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

Comprehensive Performance Report for West Midlands


Welcome to the comprehensive performance report for the West Midlands region, focusing on the business environment across its various councils. This analysis utilises aggregated data from the year 2022 to evaluate and compare the performance of each council, providing insights into employment, industry sectors, business growth, and more. The objective is to offer a detailed review that supports strategic planning and decision-making for stakeholders and policymakers.

Population and Employment Overview

Council Population Number of Employees Employees per 1000 Population
Birmingham 733627 752400 1025.57
Coventry 249005 234401 941.37
Walsall 173316 161429 931.43
Lichfield 61645 123889 2010.13

The table above ranks councils by the number of employees per 1000 population, providing a clear view of employment relative to population size. Lichfield stands out with a high ratio, suggesting a strong employment rate compared to its population size.

Business Dynamics

Across the West Midlands, various councils exhibit distinctive industrial strengths. Birmingham leads with significant activity in ‘Wholesale and retail trade / repair of motor vehicles,’ reflecting its role as a commercial hub. In contrast, smaller councils like Cannock Chase focus on ‘Construction’, indicating a varied economic base across the region.

New company formations are another critical metric. Birmingham and Coventry show robust entrepreneurial activity, which is crucial for regional economic renewal and job creation.

Sector Analysis

The sectorial analysis reveals that ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ dominate in councils like Bromsgrove and Lichfield, pointing to a knowledge-based economic structure. Meanwhile, innovative sectors such as ‘Software-as-a-service (SaaS)’ are emerging strongly in Stratford-on-Avon, highlighting a shift towards digital business models.

Scaleups and Growth

Scaleups are pivotal for economic growth due to their high job creation rates. Birmingham and Coventry reported successful IPOs, showcasing their potential as growth leaders within the region. However, the presence of scaleups is uneven across the region, suggesting the need for targeted support in lagging areas.

International and Export Dynamics

Export activities are crucial for economic resilience. While Birmingham leads in sheer numbers, smaller councils like Solihull and Stratford-on-Avon punch above their weight, demonstrating robust international business ties relative to their size.

Investment and Innovation

Fundraising activities are concentrated in tech-heavy sectors, with councils like Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon leading in SaaS and mobile apps. The presence of patent owners in these areas also underscores a strong innovation ecosystem that can attract further investment.

Academic and Research Contributions

Academic spinouts indicate a strong linkage between universities and the business sector. Notably, councils with universities, such as Coventry, are leveraging academic research to fuel business innovation, which is crucial for long-term economic sustainability.

Diversity and Governance

Gender and age diversity within company leadership are essential for inclusive growth. The data indicates varying levels of diversity across councils, with some like Dudley and Sandwell showing progress in gender diversity among directors, while others lag behind.

Entrepreneurship and Support Programs

Support for young entrepreneurs is critical for fostering a dynamic business environment. Councils like Birmingham and Coventry, with their higher numbers of young company directors, indicate vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems that support youth business leadership.

Business Stability and Longevity

Business continuity is a concern, with councils like Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent witnessing higher numbers of business closures. This aspect underscores the need for enhanced support mechanisms for businesses facing operational challenges.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This report has highlighted various aspects of business performance across the West Midlands. To foster economic growth and stability, it is recommended that councils focus on nurturing scaleups, enhancing support for international trade, and bolstering innovation through stronger academia-industry linkages. Additionally, fostering diversity in business leadership and providing targeted support to prevent business closures could further enhance the region’s economic landscape.

Continued monitoring and tailored strategies will be crucial in addressing the disparities across councils and ensuring that the West Midlands region can achieve balanced and sustainable economic growth.

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