Romford businesses are Britain’s best performers

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 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.

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.”

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.