 per cent from 2016-21.

The researchers said: “With a portfolio of upcoming projects including a new £55million cruise ship terminal, an £18.5m scheme for work on the city centre, and a new regeneration scheme, Southampton is a natural centre for small business jobs in the UK.”

The league table, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, found workers in Southampton had an average commuting time of 26 minutes and an average hourly wage of £19.91.

Job density – the number of jobs per person – was 0.77, while the average house price was £226,000.

Southampton beat every other city in the South East except Crawley. Portsmouth came 16th on the list, falling down on hourly wage.

Christoph Rieche, iwoca’s chief executive and co-founder said: “The pandemic has fundamentally changed the life choices we make.

“It has changed the way we work, where we want to be based and has made many people across the country consider if their current career or company they work for is the right one for them.

“The big corporations grab the headlines and have the profile, but it’s the small businesses who are making this country tick.

“It’s really fantastic to see Southampton featured so highly in the top spots for SME jobs. Britain’s thriving small businesses can be found in all corners of this country, creating jobs that make a real difference to communities, supporting the growth of local economies.”

The top 10 cities in the league table were: 1 Glasgow City; 2 Manchester; 3 Derby; 4 Liverpool; 5 Newcastle upon Tyne; 6 Dundee City; 7 Crawley; 8 Southampton; 9 Warrington; 10 Salford.