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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Plymouth


Plymouth’s economic landscape demonstrates a diverse range of sectors contributing to its growth. With 93,527 employees, the city shows a dynamic economic environment. The significant presence of sectors like Construction, Retail Trade, and Professional Services indicates a balanced economic base. The city’s commitment to nurturing young businesses and supporting gender diversity in leadership roles further enhances its economic resilience.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Plymouth boasts 93,527 employees. A notable aspect is the 25 companies reporting increased employment, signaling a positive trend in job creation.
  • Employment Growth: The city has witnessed an 11.14% growth in employment, indicative of a robust and expanding job market.
  • Top Sectors by Employment: Construction (15.03%), Retail Trade (12.2%), and Professional Services (11.5%) dominate, reflecting a strong foundation in both traditional and knowledge-based industries.
  • Sectors with Rising Company Numbers: Notable growth in sectors such as Other CleanTech, Other Business Services, and Technology/IP-based businesses suggests a pivot towards innovative and sustainable industries.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: The data indicates a substantial number of company cessations, with 1,345 companies ceasing operations. This figure suggests a dynamic but challenging business environment.
  • Number of Companies: There are 11,131 companies in Plymouth, with 1,560 new companies established in the last two years. This demonstrates a healthy rate of new business formation.
  • Scaleups: The presence of 51 scaleups underscores the city’s ability to support business growth beyond the startup phase.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The dominance of sectors like Construction, Retail Trade, and Professional Services is evident, with these sectors having the highest number of companies.
  • Emerging Sectors: The rise in CleanTech and Energy Reduction Technology businesses aligns with global trends towards sustainability and innovation.
  • SMEs and Exporters: The 8,194 SMEs and 167 exporters in Plymouth highlight the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and international business engagement.
  • Foreign Parent Companies: The presence of 90 companies with foreign parentage indicates Plymouth’s integration into the global economy.

Innovation and Technology

  • Patent Owners and Grantees: With 209 patent owners and 2 grantees, Plymouth is fostering an environment conducive to innovation.
  • Fundraisings and IPOs: The 7 fundraisings, albeit no IPOs, suggest an active startup ecosystem reliant on private investments.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Gender Diversity in Founders and Directors: Female founders represent 18.46%, while female directors constitute 28.14% of the total. This indicates progress in gender diversity but also highlights areas for improvement.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: A diverse age range among company directors, with significant representation in the 50-60 age bracket (26.78%), suggests experience combined with a blend of youthful dynamism in corporate leadership.


Plymouth’s economic landscape is marked by a diverse and growing employment base, thriving sectors like Construction and Retail Trade, and an increasing focus on innovative industries. Challenges such as company cessations and the need for greater gender diversity in leadership are counterbalanced by strengths in SME growth, international trade, and a vibrant startup ecosystem. Overall, Plymouth presents a dynamic and evolving economic environment with potential for continued growth and innovation.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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