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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Lancaster


Lancaster showcases a diverse economic landscape with significant activity in various sectors. The city’s total employment stands at 34,847, indicating a dynamic workforce. The distribution across sectors like professional, scientific, technical activities, construction, and retail trade highlights a balanced economic structure. However, gender diversity in founder and director roles appears to be an area requiring attention.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 34,847. Lancaster’s employment profile is robust, with 170 companies reporting an increase in employees. This suggests a positive trend in job creation.
  • Percentage Employee Growth: 7.60%. This growth rate indicates an overall healthy increase in employment opportunities within the city.
  • Top Sectors with Employment Rise: Sectors such as ‘Other manufacturing and engineering’, ‘Analytics, insight, tools’, and ‘Internet platform’ are seeing notable growth.
  • Number of Scale-ups: 39. This number represents businesses that have shown significant growth in revenue or employees, indicative of a dynamic business environment.

Sector Dynamics

  • Dominant Sectors: The leading sectors by company count are professional, scientific, and technical activities (893 companies), construction (832), and retail trade/repair of motor vehicles (827).
  • Sectors with Most Growth: Other manufacturing and engineering, analytics, and internet platforms are among the top sectors showing significant growth.
  • Total Number of Companies: 6,659, indicating a diverse and substantial business ecosystem.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 1,683. This high number of new companies signals a vibrant startup scene and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): 5,084. SMEs form the backbone of Lancaster’s economy, driving innovation and employment.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 956. While there are a significant number of new companies, the cessation rate also needs attention.
  • Number of Company Deaths (All Time/Recent): 7,545 (all-time), 618 (recent). These figures show the challenges businesses face in sustaining over time.

Innovation and International Presence

  • Number of Patent Owners: 9. This indicates a moderate level of innovation within the city.
  • Number of Exporters: 164. Lancaster has a fair presence in international markets.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 56. This shows Lancaster’s ability to attract foreign investment and businesses.

Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 93.24% male, 4.05% female, 2.70% unknown. There is a significant gender gap among founders.
  • Directors’ Gender: 64.89% male, 30.43% female. While better than founders, gender diversity among directors still shows room for improvement.
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: 322. This indicates a promising trend of young entrepreneurship.


Lancaster’s economic and business landscape is characterised by a healthy mix of sectors, robust SME presence, and a growing number of startups. However, challenges in company sustainability and gender diversity in leadership roles are apparent. The city’s economic health is on a positive trajectory, but attention to these areas could foster even more substantial growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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