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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Blackburn with Darwen


The economic landscape of Blackburn with Darwen presents a dynamic picture. With 27,3901 employees, this council area has seen a diverse range of business activities. Key sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, professional and technical activities, and administrative support have dominated the region’s economic profile. There’s a notable balance between traditional sectors like construction and emerging areas like information and communication. The growth in these sectors, alongside the rise in new companies, indicates a healthy and evolving economic environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 273,901. The region has experienced a growth in employment, with a 13.67% increase in employee numbers. This trend signifies an expanding job market, likely driven by the rise in new companies and scale-ups in the area.
  • Top Sectors by Company Count: Wholesale/retail trade and repair of motor vehicles (2,358 companies), Professional, scientific, and technical activities (1,099 companies), and Administrative support service activities (883 companies). These sectors form the backbone of the region’s economy, reflecting a strong commercial and professional services orientation.
  • Top Sectors Showing Growth: Notably, sectors like other retail, distribution, and waste management services have shown growth, indicating diversification and adaptation in the business landscape.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There were 1,315 company cessations, which is a vital indicator of business turnover in the region. It’s crucial to analyze this in the context of 3,030 new companies over two years, suggesting a dynamic but competitive business environment.
  • New Companies: 1,670 new companies have been established recently, demonstrating the region’s appeal for new business ventures and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Scale-ups: The presence of 57 scale-ups indicates a promising trend of existing businesses experiencing significant growth, contributing to the economic vitality of Blackburn with Darwen.

Director and Founder Demographics

  • Founders Gender: 16.67% female founders and 81.25% male founders. This shows a gender disparity in business founding, highlighting a potential area for increased gender diversity.
  • Directors Gender: 22.34% female directors vs. 73.65% male directors. Similar to founders, a gender gap exists in leadership roles within companies.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The distribution ranges widely, with a notable presence of directors in the 40-60 age range, indicating experienced leadership in the region’s businesses.


Blackburn with Darwen’s economic environment is characterised by a robust mix of traditional and emerging sectors, steady employment growth, and a vibrant new business scene. While there is healthy economic activity, areas like gender diversity in entrepreneurship and leadership roles present opportunities for development. The overall economic health of the council is promising, with a diverse and evolving business landscape.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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