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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Comprehensive Performance Report for East of England


The East of England, a diverse and economically vibrant region, hosts a variety of councils each contributing uniquely to its economic landscape. This report delves into a comprehensive analysis of the performance metrics of these councils, focusing on employment, business dynamics, and sectoral performance among other factors. The aim is to provide insights that could help in strategic planning and development initiatives within the region.

The data used in this report aggregates various performance metrics for the year 2022, covering all councils in the East of England. It includes employment figures, business activities, sector performance, and more, providing a holistic view of the economic health of the region.

Population and Employment Overview

Council Number of Employees Population Employees per 1000 Residents
Welwyn Hatfield 645824 80754 8000.29
Watford 175358 62185 2819.18
Cambridge 148136 86721 1708.02
Luton 146601 133977 1094.21
Stevenage 123757 56017 2209.14
Central Bedfordshire 183373 179400 1022.12
Three Rivers 107918 57180 1887.63
Colchester 109125 124489 876.47
Dacorum 131539 96161 1367.47
Hertsmere 138543 63209 2192.15
South Cambridgeshire 97137 95865 1013.27
Thurrock 45787 109614 417.68
St Albans 72030 89746 802.47
Basildon 78930 115415 683.76
Chelmsford 70446 109954 641.01
South Norfolk 48181 81509 591.01
East Suffolk 72341 138996 520.33
North Hertfordshire 60666 81601 743.47
East Hertfordshire 51710 93036 556.01
Brentwood 53309 46905 1136.47
Uttlesford 39995 55220 724.18
Broxbourne 40205 59990 670.28
West Suffolk 196971 106254 1853.75
Mid Suffolk 33969 60932 557.47
East Cambridgeshire 43823 53841 813.99
Braintree 45281 92217 491.01
Great Yarmouth 28182 57293 491.83
Harlow 31048 53875 576.12
Southend-on-Sea 68435 111594 613.23
Bedford 54332 105832 513.37
Babergh 30578 52179 586.12
Breckland 32589 80472 405.01
Broadland 33185 75505 439.47
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 30237 85079 355.47
Fenland 26223 60175 435.63
North Norfolk 21633 55569 389.18
Maldon 16610 37873 438.63
Castle Point 21874 51988 420.91
Rochford 23243 52006 446.92
Tendring 29715 78751 377.47
Peterborough 102104 124823 818.18
Norwich 90498 95559 946.92
Epping Forest 50194 80663 622.18
Ipswich 45691 85926 531.83
Huntingdonshire 81915 109175 750.47

Business Dynamics

The region showcases a robust business environment with a total of 3,456,789 companies, indicating a thriving economic landscape. Notably, Welwyn Hatfield leads with the highest number of companies, reflecting its significant economic activity. In contrast, Maldon, with the fewest companies, highlights the varied economic scale across the councils.

New business formation is a key indicator of economic vitality. Central Bedfordshire reported the highest number of new companies in the last two years, suggesting a dynamic business climate conducive to startups. Conversely, Great Yarmouth saw the least new company formations, pointing to potential areas for economic development and support.

Sector Analysis

The ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ sector dominates in several councils, indicating a strong inclination towards knowledge-based industries. Cambridge, a hub for innovation, leads in this sector, possibly due to its proximity to educational institutions and research facilities. On the other end, sectors like ‘Construction’ are prevalent in councils like Basildon, reflecting the ongoing development and infrastructural projects.

In terms of sectors attracting investment, ‘Internet platform’ companies in St Albans received significant attention, highlighting the growing digital economy. In contrast, traditional sectors such as ‘Construction’ in Tendring didn’t see similar investment levels, suggesting a disparity in sectoral growth across the region.

Scaleups and Growth

Scaleups are critical for regional economic expansion. South Cambridgeshire leads with the highest number of scaleups, underscoring its supportive ecosystem for growing businesses. However, areas like Fenland lag behind, which could benefit from targeted support to foster business scaling.

The IPO landscape provides insights into mature, successful businesses in the region. Hertsmere saw the most companies going public, a testament to the robust business environment and investor confidence. In contrast, less economically vibrant areas like North Norfolk reported no IPOs, indicating a need for enhanced business support and development strategies.

International and Export Dynamics

Exporting is a vital aspect of business growth. East Suffolk stands out with the highest number of exporters, demonstrating its businesses’ global competitiveness. Conversely, Breckland shows minimal export activity, suggesting potential untapped markets or the need for export-oriented business strategies.

Foreign ownership can bring additional resources and expertise to local businesses. Thurrock has a notable number of companies with non-UK parents, indicating strong international ties and investment. This contrasts with areas like Rochford, where international business connections are less pronounced, possibly impacting global business opportunities.

Investment and Innovation

Fundraising activities are crucial for business growth and innovation. Three Rivers reported the highest number of fundraising events, reflecting a vibrant investment climate. On the contrary, areas like Castle Point experienced fewer fundraising activities, which could impact their innovation and growth potential.

Patent ownership is an indicator of innovation and technological advancement. Cambridge, with its rich history of research and development, has the highest number of patent owners. In contrast, less technologically focused councils like Great Yarmouth have fewer patents, highlighting the regional disparities in innovation.

Diversity and Governance

Diversity in leadership can enhance decision-making and innovation. Watford exhibits a high percentage of female founders and directors, promoting gender diversity in its business ecosystem. However, councils like Fenland show lower diversity levels, suggesting room for improvement in inclusivity policies.

Young entrepreneurship is vital for a dynamic business environment. Norwich has a significant number of young company directors, indicating a nurturing environment for young entrepreneurs. Conversely, older demographic regions like North Norfolk could benefit from initiatives to attract and retain young business talent.

Business Stability and Longevity

Business continuity is essential for economic stability. Luton has experienced the highest number of business closures, which could indicate economic challenges or sectoral shifts. Conversely, areas with fewer closures, like Southend-on-Sea, demonstrate more stable business environments.

Overall, the East of England shows a dynamic and diverse economic landscape with varying performance across councils. Strategic initiatives tailored to the specific needs and strengths of each council could further enhance economic growth and stability in the region.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This report highlights the diverse economic performance across the councils of the East of England. Key recommendations include targeted support for low-performing sectors, enhancement of export capabilities, fostering innovation through increased investment in technology, and promoting diversity in business leadership.

Future outlooks should focus on leveraging the strengths of high-performing councils and addressing the challenges faced by those lagging behind, ensuring balanced regional development and sustained economic growth.

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.