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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Ashford


Ashford’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors, with a notable presence in professional, scientific, technical, and construction activities. The area has witnessed a significant employee growth rate, indicating a dynamic and expanding workforce. Notably, the presence of SMEs and exporters is robust, reflecting a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Gender diversity in company leadership positions shows progress, yet with room for improvement.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Ashford has 51,325 employees, indicating a healthy employment landscape.
  • Employee Growth Rate: The employee growth rate is 8.91%, showcasing a vibrant job market and economic expansion.
  • Top Sectors with Employee Growth: Key sectors showing growth include food and drink processors, healthcare products, consumer goods, advertising, and branding services, and wholesale.
  • Number of Scaleups: The presence of 40 scaleup companies further indicates a nurturing environment for growing businesses.

Sector Dynamics

  • Leading Sectors: The dominant sectors are professional, scientific and technical activities (16.14%), construction (15.9%), and wholesale/retail trade (10.96%). This diversity suggests a well-rounded and resilient economic structure.
  • SME Presence: With 8,117 SMEs, the SME sector forms the backbone of Ashford’s economy, driving innovation and employment.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There were 1,052 company cessations, which, while indicating some business challenges, also reflects the dynamic nature of the market with new opportunities emerging.
  • New Companies in 2 Years: The formation of 2,209 new companies over two years underlines a fertile ground for new business initiatives.


Ashford presents a robust and dynamic economic environment, marked by diverse sectors, a growing workforce, and a strong base of SMEs and exporters. The increase in employee numbers and the emergence of new companies highlight the area’s economic vitality. Continued focus on nurturing scaleups, enhancing gender diversity in leadership, and supporting new ventures will further strengthen Ashford’s economic landscape.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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