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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Wigan


Wigan’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors, with a strong presence in construction, retail trade, and professional activities. The city has seen a notable growth in employment, with 117,421 employees and a significant number of companies in various sectors experiencing growth. Despite the lack of new IPOs, the city shows a positive trend in business scale-ups and new company formations, indicating a dynamic business environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 117,421. Wigan has experienced a robust increase in employment, indicated by the 11.20% employee growth. This trend reflects the city’s economic vitality and potential for future job creation.
  • Employment Raisers: 209 companies have contributed to this employment growth, signaling an active and expanding business community.
  • Top Sectors by Company Count: Construction (2,321 companies), Retail Trade (2,144), Professional Services (1,984), which collectively form a diversified economic base.
  • Top Sectors by Growth: Sectors such as Other Manufacturing and Engineering, Civil Engineering Services, and Wholesale show a promising trend in business expansion.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Wigan witnessed 1,791 company closures, a figure that needs to be balanced against new company formations to assess the overall business health.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 2,602, showing a dynamic entrepreneurial environment.
  • Scaleups: 89 companies have scaled up, which is a positive indicator of business maturity and growth potential in the region.
  • SMEs: With 10,821 SMEs, Wigan has a strong backbone of small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Exporters: 317 exporters suggest a significant level of international business engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 127, indicating a degree of international investment and connectivity.

Diversity and Innovation

  • Founders by Gender: 15.71% female founders, 84.29% male, showcasing a gender disparity in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors by Gender: 27.33% female directors, indicating a gradual increase in gender diversity in leadership roles.
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: 977 companies, reflecting a vibrant young entrepreneurial community.
  • Innovation Indicators: Wigan has 138 patent owners and 4 grantees, indicating a modest level of innovation activity.


Wigan’s economic profile is marked by a strong and diverse sector presence, significant employment growth, and a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there is room for improvement in areas such as gender diversity in entrepreneurship and innovation, the overall economic health of the city is robust, with a good mix of established and emerging businesses. This bodes well for future economic stability and growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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