Lancashire business growth to outpace national average

By Tim Aldred

24 May 2024

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A new report has found that the proportion of Lancashire businesses set to undergo significant growth this year is ahead of the North West and UK averages.

Fifteen per cent of the county's businesses are forecast to grow by over 20 per cent in the next year, higher than the UK average of 13.1 per cent, according to the State of Growth in Lancashire report produced by national business growth specialist The Growth Company.

The document provides a comprehensive outlook on business growth potential in Lancashire over the next year and is based on data from Growth Company’s Growth Flag tool, an online platform that provides a forward-looking outlook on growth in individual businesses and local economies throughout the UK. 

Research shows that more than 75,000 businesses are active in Lancashire with 47 per cent forecast to grow in the next year and 11,467 to grow by 20 per cent.

The report highlights variation in growth potential by sector as well as location. While, in Lancashire, the highest number of businesses with high growth potential can be found in the professional, scientific and technical sectors, the county scores higher than the average in UK’s top three sectors: manufacturing; agriculture, forestry and fishing as well as construction.

The State of Growth in Lancashire report was launched at Boost’s Boost & Co business partner event at Cotton Court in Preston, attended by representatives from the county's business support community as well as a variety of companies.

Nathan Shoesmith, author of The State of Growth in Lancashire report, said: “The data in this report looks at what is driving growth potential in Lancashire, as well as where there may be barriers or risks to growth being achieved.

“In changing times, being able to find growth potential is more important than ever and the analysis provided is designed to facilitate business support interventions in Lancashire’s local economies.” 

The data can also be used as a tool to identify which businesses may have high growth potential but are displaying signals of financial distress. These are usually problems with cash flow, a frequent change of directorship, or a poor or unsuitable business structure. 

Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager said: “The analysis in the report is something for the Lancashire economy to be proud of and shows the strength of our county’s businesses.

“It also gives further insight into the habits of scaleup businesses in Lancashire. Boost’s Scale to Thrive programme is specifically targeted to the needs of scaleups and being able to support these businesses in the best way possible through the programme is critical to ensuring these businesses reach their full potential. The Boost team will be using this data to connect with growth ambitious businesses across Lancashire to help them fast track and consolidate their growth plans.”

The Boost & Co event also featured a panel of Lancashire business leaders that have been through Boost over recent years including Celia Gaze, owner of The Wellbeing Farm, Tom Smith, founder and CEO at Complete, and Stephen Bolton, managing director at Lancashire Business View. They spoke about their own experience in receiving Boost support and the positive impact it has had on their business and their leadership skills.

The full report can be viewed here.

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