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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Burnley


Burnley, a vibrant town, exhibits a dynamic economic landscape with a total workforce of 32,924. The city’s economic vigor is reflected in the diversity of its top sectors, notably in trade, construction, and technical activities. Despite the absence of IPOs, Burnley shows a healthy 17.9% employee growth, indicating robust business development. The balance between traditional industries and a growing presence in technology and innovation sectors highlights the city’s adaptive economic structure.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Burnley’s workforce stands at 32,924, a significant figure for the town’s economy. This workforce is spread across various sectors, with a notable increase in employment (17.9% growth). This growth is a positive indicator of economic health and suggests an expanding job market.
  • Employee Growth: The town saw a 17.9% growth in employment, indicating a strong, expanding economic environment. This growth might be driven by the emergence of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones.
  • Top Sectors by Company Numbers: The leading sectors are diverse, with ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade’ (890 companies), ‘Construction’ (602 companies), and ‘Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities’ (512 companies) leading the pack. This diversity suggests a well-rounded economic base.
  • Top Sectors with Employment Growth: Notable growth is seen in technology/IP-based businesses, analytics, music, and complementary healthcare services. These sectors, though smaller in number, indicate areas of emerging economic potential and innovation in Burnley.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: With 500 companies ceasing operations, there is a significant impact on the business landscape. This figure suggests a competitive and dynamic market where not all ventures succeed.
  • Scaleups: The presence of 32 scaleups demonstrates the town’s ability to support growing businesses, which is a positive sign for the local economy.
  • New Companies in Last 2 Years: 1,184 new companies in the last two years signify a thriving entrepreneurial spirit and a conducive environment for new business ventures.

Directors and Founders

  • Gender Distribution in Founders and Directors: Founders show a stark gender disparity with 97.5% male and only 2.5% female. However, in directorship roles, females are better represented at 24.65%, though still outnumbered by male directors (72%).
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The data indicates a wide range of ages among company directors, with the largest groups being in the 40-60 age range. This diversity in age suggests a blend of experience and new perspectives in the town’s business leadership.


Burnley’s economic landscape is characterized by a robust and diverse business environment, evidenced by significant employment growth and a variety of thriving sectors. While the town faces challenges, such as a high number of company cessations and gender disparity in business leadership, the positive indicators of scaleups and new company formations suggest a resilient and evolving economy.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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