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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in North Ayrshire


North Ayrshire presents a diverse economic landscape, marked by a significant presence in construction, retail trade, professional services, and accommodation activities. With a total employment base of 14,796, the region has experienced a modest rise in employment figures. Notably, the area has a balanced gender distribution among its founders and directors, indicating an inclusive business environment. The absence of IPOs and a small number of scaleups suggest a region with more traditional, established businesses rather than rapidly growing startups.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 14,796. The region has seen a 7.94% growth in employment, indicating a healthy job market. The growth is spread across various sectors, with construction and retail trade leading. This growth signifies a robust and diversifying local economy.
  • Employment Raisers: 9 sectors have contributed to employment growth, showcasing a multi-faceted economic development.
  • Top Sectors: Construction (15.9%), Retail Trade (14.32%), Professional Services (13.01%). These sectors form the backbone of North Ayrshire’s economy, driving employment and economic activities.
  • Top Sectors Raisers: Waste Management Services. This indicates a niche but growing industry in the region.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 469 companies ceased operations, suggesting a challenging environment for business sustainability. This could be due to market saturation, economic shifts, or competitive pressures.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 581, indicating a dynamic entrepreneurial environment and a promising future for business diversity.
  • Total Companies: 3,660. This number reflects the region’s established business base and economic stability.
  • SMEs: 2,580. Small and medium enterprises form a significant part of the local economy, driving innovation and employment.

Gender and Age Dynamics

  • Founders’ Gender: 29.63% female and 70.37% male founders, showing a gender gap but a notable presence of female entrepreneurs.
  • Directors’ Gender: 27.45% female and 70.20% male directors, similar to the founders’ gender distribution.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: Most directors are aged between 50-60 (26.21%) and over 60 (28.49%), indicating experienced leadership in the local business community.

Innovation and Growth

  • IPOs: None, suggesting a focus on traditional business growth models over public listings.
  • Scaleups: 19. These businesses are key drivers of economic growth, indicating potential areas for future development.
  • Patent Owners: 28, showing a moderate level of innovation within the region.


North Ayrshire showcases a stable and diversified economic landscape, with strong sectors in construction, retail, and professional services. While the region shows healthy employment growth and a vibrant SME sector, challenges in business continuity and a lack of rapid-growth companies like scaleups and IPOs are notable. The gender gap in entrepreneurship and leadership positions, though present, is less pronounced than in many other regions. Overall, North Ayrshire’s economy is marked by steady growth, diversified sectors, and experienced leadership.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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