Surge In High-Growth Firms Across The UK

New research shows that the number of high-growth firms in the UK increased by 30 per cent last year, with the rise in such operations being spread out across the country, not just centred on London and the South East.

The data came from the latest Entrepreneur Index, compiled by Barclays and the Business Growth Fund, the fourth in a bi-annual series tracking the entrepreneurial lifecycle across the UK.

High-growth firms are defined as businesses turning over between £2.5m and £100m and growing 33 per cent over three years or a minimum of 10 per cent over two consecutive years, and they certainly seem to be on the rise.

Wales had the highest increase in such organisations last year, up by 66 per cent on 2012, followed by the Midlands and the North West, with increases of 54 per cent and 44 per cent respectively. Interestingly, however, the number grew by only 17 per cent in London.

The Index also revealed that there was a strong resurgence in “old economy” sectors, such as construction, transport and manufacturing, which was driven by high levels of commercial building work and civil engineering activity on large Government-funded projects.

However, the technology industry remains the UK’s fastest-growing segment, with the number of technology companies incorporated in London alone growing by 76 per cent between 2009 and 2012. London is now home to Europe’s fastest growing tech cluster, with 27 per cent of all job growth in London generated by the tech and digital sector.

Meanwhile, the number of active companies in the UK is also on the rise, with growth of 7 per cent last year, while a record number of new businesses were started in 2013, taking the total to 2.9 million.

This year looks to be setting off at a sharp pace too, with almost 60,000 start-ups being created already in the first three months of the year.