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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Forest of Dean


The Forest of Dean presents a dynamic and diverse economic landscape. With 15,740 employees and a 7.8% growth in employment, the region shows positive development in its workforce. The dominant sectors, such as Professional, Scientific, Technical activities, Construction, and Wholesale/Retail Trade, indicate a balanced mix of traditional and modern industries. However, the lack of IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) suggests limited activity in high-growth enterprises.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 15,740 employees. The area has seen a 7.8% growth in employment, suggesting robust economic activity and job creation. The high number of employees in diverse sectors illustrates a stable job market.
  • Sectors with Employment Growth: Notable growth is seen in sectors like Professional/Scientific/Technical activities and Construction. This growth reflects a trend towards specialised, knowledge-based services and a strong construction industry.
  • Number of Scale-ups: There are 19 scale-up companies, which are critical for sustained economic growth as they often lead to job creation and innovation.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors include Professional/Scientific/Technical activities (660 companies), Construction (585 companies), and Wholesale/Retail Trade (482 companies). These sectors form the backbone of the local economy, contributing significantly to employment and business activities.
  • Sectors Showing Rapid Growth: The sectors with notable company increases include Other Personal Services, Educational Services, and Food & Drink Processors. This diversity indicates a healthy, evolving business environment.
  • New Companies: In the last two years, 866 new companies have been established, bringing the total number of new companies to 474. This indicates a vibrant entrepreneurial climate.
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs number 3,380, showing the area’s reliance on small businesses as economic drivers.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: There are 123 exporters and 30 companies with foreign parentage, suggesting a degree of international engagement in the local economy.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There have been 577 company cessations, a figure that should be monitored to understand business sustainability in the region.
  • Patent Owners and Grantees: The presence of 41 patent owners and 4 grantees indicates some level of innovation and research activity, although this could be further developed.

Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 7.69% female founders and 92.31% male founders. This highlights a significant gender gap in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors’ Gender: 27.45% female directors and 67.24% male directors show better but still unequal gender representation in leadership positions.


Forest of Dean’s economy is characterised by a strong mix of traditional and modern sectors, with a significant number of SMEs and a growing workforce. However, the limited presence of high-growth enterprises and a notable gender gap in entrepreneurship and leadership roles suggest areas for improvement. The diversity of new businesses and the presence of innovation-related activities provide a positive outlook for future economic development.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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