HEREFORD has been named the least attractive city in the UK to start a business in.

The study carried out by Company Formation, who register new companies, ranked the county's city bottom of the league table.

Eight key areas were assessed in each of the 69 cities as part of the survey, these included: commercial property (rent costs and availability), energy, virtual office services, public transport, broadband service (average download speed), workforce demographics, access to finance (available grants) and quality of life (home rental prices, crime and affordable childcare).

Reasons for Hereford coming out bottom of the study were: a 'complete lack of business infrastructure', lack of office space, expensive virtual office prices, limit access to grants for start-ups and slow broadband speeds.

Derby came out as the best city for a start-up business while Worcester came out in 26th place and Gloucester was ranked 35th.

Despite being branded as the least attractive city for starting a business in the UK Joanie Roberts, Area Relationship Manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said that the survey ignored some key areas.

She said: “It is disappointing to see such results but I refuse to let it dampen our spirits.

"These do not take into account some major differences between large cities, like Birmingham, compared to the smaller rural county cities like Hereford.

"The survey also seems to ignore millions of pounds of recent investment into business infrastructure, the city centre and surrounding areas, which are benefiting local businesses and potential start-ups.

"We have Skylon Park, a new university on the horizon, a recently developed city centre shopping experience, new investment from both the University of Worcester and the University of Wolverhampton, among other things.

"It might not be the city life some businesses are looking for – but that does not make it a bad place to start up a business, as 2014 was a record year for company registrations in Hereford, when compared to any year in history.”

BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson said that internet speeds are also increasing within Herefordshire and more than 54,000 properties can now access fibre broadband.