The Cheapest Cities To Open A Shop In The UK

Open A Shop

New research reveals Swindon as the cheapest town in the UK to open a physical shop

Small Business Prices has researched how much it costs to open a physical shop in 32 towns and cities across the UK

  • Swindon ranked number one overall as the most affordable place to open a shop
  • Swindon revealed as the cheapest location to hire a contractor
  • Stoke-on-Trent has the lowest commercial space rental costs, averaging £6,510 per month
  • Manchester is the cheapest city to buy a commercial space, with the average cost for a 100-1,000 sq. ft. premises being £50,000

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Online businesses became incredibly popular during the country’s various Covid-19 lockdowns, and now that the retail world has reopened its doors many of these small business owners are now considering opening their own physical stores. But how affordable is it to open a brick and mortar shop in the UK?

Small Business Prices set out to explore the country’s cheapest cities to open a physical shop, based on metrics such as daily high street footfall, commercial space rental costs, and average hourly rates of contractors like plumbers and electricians. 

Swindon Ranked Number One Overall As The Most Affordable Place To Open A Shop

The analysis found that Swindon is the cheapest place overall for small business owners to open a brick-and-mortar shop in. 

Finding a premises to operate out of is relatively affordable compared to other towns and cities in the ranking, with the average price of renting a commercial space in Swindon being £14,120 per month.

Hiring builders, electricians, painter-decorators, and plumbers to get the shop in working order is also more affordable in Swindon than anywhere else the study analysed, with each of these professionals charging the lowest hourly rate for their services. 

The table below shows the top 5 cheapest UK cities and towns to open a brick and mortar shop.

Rank Cities Total high street footfall Avg. monthly rent for commercial spaces (£) Avg. price to buy commercial space (£) Average hourly rate for a builder (£) Average hourly rate for an electrician (£) Average hourly rate for a painter decorator (£) Average hourly rate for a plumber (£) Average hourly rate for a handyman (£)
1 Swindon 212 14,120 650,000 20 25 15 26 29
2 Plymouth 362 11,256 295,000 28 31 22 31 29
3 Stoke-on-Trent 239 6,510 70,000 24 28 21 34 20
4 Sheffield 206 9,133 185,000 30 27 19 34 23
5 Aberdeen 230 8,250 300,000 25 31 21 37 29

Swindon is also revealed as the best location to hire local contractors to help set-up and create your physical shop, costing an average of £115 an hour to have the support of a builder, electrician, painter, plumber and handyman. 

London is the most expensive city to have the support of tradespeople, costing an average of £209 per hour, with plumbers valuing their work the most at an average of £50 an hour.

Stoke-on-Trent has the lowest commercial space rental costs, averaging £6,510 per month

Stoke-on-Trent comes out on top as the most affordable place to rent a shop, with an average monthly cost of £6,510, and Aberdeen comes in second with £8,250. Sheffield is the next most affordable option with rental costs averaging £9,133.

Manchester is the cheapest city to buy a commercial space, with the average cost being £50,000

According to the research, Manchester is the cheapest place to buy a commercial space, with the average price for a 100-1,000 square foot property being £50,000. After that, Stoke-on-Trent is the second most affordable with an average cost of £70,000, and Leicester comes third with £91,125.

About Small Business Prices:

Small Business Prices helps small business owners in the UK to find and compare accurate pricing information across a wide range of products and services, helping them choose the best assets to grow their business.

Small Business Prices aims to make these pricing options as transparent as possible for its customers by providing a range of detailed guides, from business loans, credit cards providers, mortgage and insurance providers.