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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Bolton


Bolton’s economic landscape is diverse, with significant activities in wholesale and retail trade, professional services, and construction. The total employment in the city is 143,528, with a noticeable number of companies in sectors like real estate and information and communication. The absence of IPOs indicates a focus on growth within established frameworks rather than public markets. The gender diversity in founding and director roles shows a tilt towards male dominance, though there’s a fair representation of female directors at nearly 25%.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Bolton employs 143,528 individuals. The 11.21% employee growth rate indicates healthy economic development.
  • Top Sectors with Employee Growth: Wholesale/retail trade and repair of motor vehicles (18.83%), Professional services (11.2%), Administrative support (11%), and Construction (10.77%). This spread suggests a robust and diverse job market.
  • Number of Scale-ups: 88 scale-ups imply a strong environment for business expansion.
  • Employee Growth Rate: 11.21%, reflecting a thriving job market.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Count: Wholesale/retail trade (18.83%), Professional services (11.2%), Administrative support (11.0%), Construction (10.77%).
  • Rising Sectors: B2C websites and Automotive show growth, indicating evolving consumer preferences and technological advancement.
  • Total Companies: 24,558, showcasing Bolton’s vibrant business ecosystem.
  • New Companies in 2 Years: 3,976, illustrating a fertile environment for startups and entrepreneurship.
  • SMEs: 17,802 SMEs form the backbone of Bolton’s economy, crucial for job creation and innovation.
  • Exporters: 414, indicating a degree of global engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 474, showing international investment interest.
  • Number of Fundraisings: 8, suggesting active investment activity.
  • Patent Owners: 147, highlighting innovation and intellectual property generation.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 3,163 over the period, which is a natural part of the business lifecycle, indicating market dynamics and competition.

Demographics in Leadership

  • Founders Gender: 17.76% female, 80.37% male, and 1.87% unknown.
  • Directors Gender: 24.83% female, 71.43% male, and 3.73% unknown, showing a need for greater gender balance in leadership roles.


Bolton presents a dynamic and growing economic environment, with a strong presence in diverse sectors like wholesale/retail trade, professional services, and construction. The city’s business ecosystem is characterised by a healthy mix of SMEs, scale-ups, and new companies, indicating robust entrepreneurial activity. The gender disparity in leadership roles suggests room for improvement in diversity. Overall, Bolton’s economy shows positive signs of growth and diversity, with potential for further development in leadership diversity and international engagement.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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