Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol are the best places in the UK to start a business, according to the start-up cities index 2014 compiled by Startups, a UK-based platform for entrepreneurs. The index ranked cities by their infrastructure and demographics, workforce availability, business support, commercial premises, financing, quality of life and business activity, and looked at 25 cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It excluded London, due to the city's scale and size.

According to the data collected by Startups, Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol perform particularly well in terms of new start-ups numbers and broadband speeds. Additionally, property prices in Manchester are among the most affordable, while Edinburgh can boast the lowest crime rate and Bristol a high start-up survival rate.

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Among the most successful start-ups hailing from Manchester are Edocr, a document sharing platform, and CANDDI, a big data analytics firm. The city is also a home to the Sharp Project, a co-working space for digital media companies, and MediaCity UK, a £950m development that houses UK broadcasters BBC and ITV, among others.
In Edinburgh, Skyscanner, a flight price comparison website, is the city's highest profile start-up success story. The company, which was founded in 2003, has 350 employees and is valued at an estimated $800m. The city is also home to Techcube, a technology incubator, which has 35 resident companies and was founded in 2012. Last year, the local authorities also launched Creative Exchange, a business incubator with space for 80 companies.

In Bristol, start-ups are clustered around Pervasive Media Studio, a co-working space founded in 2007. In 2011, Bristol and neighbouring city Bath, also gained a £300m science park, which includes the Grow-On Centre, a business accelerator.

Other cities that stood out in the ranking include Birmingham, Hull, Cambridge and Belfast. With the average price of property at £67,619 Hull came out as the most affordable location, while Belfast, with average broadband speed at 25.4 megabytes per second, has the best internet infrastructure.