By Daniel Hunter
Hotbeds of industry are springing up across the UK, as British businesses fight back against the constraints of the economic environment.
Analysis of the first 3,000 businesses who have worked with GrowthAccelerator, a national business advice service aimed at facilitating growth, finds Birmingham has seen more high growth businesses contract to the service than anywhere else in the UK.
Far from the UK’s fastest growing businesses taking a London-centric approach, further epicentres of growth are emerging across the country, with County Durham, Brighton and Hove and Bristol all making the top ten of host areas to GrowthAccelerator clients, with clients now representing every local authority area across the country.
And while Business Services accounts for the largest number of high growth companies considered as part of the analysis, the new research shows distinct sector specialisms forming in different geographical centres. In Birmingham there is a strong trend for high-growth companies to hail from the software sector, in marked contrast to County Durham, where food and drink companies are registering significant growth.
Perhaps unsurprisingly London registers a higher concentration of media companies, as does Manchester, which has recently become home to the BBC. Leeds is perhaps a lesser known media hub in the North.
And while ambitious manufacturing companies are located most densely across the North in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester, there are also a high proportion of businesses in this sector going for growth in Bristol, while Brighton and Hove emerges as a popular location for ambitious education and design sector businesses.
“Whilst the business locations identified in our research are showing distinct levels of ambition and positivity amongst businesses located there, it’s clear that the appetite for growth is not limited to specific regions," Simon Littlewood, Director of GrowthAccelerator said.
"Independent of where they are located, we are seeing a common need amongst these firms for national and international market connections, with 88% expecting to grow their businesses through new market entry.
"Our national network of expert Growth Managers and Coaches are located throughout the country to ensure every business with the potential to grow is able to achieve their ambitions with tailored and connected support, whatever their sector and however long they’ve been established. We’re excited by the dynamism and aspirations of the businesses we’re working with and look forward to supporting many more in the future.”
The research also demonstrates that growth is not restricted to start-ups: across the initial 3000 businesses signed up to GrowthAccelerator, most have been established for between 5-10 years, and the majority of businesses in Birmingham, Westminster, Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol having been established for ten years or more.
In certain areas however there are distinct trends for businesses that are either much younger, or indeed much older, seeking the support of a business expert to help them achieve their ambitions. In both The London Borough of Camden and County Durham, the majority of businesses going for growth are aged between 1 and 2 years (26% and 35% respectively).
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