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

Comprehensive Performance Report for North West


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the business environment within the North West region, focusing on various performance metrics for the year 2022. The data has been aggregated from multiple councils within the region, offering insights into employment, industry sectors, business dynamics, and economic activities. This analysis aims to identify key trends, highlight the performance of individual councils, and provide actionable insights for stakeholders.

Population and Employment Overview

Council Number of Employees Population Employees per 1000 Residents
Manchester 609,916 389,646 1565.71
Liverpool 294,788 337,574 873.33
Warrington 258,964 130,730 1981.38
Trafford 251,866 145,499 1731.16
Cheshire East 243,086 226,794 1071.89
Salford 180,981 169,685 1066.62
Stockport 146,406 177,458 824.91
Cheshire West and Chester 147,734 207,180 713.18
Wirral 202,075 192,800 1047.81
Bolton 143,528 176,041 815.33
Bury 120,527 117,077 1029.42
Blackburn with Darwen 273,901 93,335 2935.29
Oldham 64,916 145,455 446.27
Rochdale 53,943 137,618 392.02
Tameside 52,372 140,706 372.16
St. Helens 52,860 110,177 479.90
Sefton 61,132 163,019 375.07
Knowsley 45,115 94,311 478.29
Preston 61,323 92,744 661.13
West Lancashire 42,241 69,236 610.18
South Ribble 41,856 66,813 626.47
Chorley 37,910 72,793 520.77
Fylde 42,893 45,925 934.10
Hyndburn 27,298 49,187 554.93
Rossendale 19,387 44,067 439.78
Ribble Valley 16,952 36,138 469.03
Wyre 22,451 63,291 354.87
Westmorland and Furness 29,013 227,600 127.52
Pendle 28,967 55,416 522.66
Burnley 32,924 53,540 614.68
Cumberland 45,302 275,400 164.47

Business Dynamics

The North West region shows a diverse range of business activities across its councils. Manchester, with the highest number of employees, also leads in new company formations with a significant number of companies founded in 2022. Liverpool, despite having fewer employees than Manchester, shows robust activity in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade. Smaller councils like Ribble Valley and Wyre, although having fewer employees, show higher employee ratios per capita, indicating a potentially denser concentration of business activities relative to their population.

Sector Analysis

Professional, scientific and technical services dominate in councils such as Trafford and Cheshire East, reflecting a trend towards high-skilled industries. In contrast, wholesale and retail trade are prevalent in Blackburn with Darwen and Oldham, indicating a strong presence of traditional commerce. The diversity in sector prominence underscores the economic heterogeneity within the North West region.

Scaleups and Growth

Scaleup activity is notably high in Manchester, which aligns with its large base of employees and vibrant economic environment. The presence of IPOs, although limited across the region, highlights a growing interest in public listings, particularly in Blackburn with Darwen where the only IPO was recorded in 2022.

International and Export Dynamics

Export activities are significant in Salford and Liverpool, suggesting a strong external trade sector. The presence of companies with non-UK ultimate parents is highest in Manchester and Liverpool, indicating their strategic importance to foreign investors and multinational corporations.

Investment and Innovation

Fundraising activities are most prominent in Manchester, reflecting its status as a financial hub in the North West. Patent ownership is widespread in councils like Trafford and Cheshire East, underscoring a focus on innovation and technology development.

Academic and Research Contributions

Academic spinouts are particularly notable in Lancaster and Manchester, highlighting their strong ties to academic institutions and focus on commercializing research.

Diversity and Governance

The diversity in founder and director demographics varies significantly across the region, with Manchester showing a higher percentage of young directors, which may indicate a dynamic and entrepreneurial leadership landscape.

Entrepreneurship and Support Programs

Accelerator program attendance is robust in Manchester and Trafford, supporting the growth of startups and fostering innovation within the local business ecosystem.

Business Stability and Longevity

Business continuity challenges are evident in Blackburn with Darwen and Liverpool, where the number of ceased operations is relatively high. This could indicate areas where economic resilience needs to be strengthened.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This report has highlighted the diverse and dynamic nature of the North West’s business environment. Key recommendations include focusing on enhancing sector diversity in smaller councils, bolstering support for scaleups, and increasing resilience against business closures. Continued investment in innovation and support for international trade can further strengthen the region’s economic base.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, the North West region is poised for continued growth, particularly in high-tech industries and international trade. Strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem, particularly in smaller councils, will be crucial for sustaining long-term economic health and resilience.

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