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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in South Ayrshire


South Ayrshire showcases a diverse economic landscape, with a notable presence in sectors such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities, Construction, and Wholesale and Retail Trade. The region has maintained steady employment, with a total of 21,683 employees, and has seen modest growth in certain sectors. However, it lags in areas like IPOs and high-growth companies (scaleups). The gender diversity in business leadership roles reveals a need for improvement, especially in director positions.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: South Ayrshire employs 21,683 individuals, showing a stable employment landscape. The presence of 200 employee raisers indicates a growing business environment.
  • Employee Growth: The employee growth percentage stands at 6.52%, suggesting a positive trend in employment opportunities.
  • Scaleups: With 30 scaleups, the region demonstrates potential in nurturing high-growth companies.
  • Company Foundations: 613 new companies have been established in the last two years, contributing to the region’s economic dynamism.

Sector Analysis

  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors are Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (705 companies), Construction (555), and Wholesale/Retail Trade (547). These sectors form the backbone of South Ayrshire’s economy.
  • Sector Growth: Sectors showing growth are Property/Land Management, Business Services, and Security Services, each with one new significant company. This indicates niche areas of economic expansion.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: A high number of company cessations (5802) compared to new companies (613) may indicate challenges in business sustainability.
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: The presence of 153 young companies with young directors suggests a burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit among the youth.

Gender Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders Gender: The region shows a decent gender balance among founders, with 36.54% female and 61.54% male founders.
  • Directors Gender: Gender diversity is less pronounced in director roles, with 28.23% female and 68.56% male directors.

Intellectual Property and Innovation

  • Patent Owners and Grantees: The presence of 40 patent owners and 1 grantee indicates a modest level of innovation activity.


South Ayrshire’s economy is characterised by a diverse sector presence and growing employment opportunities. The region shows potential in certain high-growth sectors but faces challenges in sustaining new businesses and achieving gender parity in leadership roles. Focusing on nurturing scaleups, supporting new ventures, and improving gender diversity in top positions could further strengthen its 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.