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

Regional Economic Analysis Report for South West, UK

The economic landscape of the South West region showcases a vibrant amalgam of growth, challenges, and opportunities. This detailed report unpacks a variety of economic indicators across the region’s councils, aiming to provide a granular understanding of the trends that shape the local economy. With insights into employment dynamics, business formations, sectoral strengths, and gender diversity in entrepreneurship, we aim to arm stakeholders with knowledge to foster strategic development and inclusive growth.

Employee Growth Trends: Indicators of Economic Vitality

Examining employment trends provides a window into the economic health of a region. Notably, Bath and North East Somerset emerges as a standout with an employee-to-population ratio that eclipses other areas, signifying its pivotal role as an employment hub. This high ratio, at 151 employees per 100 residents, not only underscores a dense concentration of jobs but also reflects the council’s capacity to attract and sustain businesses.

Council Name Employee Growth (%) Population Number of Employees Employees per 100 People
Bath and North East Somerset 7.00 124,250 187,686 151.00
Swindon 7.75 140,495 165,298 117.65
City of Bristol 13.41 317,249 316,702 99.83

Startup and Scaleup Activity: Pioneers of Regional Growth

Entrepreneurial activity is a critical driver of regional economic dynamism. The City of Bristol, known for its innovative milieu, leads in new business formations with 281 new companies per 10,000 people. This rate not only highlights the city’s entrepreneurial spirit but also its ecosystem’s capacity to support new ventures. Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole also demonstrate significant entrepreneurial activity, contributing to a narrative of a region ripe with business opportunities.

Council Name New Companies Founded Population New Companies per 10,000 People
City of Bristol 8,911 317,249 281
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 7,319 240,905 304
Cornwall 5,779 330,159 175

Sector Strengths: Economic Specializations

The dominance of the “Professional, scientific and technical activities” sector throughout the South West highlights a regional commitment to high-skilled, knowledge-based industries. This sectorial strength is critical for sustaining long-term economic growth and competitiveness. Cornwall’s significant stake in the construction sector also reveals the diversity within the region’s economic base, reflecting its unique geographical and economic context.

Gender Diversity in Entrepreneurship

Despite the robust economic indicators, the region shows a stark gender imbalance in entrepreneurship. With females constituting only 16.34% of founders, there is a critical need for policies that encourage female entrepreneurship. Addressing this imbalance is essential for harnessing the full potential of the regional talent pool and ensuring equitable economic development.

Gender Average Percentage
Female 16.34
Male 82.05


This analysis paints a comprehensive picture of the South West’s economic landscape, revealing strengths in employment, entrepreneurship, and sectoral specialisation, alongside challenges such as gender disparity in business leadership. As stakeholders, understanding and addressing these issues is paramount for crafting strategies that enhance economic resilience and inclusivity, propelling the South West towards sustained economic prosperity.

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