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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Barnsley


Barnsley’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors, with a notable presence in construction, wholesale and retail trade, and professional activities. The city has experienced a moderate growth in employment, reflecting its dynamic business environment. Key indicators such as the number of new companies, scale-ups, and the gender diversity in company leadership provide insights into the evolving economic profile of Barnsley.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 56,329. Barnsley’s employment scene has shown growth, with a 7.6% increase in the workforce, indicating a robust job market. The diversity of sectors contributing to employment suggests a balanced economic structure.
  • Employment Growth Drivers: Among the top sectors, construction and retail trade are prominent, together with professional and technical activities. This diverse sectoral composition underlines the city’s multifaceted economic base.
  • Number of Scale-ups: 63. This number signals an encouraging environment for business expansion, indicative of a supportive ecosystem for growing companies.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: Construction (1,672 companies), Retail Trade (1,416 companies), and Professional Activities (1,136 companies) are the leading sectors. This diversity suggests a balanced economic base, reducing reliance on a single industry.
  • Sectors with the Most Growth: Consumer banking and mobile apps, although small in number, are showing signs of emerging as new growth areas.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 1,127 companies ceased operations, which could be a concern for economic stability. However, this should be weighed against the number of new companies and overall business dynamics.
  • Number of New Companies (2 years): 2,791. This robust influx of new businesses indicates a dynamic entrepreneurial environment and potential for future growth.

Gender Diversity in Leadership

  • Percentage of Female Founders: 12.77%. While there is a presence of female entrepreneurship, there is room for improvement in gender diversity at the founding level.
  • Percentage of Female Directors: 26.18%. This shows a better representation of women in leadership roles compared to the founders’ level.


Barnsley’s economic environment is characterised by a diverse sectoral composition, steady employment growth, and a vibrant entrepreneurial scene. The city shows potential in emerging sectors like consumer banking and mobile apps. While there is a positive movement in gender diversity in leadership roles, efforts could be intensified to enhance female representation, especially at the founding level.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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