ALMOST two-thirds of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK have ambitions to grow "dramatically" or "moderately" in the next two years.

Research from Albion Ventures, the venture capital investor, says the percentage of SMEs with those aspirations rose to 62 per cent last year from 59 per cent in 2013.

Businesses in the north-west were found to be the most optimistic, with 83 per cent of SMEs expecting to grow in the next two years, followed by London (81 per cent). Firms in East Anglia are the least optimistic, with 39 per cent in this area stating they expect to grow.

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Three per cent of SMEs said they expected their business to shrink or wind down in the next two years.