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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in County Durham


County Durham showcases a diverse economic landscape, marked by significant activity in construction, professional services, and trade sectors. The area has maintained a steady growth in employment, with a notable 8.97% increase in employee numbers. The presence of various sectors, including emerging areas like analytics and materials technology, indicates a dynamic and evolving economic environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 103,798. The region has experienced a healthy growth in employment, with a 8.97% increase, indicating a robust job market and economic expansion.
  • Employee Raisers: 920 companies have increased their workforce, reflecting business expansion and a positive economic climate.
  • Top Sectors by Company Count: Construction (14.88%), Professional Services (14.01%), and Trade (12.55%) dominate, showing a strong foundation in traditional industries alongside a burgeoning professional sector.
  • Top Sectors with Rising Company Numbers: Notable growth in sectors like ‘Analytics, Insight, Tools’ and ‘Materials Technology’ suggests a shift towards high-tech and specialised industries.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: With 1,983 company closures, there’s a need to analyse factors leading to these cessations and develop strategies to enhance business resilience.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 5,056, indicating a vibrant entrepreneurial environment and a promising future for business diversity.
  • Scale-ups: 123 businesses are identified as scale-ups, indicating significant growth potential in the region’s business ecosystem.

Sector Dynamics

  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): 14,019, forming the backbone of the local economy and driving innovation.
  • Exporters: 396, suggesting a decent level of international trade engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 215, indicating a level of foreign investment and global connectivity.

Innovation and Development

  • Patent Owners: 18, showing a modest level of innovation.
  • Grant Recipients: 476, reflecting active pursuit of growth and innovation funding.
  • Spinouts: The absence of spinouts suggests a potential area for development, encouraging university-industry collaborations.

Governance and Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 20.74% female, 77.88% male. This gender disparity highlights a potential area for encouraging female entrepreneurship.
  • Directors’ Gender: 27.12% female, 68.87% male, indicating a similar gender gap in leadership roles.
  • Age of Directors: A wide age distribution, with the largest groups being in the 50-60 (27.42%) and 40-50 (23.78%) age brackets, suggesting experienced leadership.


County Durham’s economy is diverse and growing, with strengths in traditional sectors and emerging high-tech fields. While employment and business growth are positive, the gender gap in entrepreneurship and leadership, alongside a notable number of company cessations, present areas for improvement. Strategies to support female entrepreneurs, foster innovation, and enhance business continuity could further strengthen the economic landscape.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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