YORK has been ranked 13th out of the UK’s largest towns and cities in a study of business competitiveness.

The city was ranked higher than Leeds, which was ranked 28th, in Santander Corporate & Commercial Banking’s UK Town and City Index, published today.

York’s high ranking is thanks to the city’s strong pool of talented people and high employment rate, said the report, which is based on 20 factors that drive private sector business. These are distilled into five areas fundamental for business success: enterprise, talent, connectivity, costs and well-being.

The index, which studied the largest 74 conurbations in the UK, as well as 32 London boroughs, showed York had one of the UK’s best business five-year survival rates and low business costs, while high earnings mean York’s working population was relatively satisfied.

It also has a higher than average proportion of residents who were educated to NVQ level 4.

York was ranked second in the whole report for its talent; joint 13th for well-being; 16th for enterprise and joint 18th for cost. However, it did not perform so well in terms of connectivity, measured by its broadband speed and share of slow broadband speeds, ranking 59th.

Cambridge was the top ranked town or city, followed by Oxford and Edinburgh.

Neil Williams, regional director for Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “The future of the economy depends on our businesses and their success and growth. York and Leeds both have many of the key ingredients that help to support their business communities and that have an important role to play in their future success.”

Susie Cawood, head of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This illustrates what we continue to hear from our members that York has weathered the recession better than many other places and there are some real success stories in the city.

“Businesses should draw confidence from these reports particularly when the future looks so positive for this region.”