Romford’s companies lead the way in Britain – Experian analysis

North East London town home to the most fast-growing companies, while the ‘incubation belt’ from Bradford to Northampton has a strong start-up rate but sales lag

Nottingham, UK, 27-10-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Romford’s companies are leading the way in Britain, showing strong growth in both sales and business numbers.

The North East London town is ranked highest in the country when taking into account its superior percentage of fast-growing companies and significant net increase in the number of incorporated businesses. Three in 10 (30 per cent) Romford businesses are among Britain’s fastest-growing, while the number of companies registered there has increased by 10 per cent over one year. One in five Romford businesses were formed by entrepreneurs last year and its start-up rate of 22 per cent is the highest in Britain.

Six of the top 10 prospering areas are within the M25. Romford is followed by North London, Ilford and East London, which have all been driven by a substantial net gain in company numbers. But areas outside the capital are also thriving, with Motherwell, Luton, Warrington and Lincoln also featuring prominently on the list.

Incubation belt

Other areas of Britain have experienced a rapid growth in company numbers, but are not considered prosperous due to a below average percentage of fast-growing businesses. Leeds’ business population growth of 12 per cent is the best in Britain, yet only 24 per cent of its companies are considered fast-growing, below the national average.

Leeds is one of the areas in an almost unbroken ‘incubation belt’ stretching from Northampton to Bradford, taking in cities such as Nottingham, Wolverhampton and Sheffield on the way. The statistics suggest these areas have succeeded in creating an area for businesses to form and survive, but they have yet to accelerate their sales growth.

Max Firth, Managing Director for Experian Business Information Services, UK&I, said:“There’s a lot to admire about cities and towns which have created an environment where start-ups can be created and businesses can survive. But with the economic downturn now behind us, places which we have highlighted as incubators will want to take the next step to increase prosperity.

“Start-ups will need support to become engines of growth in their local economies if prosperity is to be achieved. These businesses will maximise their chances of achieving rapid growth by checking customers are in a position to settle invoices promptly and by finding new clients at home and abroad.”

Well established

Conversely, Milton Keynes is an ‘established’ area where existing companies are performing well. A high proportion, 29 per cent, are considered fast-growing, yet the increase in the business population was below average.

Many of the postal areas with ‘established’ businesses are based in London and the South East of England. Harrow, South West London and Enfield in the capital are followed by Tonbridge and Redhill in the wider South East. Elsewhere, the business populations of Aberdeen, Bath and Swansea also fall into this category.

Table 1: Romford

Number of companies 28,132
Start-ups 6,188
Start-up rate 22%
Company survival rate 88%
Net gain in # companies 10.4%


Table 2: Prosperous areas

Areas which are home to both an above average increase in the number of companies, and an above average level of fast-growing businesses

Rank Post area Net % gain in number of companies % of companies above sales upper quartile Indexed net % gain Indexed % above sales quartile Combined growth ranking
1 Romford 10.4% 30.2% 1.70 1.21 2.05
2 North London 10.2% 29.1% 1.66 1.16 1.93
3 Ilford 8.4% 29.9% 1.36 1.19 1.63
4 East London 9.0% 27.1% 1.47 1.08 1.59
5 Motherwell 8.7% 25.2% 1.42 1.00 1.42
6 Luton 7.6% 28.4% 1.24 1.13 1.40
7 Warrington 8.2% 25.2% 1.34 1.01 1.35
8 Lincoln 6.7% 29.6% 1.10 1.18 1.30
9 East Central London 7.1% 27.7% 1.15 1.10 1.27
10 Watford 7.6% 25.1% 1.23 1.00 1.23
11 Birmingham 6.5% 28.1% 1.05 1.12 1.18
12 Wakefield 6.0% 30.0% 0.98 1.20 1.17
13 Southend-On-Sea 6.3% 28.2% 1.02 1.13 1.15
14 Rochester 6.1% 28.6% 0.99 1.14 1.13
National average 6.1% 25.0% 1.00 1.00 1.00


Table 3: Incubator areas

Areas where the number of companies has increased, but there is a below average number of fast-growing businesses

Rank Post area % of companies above sales upper quartile Net % gain in number of companies
1 Leeds 23.8% 12.1%
2 Western Central London 23.7% 9.4%
3 Uxbridge 24.4% 8.8%
4 Nottingham 21.7% 8.8%
5 Cleveland 24.7% 8.5%
6 Croydon 23.2% 8.1%
7 Dartford 23.8% 7.9%
8 Northampton 24.9% 7.8%
9 Sheffield 24.7% 7.3%
10 Blackpool 22.5% 7.3%
11 Edinburgh 23.9% 7.2%
12 Twickenham 23.8% 7.1%
13 Wolverhampton 17.7% 6.6%
14 Peterborough 21.5% 6.3%
15 Bradford 22.1% 6.1%
National average 25.0% 6.1%


Table 4: Established areas

Above average percentage of companies above upper sales quartile, but below average net percentage gain in number of companies

Rank Post area Net % gain in number of companies % of companies above sales upper quartile
1 Milton Keynes 5.5% 28.5%
2 Harrow 5.6% 28.4%
3 South West London 4.4% 28.2%
4 Enfield 5.4% 27.6%
5 Tonbridge 3.5% 27.5%
6 Redhill 4.7% 26.9%
7 Aberdeen 3.7% 26.8%
8 West London 4.7% 26.1%
9 Bath 4.0% 25.3%
10 Swansea 4.8% 25.2%
National average 6.1% 25.0%


Notes to Editors

Companies which are ranked above the upper quartile for sales growth between 2013 and 2014 are considered ‘fast-growing’.

Businesses ranked above the upper quartile are in the top 25 per cent when they are ranked by growth in sales from 2013 to 2014. Indexing expresses the value attributed to a postal area relative to the national average. So an indexed value of 1.5 for an area means its value is 1.5 times the average.

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The latest analysis has been compiled using some of the most comprehensive business data on the market. This data powers BusinessIQ, a new easy-to-use, integrated online platform that enables credit professionals to accurately and efficiently manage its business customers and all the risks and opportunities associated with them – from acquisition stage and throughout the life cycle of the relationship. This includes giving firms an early warning system on customers who might be getting into financial difficulty.

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SOURCE: Experian plc


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