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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Antrim and Newtownabbey


Antrim and Newtownabbey’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors with notable activity in wholesale, retail trade, construction, and professional services. The area shows signs of business growth and development, though there are challenges in gender diversity in leadership roles and a need for more high-impact business activities such as scaleups and IPOs.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 51,260 employees. The region has witnessed a rise in employment with 173 businesses reporting an increase in employee numbers. This indicates a healthy job market and suggests a stable economic environment.
  • Employee Growth Percentage: A 10.53% growth in employment, reflecting a robust increase in job creation and possibly an expanding economy.
  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: Wholesale and retail trade leads (647 companies), followed by construction (455) and professional services (439). This sectoral distribution points to a well-rounded local economy with multiple strong industries.
  • Top Sectors by Growth: Sectors like Healthcare products, Toys, games, sports equipment, and E-commerce are emerging as growth sectors, although each currently has only one company, highlighting nascent but potentially significant areas for future development.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There were 2,787 company cessations and 275 companies declared dead, indicating some level of business turnover and market exit. This may reflect competitive pressures or shifting market dynamics.
  • New Companies: 1,008 new companies emerged over the past two years, suggesting a vibrant entrepreneurial environment.
  • Scaleups: 41 scaleup companies, which are critical for long-term economic growth and innovation.
  • Total Number of Companies: 4,400 companies, a healthy number showing a robust business ecosystem.
  • SMEs: 3,177 SMEs, forming the backbone of the local economy and driving diversification.
  • Exporters: 94 exporters, indicating some level of international business engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 110, suggesting international investment and global business connections.

Gender and Age Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders Gender: 20% female founders, 76% male founders, 4% unknown, indicating a gender gap in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors Gender: 23.95% female directors, 73.26% male directors, showing similar gender disparity in corporate leadership.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: Majority (55.9%) of directors are aged 50 and above, indicating experience in leadership but possibly a lack of younger perspectives.

Innovation and Engagement

  • Patent Owners: 336, suggesting a moderate level of innovation.
  • Fundraisings: 4 instances, a relatively low number, which could be an area for development.
  • Grantees: 1, indicating limited grant-based activity.
  • Spinouts: 0, showing a gap in this area of innovation.
  • Event Attendances: 9 attendances, suggesting some level of community and business engagement.


Antrim and Newtownabbey’s economy is diversified with strengths in traditional sectors like wholesale, retail, and construction. Employment growth is robust, but the region faces challenges in fostering high-impact businesses, enhancing gender diversity in leadership, and boosting innovation and internationalization. The presence of a substantial number of SMEs and new companies indicates a dynamic and entrepreneurial business environment.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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