WARRINGTON has been named as the best location in the UK for 'high-growth' small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The town topped the rankings following research by Informi, which offers practical advice and support to small firms.

Informi studied information from 65 cities relating to a number of factors that can be important for company survival, including the density of SMEs, digital connectivity and house prices.

Warrington came top for the second successive year in terms of having the highest proportion of high-growth companies between 2011 and 2014.

It scored 15.8 per cent compared to a national average of 11.8 per cent across all cities and large urban areas.

Reading came second, Swindon third, Aldershot fourth and London fifth.

Darren Nicholls, product manager for Informi, said: "We are on course to see a record number of start-ups in the UK during 2016, demonstrating that the entrepreneurial spirit is as strong as it has ever been.

"New businesses can be found across every region and industry, bringing new jobs and prosperity and growth to their economies.

"It is encouraging to see that London is not the only environment where small businesses have the opportunity to thrive.

"However, for every success story there are still far too many that struggle to get off the ground.

"SME owners should ensure they take every opportunity to seek out information and support that will help them get the fundamental ingredients of business in place to give their firm every chance of prospering."

The Base, which was opened on Dallam Lane at the start of the year, was constructed to meet the town's demand from SMEs.