Brighton is the capital of Britain’s rebellious alternative economy, according to market research commissioned by a leading bank.
The research also described Brighton as the “alternative economy super city” – one of seven super cities that will prove to be a vigorous centre for growth industries.
The Future Laboratory, which carried out the research for HSBC, said that these growth industries would lead the resurgent regional economy as Britain emerged from recession.
It identified the creative industries as particularly strong in Brighton and highlighted the potential of renewable energy and low-carbon businesses to contribute towards a transformed economy.
The report, The Future of Business 2011, updates the outlook set out two years ago when the bank’s research first suggested that Brighton was an upwardly mobile economic powerhouse.
The new report says: “Brighton is an ‘alternative economy super-city’ and a dynamic centre for innovative companies forging novel ways of doing business.
“Propellernet is one of a new breed of online marketing agencies that have been attracted to the city.
“The company, with 30 staff, is growing by 50 per cent a year.”
It quotes Propellernet managing director Jack Hubbard as saying: “Our market simply didn’t exist a few years ago and its rapid development shows innovation is key.”
Propellernet thrives on the local network, according to The Future Laboratory.
The report says that the network of businesses in Brighton is far more open and collaborative than the “cut-throat vibe” in the capital.
It says: “The company is an active part of a mentoring system that includes Wired Sussex, a Brighton-based organisation that works to promote the development of a regional digital cluster.”
It quotes Mr Hubbard as saying: “The city’s social scene is very accessible.
“This helps us tap into Brighton’s creative energy and enables us to crowdsource expertise through a wide network of freelancers.”
Councillor Bill Randall, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, welcomed the report’s findings and said that rebellious people often had good new ideas.
He said: “We should nurture not neuter them.
“One of Richard Branson’s first shops was in Brighton and a very alternative hippyish place.
“Unlike other shops, you could sit around all day listening to records.
“Anita Roddick set up her first shop here having been expelled from South Africa for illicitly attending a black jazz show.
“So we should do all we can to encourage this Brighton spirit.
“Rebellious and free-spirited people look at things in new ways and that applies in business too.”
The other super cities were identified as Newcastle, London, Leeds and Liverpool, plus newcomers Bristol and Glasgow.