FEW places in the UK can match the mix of factors which could see Bournemouth assert itself as the centre of a “renaissance” for business, a new study argues.

Nick Hixson, Bournemouth-based business adviser and accountant, has written a chapter about the town for a book that places it alongside major cities including Sydney, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Dublin, Milan and Stockholm.

He points to 15 characteristics which “point to a small but rapidly growing Renaissance movement” in the area.

The book, Entrepreneurial Renaissance, finds parallels between the flourishing of European art in the 14th-16th centuries and the “upheavals in human and physical sciences in the 21st century that herald an insurgent entrepreneurial renaissance”.

Mr Hixon, director with Hixsons in Bournemouth, contributed a chapter called Urban Beach Not Urban Jungle.

He wrote: “Whilst other towns and cities in the UK have their own initiatives and local characteristics, few can match the convergence of creative talent, business acumen, political will, environmental beauty and sense of place that could see Bournemouth assert its position and identity as a Renaissance hub in the future.”

The 15 “Renaissance factors” he identified included the fact that Bournemouth had “some characteristics of a city state” because it was reasonably quick to travel across as well as being well-connected to other cities.

Its attractive physical environment encourages people to stay local and the “modern view of a good work-life balance in pleasant surroundings is encouraged and supported by the tourism industry, local government and the natural environment”.

Abundant hospitality outlets and high-speed Wi-Fi created a “cafe society which is used by freelancers and established businesses”.

He said the area has the ability to absorb a higher population “at least semi-permanently” and there was a “tolerance and acceptance of a multicultural and diverse population”.

The lack of “legacy industry” means there are no entrenched cultural barriers to new ways of working, he wrote.

Entrepreneurs feel local government in Bournemouth is “more open to business” and its two universities are producing the right type of graduates. There is also helpful mentoring from retirees.

The chapter outlines Dorset’s major industries, including a financial services sector worth £1.6billion a year in gross value added; a tourism industry that attracts six million visitors a year to Bournemouth; two world-leading defence contractors, Cobham and Meggitt Engineering; and language schools attracting more than 50,000 students a year.

It says that after BAE stopped building BAC 1-11 airliners at Bournemouth airport in 1984, suppliers realigned their businesses into specialised areas of engineering and industry expertise stayed in the area.

Recently, the creative, digital and IT (CDIT) industry has blossomed because of the “proximity effect” of its distance from London.

The town is close enough to the capital for easy access, but not so close that talent in the sector chooses to go to London instead, Mr Hixson says. “Bournemouth, being two hours from London, appears to be far enough for businesses to want to relocate rather than commute but close enough to travel to London on business,” Mr Hixson says.

He notes that the many agencies in the sector find it easy to recruit talented graduates but more difficult to find more senior employees.

It is thought at least half the companies in the sector have customers outside the area, Mr Hixson notes.

“International visitors to London regard Bournemouth as almost a suburb,” he writes.

“It is virtually as fast to get from London Heathrow Airport to Bournemouth as it is to get to the centre of London,”

He adds: “Good infrastructure, physical proximity and a good work life balance in a beautiful environment are all motivators for a young working population. This helps them experiment and to give meaning to work. This almost perfectly describes the millennial generation, who want a blend of purpose, community and fun.”

The interviewees in Mr Hixson’s research included Gordon Page, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership; David Ford of Bright Blue Day, who chairs of Silicon South; Matt Desmier, founder of Silicon Beach; Nuno Ameida, CEO of Nourish Care; and Ian Girling, CEO of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Entrepreneurial Renaissance, edited by Piero Formica, costs £86 in hardback or £67.99 as an ebook from springer.com