Worcestershire’s fastest-growing firms record impressive labour growth

Worcestershire’s fastest growing companies have expanded their workforce by more than 10% per year over the past three years, according to a major new survey.

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP’s latest Worcestershire Growth report has revealed that the region’s top 50 fastest-growing firms with turnover of over £10 million, now employ more than 15,000 people between them and have expanded their workforces by more than 30% in the last three years.

The findings come as overall revenues in the top 50 have grown by 51% compared with three years ago.

Wychavon is Worcestershire’s business growth capital, which, according to BDO’s survey, in the last year accounted for more than £885m in turnover – nearly 25% of the total turnover produced by the top 50 growth companies.

The area is also home to two of the top three fastest-growing companies in the shire, Excool and Transcal Engineering, and half of the businesses in the top ten.

Manufacturing and retail are the two sectors driving the lion’s share of growth, with 62% of its top 50 fastest growing businesses falling into these two sectors – manufacturing companies in the top 50 made more than £1.8bn in the last year, compared to just over £1.1bn for retail businesses.

Real estate and construction appears to have maintained its third place presence in the region with seven companies in this year’s top 50 list making a combined £274m. The Barberry Group – a property development and investment company – tops the list of companies.

Gary Rouse, Director at BDO LLP said: “A concentration of business growth in just a few sectors can help a region such as ours to become an industrial powerhouse – which is reinforced by the strong levels of job creation across the county.

“It’s also really encouraging to see a region that has been thriving during a period of long-term economic uncertainty across different sectors.

“But this growth also exposes the economy to the risk of shocks if a high-growth sector is hit by external factors.

“Local policymakers will increasingly have to bear in mind which industries are driving economic growth in Worcestershire, while at the same time perhaps striving to maintain some diversity in among the county’s top 50 growth stars”.

Technology is also playing its part in fuelling the county’s growth.

Early findings from Worcestershire’s 5G test bed have shown a 1% to 2% increase in productivity for businesses taking part, and complementing advances in 5G, Worcestershire’s Mettis Aerospace has announced the world’s first industrial enterprise IoT trial using Wi-Fi 6, a new technology for wireless internet connections.

Worcester Bosch CEO, Carl Arntzen says: “We’re doing a lot around Industry 4.0, it’s a big topic in Germany, and therefore it’s a big topic in Bosch. We were streaming sensors around the Wi-Fi network, so it was an easy extension to stream data over 5G.”

The company champions Worcestershire in a big way with around 1,100 of Worcester Bosch’s 1,800 employees based in the county.

Speaking about their people Arntzen added: “There are huge career opportunities once you are inside the company. We create an environment where people feel empowered to be innovative.”

The report can be found on the BDO website here.