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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Bedford


Bedford’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors, with a notable presence in professional, scientific, and technical activities, construction, and trade. The city employs a total of 54,332 people, with recent developments indicating a healthy trajectory in employment and business growth. Notably, the city has shown resilience and adaptability with a 8.16% employee growth and the emergence of 77 scaleups.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Bedford employs 54,332 people, marking a significant workforce. The city has experienced an employee growth rate of 8.16%, suggesting robust economic activity and business development.
  • Employee Growth Drivers: A total of 125 companies have contributed to this rise in employment. Key sectors driving this growth include mobile apps, other technology/IP-based businesses, automotive, electrical, and advertising and branding services.

Sector Dynamics

  • Leading Sectors: The leading sectors in Bedford include professional, scientific, and technical activities (2,018 companies, 14.75% of total), construction (1,796 companies, 13.12%), and wholesale/retail trade (1,779 companies, 13.00%).
  • Sector Growth: The rise in sectors such as mobile apps and technology/IP-based businesses suggests a shift towards more technologically advanced industries, reflecting current global economic trends.
  • Total Companies: Bedford hosts 13,684 companies, indicating a vibrant business environment.
  • New Companies: In the last two years, 3,613 new companies were established, reflecting the city’s dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • SMEs and Exporters: The city supports 10,183 SMEs and 309 exporters, demonstrating its strong backbone of small and medium enterprises and international business presence.
  • Foreign Parent Companies: There are 158 companies in Bedford with foreign parent companies, highlighting the city’s global business connections.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Bedford has seen 1,496 company cessations, a figure that underscores the competitive and ever-changing nature of the business landscape.


Bedford presents a thriving and diverse economic environment with strong growth in employment and a shift towards more technology-driven sectors. The presence of a large number of SMEs and new companies indicates a dynamic and entrepreneurial business culture.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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