Initially written by Anna Jordan on Small Enterprise

Except you reside there already, Nottingham will not be in your checklist of potential cities for beginning a enterprise.

It’s the land of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest and two soccer grounds that are unreasonably shut collectively.

However Nottingham can also be a quickly rising metropolis business-wise. It has two universities – Nottingham Trent and the College of Nottingham – which have an actual give attention to employability. The schools are actually working collectively to offer a powerful expertise pool by way of the Universities for Nottingham initiative.

Laurie Hannant, associate at BDO LLP within the East Midlands, stated:

“Nottinghamshire has a historical past of innovation that has yielded innovations as various as ibuprofen, the magnetic resonance imaging scanner, HP sauce and visitors lights.

“The area is incubating and nurturing its start-ups and scale-ups effectively with programmes and initiatives being run out of the schools.

“A latest report we carried out in Nottingham discovered that corporations inside the retail and wholesale sector are rising the quickest. Companies inside the manufacturing and industrial sectors are additionally faring effectively, rising at a median of 22laptop over the previous three years.”

Should you’re relocating it’s a special matter, so let’s discover the important life-style components of residing in Nottingham.


ONS mid-year estimates for 2018 point out that Nottingham’s resident inhabitants is 331,100, up by 1,860 since 2017. The bulk are working age (16-64) at 230,700, with a major variety of folks aged Zero-17 (68,700) and college college students (43,300, or about one in eight of the inhabitants). What’s extra, half of the inhabitants are beneath 30. When it comes to gender, there are extra males than females by fairly a major margin at 168,100 and 162,900 respectively.

Sadly, it has a excessive inhabitants churn, with 31,020 arriving and 32,850 leaving. Virtually 35laptop of kids and 25.8pc of individuals aged 60+ are affected by revenue deprivation. Charges of automotive possession are additionally low which may put you at an obstacle when you’re primarily based on the outskirts – a major two in 5 don’t have entry to a automotive.

Crime price

Within the yr ending December 2018, Nottingham had a price of 132.26 recorded crimes per 1,000 inhabitants. Police figures present that that is about common in contrast with comparable cities together with Norwich (126.05) and Newcastle upon Tyne (146.30). Manchester is the worst of this group at 172.77 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants. Crime charges have elevated throughout Nottingham since 2015.

Home costs

Rightmove says that the general common home value in Nottingham is £200,958, up 4pc on 2017.


The Scarborough Tourism Financial Exercise Monitor (STEAM) says that the variety of guests to Nottingham and the county elevated by 1.3pc to 35.89 million in 2017, up from 35.42 million in 2016. The worth of tourism additionally went up three.6pc from £1.814bn in comparison with £1.751bn within the earlier yr.

Transport hyperlinks

Nottingham is well-connected, with loads of hyperlinks across the metropolis and to neighbouring communities corresponding to Mansfield, Newark, Retford, Southwell and Worksop.

Alternatively, you possibly can hop on a tram. The Nottingham Categorical Transit (NET) is a simple approach to get to purchasing and leisure amenities in addition to travelling between vacationer points of interest. You’ve acquired 5 stops within the metropolis centre and the service itself stretches out so far as Hucknall and Clifton.

Town is serviced by:

East Midlands Trains (Worksop)
Cross Nation Trains (cities inside Nottinghamshire)
Northern Rail (direct companies to Nottingham from Sheffield, Leeds, Barnsley and Chesterfield)

Buses function from Nottingham’s Broad Marsh and Victoria bus station with buses offered by Nottingham Metropolis Transport. Should you’d desire, you possibly can seize a taxi exterior Nottingham Station going into Victoria Centre and subsequent to the Outdated Market Sq..

Nottingham Metropolis Airport sadly doesn’t supply business flights. Your nearest is East Midlands Airport which is 15 minutes between Nottingham and Lengthy Eaton by practice. The Skylink bus is an alternative choice which might take you to well-liked locations across the space. For many who need to take their very own wheels, it’s 25 minutes by automotive.

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Flights principally go to European locations corresponding to Antalya (Turkey), Dublin and Malta. You too can go to New York, Montego Bay (Jamaica), Hurghada (Egypt) and extra.

SME funding

The D2N2 Development Hub provides assist within the type of recruiting and coaching, monetary grants, networking and enterprise development. It’s aimed toward companies who’re each beginning and rising and features a free enterprise well being test. Get in contact with them to search out out extra about native entry to finance, apprenticeship grants and information on nationwide grants.

Nottinghamshire County Council runs the Digital Development Programme Grant Scheme as a part of the D2N2 Digital Development Programme. Its purpose is to assist rising companies to discover and introduce new and rising ICT services or products into their companies to enhance competitiveness, productiveness and to reap business alternatives.

If these aren’t for you, take a look at the NBV Grant for Enterprise which provides grants between £1000 and £2500. Funding is for the expansion and improvement of present micro, small and medium-sized companies primarily based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Larger Lincolnshire which are at present buying and selling. The grant can be utilized for enterprise or consultancy companies.

First Enterprise works with companies within the East Midlands space, offering enterprise loans between £500 and £150,000 in addition to enterprise recommendation and coaching.

Nottingham Trent College has lent to 800+ SMEs within the final three years. They supply two units of funding – one for SMEs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and one for SMEs nationwide. As you possibly can guess, these schemes are open to graduates.

The nationwide scheme is offered by Santander and is a part-funded SME internship programme which permits entry to a £1,000 grant when recruiting an NTU candidate. The grant will part-fund their wage for a six-week interval. The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire providing is a £1,000 grant to part-fund a graduate’s wage for a six-week interval.

NTU provides a Data Switch Partnership as effectively – learn our information to search out out extra about Data Switch Partnerships.

What the entrepreneurs take into consideration beginning a enterprise in Nottingham

We may reel off stats all we like, however it’s most likely extra useful so that you can hear from the individuals who have launched companies within the metropolis.

Patrick Tonks, proprietor and artistic director of Nice Bean Baggage, explains how Nottingham is a perfect dwelling for the textile business.

Patrick started Great Bean Bags in Nottingham after manufacturing other products
Nottingham was already dwelling to an present textile facility of ours that predominantly manufactured plane seats and hospital mattresses. In 2005 the thought of producing bean baggage got here up (throughout a Friday afternoon post-work beer!), Nice Bean Baggage was created and we haven’t appeared again since.

It’s been a tremendous journey to date and we couldn’t think about being anyplace else however Nottingham.

Alternatives and challenges

Textile manufacturing has lengthy had a headwind within the UK, so the problem has all the time been there. Competitors from cheaper abroad suppliers has all the time been the principle problem which now we have combated the one manner we are able to; by having authentic and modern designs, good high quality uncooked supplies and wonderful customer support. Briefly, not competing within the ‘race to the underside’ and specializing in what we do greatest.

Nottingham is a centre for textiles courting again to the lace commerce within the 1800s, so there’s loads of expertise. It continues to be a hub for textiles and the town continues to be a wealthy pool of people that know a factor or two about stitching. Extra persons are coming by way of the faculties, schools and universities too, all eager to get into the textiles business.

Open to everybody
To place it merely, Nottingham is improbable. It’s a vibrant metropolis, plus it has nice purchasing and good nightlife. There are alternatives right here to pursue completely different trades and disciplines and it’s welcoming to all that need to give it a go. And naturally, it’s the UNESCO Metropolis of Literature, which is kind of the accolade.

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Rising sectors

Nottingham has developed its inventive quarter not too long ago; it’s an initiative aimed toward creating inventive and digital start-ups. It has loved nice success, nurturing small companies and providing assist the place wanted, whereas creating creatives within the space and permitting them the outlet to strive one thing new.

I’d inform any entrepreneur who desires to launch in Nottingham to go for it. Should you fail, and there’s an opportunity you’ll as a result of there are all the time hurdles to leap over, it’s OK since you’ve discovered to select your self up and go for it once more, armed along with your new-found information. Take this and repeat – it would all be worthwhile.

Wayne Oakes and Raj Somal opened the primary workplace of their structural engineering agency, Cube, earlier in 2019.

Raj and Wayne started Dice in Nottingham last year

Each Raj and I’ve a powerful reference to Nottingham – I used to be born right here and Raj went to college right here.

Regardless of not being the UK’s greatest metropolis, Nottingham has an abundance of consultants, contractors and builders, giving us the power to construct a powerful community right here.

Nevertheless, one of many greatest challenges we confronted was the preliminary start-up prices that incurred. It’s not merely a case of shopping for a laptop computer and a cellphone. We wanted to acquire a number of design software program licenses, insurance coverage, an internet site and powerful branding. Each Raj and I needed to make investments cash into the enterprise to do that.

A wealthy historical past in textiles…

There’s actually a variety of expertise in Nottingham and the East Midlands, however our business is affected by a expertise disaster. The actually good candidates are few and much between. As there are a number of consultants within the native space, competitors to safe the very best candidates is fierce.

Cube has tried to distinguish itself in order that we not solely win work, but additionally appeal to and retain the very best expertise.

We’ve got two improbable universities within the metropolis and we’re engaged on constructing relationships with them each so we are able to proceed to draw and practice apprentices by way of the enterprise. We’ve recognized this as the easiest way to draw younger expertise into the business.

… and rising in different sectors

There’s already a powerful ecosystem of companies inside the property and development business within the metropolis, which is nice for Cube.

The inventive quarter is Nottingham’s inventive enterprise district with an rising digital scene. Works Social is Nottingham’s latest co-working complicated that provides high-quality workplace house for start-ups like us.

BioCity Nottingham is one other large asset to the town as one of many UK’s main bioscience innovation and incubation centres. Plus, Nottingham Science Park has launched into a three way partnership with MediCity and Boots, providing assist and help for start-ups and established corporations – one more helpful assist system out there to native companies.

To high it off, the council has initiatives such because the Artistic Quarter Mortgage Fund and Nottingham’s Funding Fund to offer small companies a monetary increase.

Residing within the metropolis

I’m presumably slightly biased however I really like Nottingham. We’ve got terrific public transport hyperlinks, with East Midlands airport on our doorstep: the UK’s busiest pure cargo airport and hub for DHL and UPS. Town can also be positioned proper within the centre of the UK which is essential for companies like ours.

The price of residing in Nottingham can also be a fraction of what you’ll anticipate to pay in bigger cities corresponding to Manchester, Birmingham and London, with common home costs considerably decrease than the UK common.

‘The price of residing in Nottingham is a fraction of what you’ll pay in bigger cities’

Because of this locals have more cash to spend having fun with Nottingham’s nice foods and drinks scene, music venues, impartial outlets and sporting occasions.

Sensible phrases for entrepreneurs

Firstly, if you’re considering of organising your personal enterprise, our recommendation is to cease fascinated about it and simply do it. We all know there are a variety of variables to deal with, however all companies begin with an thought and develop from there – you simply must get began!

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Nottingham is a good place for entrepreneurs. We discovered the native enterprise neighborhood to be heat and welcoming, and there are a number of networking teams and development companions that may assist to place your online business on the map.

Michael Cooper, founding father of Flame Firetables, talks about the fantastic thing about Nottinghamshire and the challenges of discovering apprentices in conventional trades.

Michael started his firetable business in Nottingham

Nottingham has a wealthy entrepreneurial historical past – simply take a look at Boots, Paul Smith and Raleigh – and it’s additionally famend for producing stunning merchandise such because the famed Nottingham lace. I needed so as to add to the following chapter of that artisan legacy with one thing new, vibrant and glamorous, mixing the expert craftsmanship that Nottingham is understood for with some further sparkle.

It’s additionally smack-bang in the midst of the UK with nice transport hyperlinks, making it a super base for distribution across the nation.

The difficulties of working the enterprise

Flame Firetables is the primary of its form within the UK, so I needed to import most of the parts from the US to start with. We additionally recognized the posh market as our key goal from the start, so having the braveness to remain the course and hold to the technique was robust. That and a variety of experimenting when it got here to advertising.

Earlier than I launched Flame Firetables, I used to be within the constructing recreation and over the previous 5 years, there’s actually been a drop within the variety of younger folks in Nottingham getting into the expert guide labour sector, regardless of Basford School providing some good development programs. Though there are extra apprentices round, many are extra interested by tech-based roles, which is a disgrace as a result of there are some improbable alternatives round for many who need to take a extra conventional route.

Because the enterprise grows, I’d like to tackle extra younger folks from the realm and assist them construct an actual profession from utilizing their arms to create one thing particular.

An eclectic metropolis

There actually is one thing for everybody in Nottingham. It’s a multicultural, welcoming metropolis with a thriving arts and theatre scene. The nightlife and purchasing are improbable, however you even have stunning countryside when you desire listening to buzzing bees than the excitement of metropolis life.

And since the placement is so central, it’s really easy to get elsewhere within the UK when you fancy a change of scene.

Nottingham is dwelling to 2 large universities, so the foods and drinks sector does very effectively right here. Even exterior of the town centre, there are increasingly micropubs and breweries popping up, which additionally ties into the rise in sole merchants and impartial companies within the space.

The variety of model chains appears to be shrinking, with extra boutiques opening of their place, which is nice as a result of it implies that the cash spent goes again on to Nottingham companies, boosts the native financial system and provides to the range on the excessive road.

There are nice alternatives right here when you’re beginning up as a result of business properties have decrease rental charges than a number of the bigger cities. It’s very easy to circumnavigate the town centre to get to suppliers and prospects. Every part may be very accessible, so that you don’t essentially must be primarily based proper within the metropolis centre.

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