Coventry and Warwickshire’s fastest growing companies have boosted the local economy, increasing revenues by 17% to £11bn.
The area is home to a wide range of businesses, many of them with a £Billion plus turnover, however these businesses make up just 6% of the top 50, while 35% of the top 50 are mid-sized businesses, generating £1.3bn in turnover in the latest year.
Manufacturing in Coventry and Warwickshire
In a region that’s historically famous for its manufacturing and engineering, with the first British car built here 120 years ago – this industry is still dominant, with 14 of the top 50 fastest growing businesses falling within this sector.
While it is positive to see so many manufacturers and engineers experiencing significant growth, the industry needs to embrace what has become known as Industry 4.0, in order to sustain their growth and not lose out to foreign competition.
BDO’s New Economy campaign calls for the government to do more to not only implement Industry 4.0 processes, such as building on the £1bn national investment in full-fibre broadband and trialling 5G networks, but also to educate and support manufacturers around the processes.
As well as being a region built on manufacturing, Warwickshire has historically relied heavily upon tourism to boost the economy. With the home of Shakespeare Stratford-upon-Avon continuing to attract more than 5 million visitors a year, the City of Coventry has seen its tourist numbers leap by more than 78% between 2014 and 2015 according to Visit Britain data, and with the 2021 City of Culture bid well underway these numbers could continue to rise.
With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that based on the top 50 list, hospitality and leisure has shown an employment boom of 64% with turnover up by 44%, making it the third fastest growing sector on the list. Tourism in the region looks set to remain a key generator of revenue, however this could be bolstered further if lawmakers were to heed BDO’s new economy policy to cut VAT within the tourism industry.
While manufacturing and tourism have been sectors this region has been associated with historically, in recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of technology and media companies choosing to be based within the region, more specifically gaming companies whose presence in and around Leamington has led to it being dubbed as ‘Silicon Spa’.
The top 50 list shows that 10% of the fastest growing companies fall within the technology and media sector and with this in mind, the region could benefit majorly from BDO’s proposed tax incentives to support technology firms at a national level.
BDO’s new economy report supports technology firms and is pushing for tax incentives for tech firms at a national level.
The Government is right to be ambitious for the UK’s digital economy, the future of advanced economies such as the UK’s, lies in growing research – intensive, innovative and high value digital companies.
It is fantastic to see growth in such a range of sectors and our report indicates that tomorrow’s fortunes may continue to lie in manufacturing, but could equally arise in energy, financial services or the digital and creative industries.
Fast-growth businesses are the economic engine of our region and it is important we continue to celebrate the best of Coventry and Warwickshire.
To see who has made it onto the top 50 list and to download our report visit our Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Barometer.
Roger Buckley is a partner in the Midlands and Head of Coventry and Warwickshire team.