UHY Hacker Young | Chartered Accountants

Engineering sector driving new business growth in Birmingham

17 October 2016

  • Area has seen an increase of 12 new businesses per 10,000 population
  • Automotive sector playing a key role

According to our research, new business growth in Birmingham has remained strong, as 12 new businesses per 10,000 population* were created in the last year.

A main driver of this growth is Birmingham’s position as one of the UK’s leading engineering and manufacturing centres, particularly for companies specialising in the automotive industry.

Major automotive companies in the region include Jaguar Land Rover, who run their manufacturing operation in Birmingham at their Castle Bromwich and Solihull factories and BMW, who manufacture engines at their Hams Hall plant in Birmingham.

This existing focus on the automotive and advanced engineering sectors in Birmingham puts it in a unique position, as it draws in new companies in from this sector looking to take advantage of the regions broad skill base.

We highlight that local government, over the past few years, has also tried to boost economic growth and encourage new businesses to the area.

Birmingham City Council have, in August 2016, launched their new Business Growth Programme. This £33 million programme provides funding to SMEs across the Greater Birmingham area, in order to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation, grow existing businesses and help to establish new ones.

Malcolm Winston, partner, says that “Birmingham is a leading hub for the automotive sector. Exporters, such as car manufacturers, are doing well due to the recent fall in sterling. This is good news for Birmingham and is likely to have further positive impacts on the local economy.”

“High rents are driving many firms out of London and the South-East. Birmingham’s position at the centre of the UK’s transport system, as well as local efforts to entice business growth, make moving or starting up there an exciting prospect for many business owners.”

Areas with the highest and lowest new business growth

Northampton is the UK’s number one town for new business creation, with 43 more new businesses per 10,000 population created than a year ago. The area narrowly beat London in terms of new business creation, where 42 more new businesses per 10,000 population were formed compared to the previous year.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Northern Ireland economy did not fare as well as hoped in terms of net new business growth. Five out of ten areas with the biggest reductions in the number of new businesses were in the region

North Down and Ards, in the east of Northern Ireland had the biggest reduction in the UK in terms of new businesses, with 14 fewer per 10,000 population compared to a year ago.

Top ten areas for net new businesses per 10,000 population

Position Region Net New Business
1 Northampton 43
2 London Region 42
3 Bolsover, Derbyshire 36
4 Corby, Northamptonshire 34
5 South Bucks 34
6 Spelthorne, Surrey 32
7 Windsor and Maidenhead 30
8 Elmbridge, Surrey 29
9 Warwick 29
10 Milton Keynes 29
149 Birmingham 12
UK Average 12


Bottom ten areas for net new businesses per 10,000 population

Position Region Net New Business
356 North Down and Ards, NI -14
355 West Somerset -6
354 Cannock Chase, Staffordshire -5
353 North Kesteven, Lincolnshire -5
352 Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon -2
351 Mid Ulster, NI -1
350 Antrim and Newtownabbey, NI -1
349 Causeway Coast and Glens, NI -1
348 Ceredigion, Wales -1
347 East Lindsey, Lincolnshire 0


* Analysis of number of net new businesses per 10,000 in 356 UK towns. Year end 31 December 2014, latest figures available.

For further information on this press release, please contact Malcolm Winston.