WORCESTER was the eighth best performing town or city in the UK for business success last year, a new report has revealed.

The city's success was shown in a report by analyst Experian on which of the country's towns and cities provided the best environment for business success, based on how its businesses performed throughout 2013 in comparison to 2012.

Worcester scored highly for having a low insolvency rate and a large proportion of high growth businesses.

However, there was still some room for improvement with the city faring less well when it came to the number of new businesses set up in the past two years.

The report was welcomed by Worcester City Council leader Adrian Gregson.

He said: "What it demonstrates is that there is a good infrastructure here which is able to sustain and maintain businesses and help them keep going and improve through times of recession.

"It's very good to hear that Worcester is in the top ten.

"We are in a recession which is one of the worst we have seen, facing cuts across a swathe of industry and public sector and yet despite that in this area we are performing well and that's got to be a good thing and a sign of encouragement."

According to the report, Worcester was given the highest performance score of five for having a low insolvency rate with just 74 insolvencies last year, or 0.76 per cent of businesses.

It was also given the highest score for its turnover growth with 214 firms achieving a 10 per cent sales growth, which translated to a 44.31 per cent high growth rate.

However, only 9.11-10.17 per cent of the business population started up new businesses in the past two years.

Cllr Gregson said the council had a two-pronged attack to counteract that by working with businesses to regenerate the area and also putting money into employment projects with apprentices, graduates and school leavers.

Northampton was declared the best performing town in the UK while the only other Midland city included in the top 20 was Coventry.

This report comes on top of last year's Righmove survey which showed Worcester was the eighth happiest place to live in the UK.