The independent restaurant and bar scenes in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are growing at rates more than double those of London, CGA’s Outlet Index reveals.

In the last five years Liverpool had 408 new openings, growing by 25.20%, Manchester had 622 new openings growing by 24.90%, and Leeds had 341 new openings, growing by 20.50%.

During the same period London’s restaurant and bar headcount grew by 10.40%, albeit by 3288 sites.

Southampton grew at a rate of 20.5%, York by 19.5%, Cardiff 17%, Newcastle 15.7%, and Bradford 15.1%.

Released to coincide with the Northern Restaurant & Bar show, Northern cities occupied six of the places in the top eight, with independents in the region growing at twice the national rate,

Thom Hetherington, chief exertive of of Northern Restaurant & Bar said “Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are building top class food and drink scenes, and that’s great news for diners. Despite this being a challenging period for hospitality businesses, the growth is being largely driven by ambitious regional independents, and we’re proud that NRB can help to inspire and inform them.”

Jamie Campbell, retail business unit director of CGA, says “Of course London is a much bigger restaurant and bar scene in absolute terms, but percentages don’t lie, the change in the cities in the North is more pronounced and has a proportionally greater impact on diners, whether residents or tourists.

“Moreover we are working on additional data which shows that growth in the region is indeed being driven by independents, with the featured Northern cities showing an increase in independent outlets at over twice the national rate.”

The Northern Restaurant & Bar trade show returns to Manchester Central for its 18th year next week on 20 & 21 March.