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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in St. Helens


St. Helens showcases a dynamic economic landscape with a workforce of 52,860 employees. The city has experienced growth across various sectors, particularly in wholesale, retail trade, and construction. Despite no new IPOs, there is a notable 8.42% employee growth. The presence of SMEs and the rise in company formations reflect entrepreneurial vitality. However, gender diversity in leadership roles remains an area for improvement.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: St. Helens has 52,860 employees, indicating a robust labor market.
  • Employee Growth: The city witnessed a 8.42% growth in employment, a positive indicator of economic expansion and job creation.
  • Raising Companies: 48 companies reported increased employment, demonstrating an uptick in business activity.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors are wholesale/retail trade (16.62%), construction (14.26%), and professional services (12.1%). These sectors form the backbone of St. Helens’ economy.
  • Sector Growth: Notable rising sectors include distribution, design services, and other manufacturing, signaling diversification in the economic base.
  • New Companies: St. Helens saw the emergence of 1,130 new companies over two years, reflecting a fertile environment for business inception.
  • Scaleups: With 50 scaleup companies, the city shows significant potential for business growth and expansion.
  • Company Cessations: The presence of 8,812 companies ceasing operations suggests challenges in business sustainability.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There were 8,812 company closures, indicating a need for better support mechanisms for business continuity.

Gender and Leadership

  • Founders Gender: Male founders dominate (86.27%), with female founders at 9.80%. This disparity highlights a gender gap in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors Gender: Female directors constitute 25.66%, and male directors 71.91%. The gender diversity in leadership roles shows room for improvement.


St. Helens’ economic landscape is characterised by robust sectoral growth, notable employment increase, and a thriving new business environment. However, the high number of company cessations and gender disparity in leadership positions are areas that warrant attention. Addressing these challenges could further strengthen the city’s economic health.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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