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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Wiltshire


Wiltshire’s economic landscape presents a dynamic mix of sectors, with a substantial workforce and notable business growth. Key sectors like professional, scientific, technical activities, and retail trade dominate, alongside a rise in specific areas such as food and drink processors and healthcare products. The balance of gender diversity in business leadership and the trends in company demographics provide additional insights into the region’s economic health.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Wiltshire has 188,937 employees, reflecting a robust workforce. The growth of 7.19% in employee numbers is a positive indicator of the region’s economic vitality.
  • Companies with Increasing Employees: 290 companies reported an increase in employees, signifying a healthy and expanding business environment.
  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The leading sectors are professional, scientific, and technical activities (5,228 companies; 17.7%), retail trade (3,383 companies; 11.45%), and construction (3,227 companies; 10.92%). This diversity suggests a well-rounded economic base.
  • Sectors with Rising Company Numbers: Sectors like food and drink processors and healthcare products are witnessing growth, indicating evolving industry trends in Wiltshire.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: A total of 2,580 companies ceased operations, a figure that needs monitoring to understand its impact on the local economy.
  • Company Formations: In the last two years, 2,932 new companies were formed, showcasing entrepreneurial spirit and business opportunities in the region.
  • Total Companies: With 29,544 companies, Wiltshire has a diverse business ecosystem.
  • Scale-ups: 145 scale-ups indicate a nurturing environment for business expansion and innovation.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): 23,473 SMEs form the backbone of Wiltshire’s economy, emphasising the importance of small businesses.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: The presence of 834 exporters and 490 companies with foreign parentage highlights Wiltshire’s integration into the global market.
  • Innovation Indicators: The region has 2,664 fundraisings, 16 patent owners, and an innovation-oriented focus, demonstrated by the presence of scale-ups and technology-oriented sectors.

Gender Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders: 23.72% female founders and 75.55% male founders indicate a need for more gender balance.
  • Directors: Better gender diversity is seen in director roles, with 29.21% females and 66.24% males.

Company Demographics

  • Age of Companies: A substantial portion of companies (32.31%) have directors over 60 years, with 29.09% in the 50-60 age bracket. This suggests experienced leadership at the helm of many businesses.
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: 805 companies have young directors, indicating a new generation of entrepreneurs.


Wiltshire’s economy is characterised by a diverse and growing business landscape, with strong sectors like professional services and retail trade. The region shows potential in emerging industries and demonstrates considerable entrepreneurial activity. However, it also faces challenges like company cessations and gender disparity in business leadership. Overall, Wiltshire’s economic environment is dynamic, with ample opportunities for future 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.