Half the companies in Peterborough expect to expand their workforce
within the next twelve months according to research carried out for
Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA) - and almost a quarter
expect to have expanded their current premises or moved into larger
ones within the next three years.
The research - carried out over the
summer months and sponsored by computer network consultancy Good
Systems - demonstrates that the Peterborough economy is poised for
Around 2,500 local businesses were
sent questionnaires asking them about their history of doing business
in Peterborough and their future plans.
One of the key findings of the report
which analyses the replies is that firms which began in Peterborough
are planning for faster growth than those which have recently moved
into the city. 52 per cent of 'local-born' companies expect to take on
more staff over the next twelve months compared with 45 per cent of
those which have their origins outside the city.
GPIA chief executive Gloria Milne
said: "The results highlight the importance of looking after
companies which are already here as well as encouraging new ones. But
they also show that companies which move in with just a handful of
staff can rapidly grow to employ large numbers of people.
"The survey also demonstrates
that there is significant potential demand for new commercial
property, with so many companies predicting either expansion of their
current premises or a move to a new location within the city."
But she cautioned against expecting a
mini-boom on the basis of the research results. She warned:
"Business plans always depend upon economic circumstances. Not
every business which says today that it will be taking on new staff
next year will actually meet that expectation."
Among other findings of the research
is that local companies overwhelmingly support some of the city's
planned development initiatives. For example, 28 per cent of companies
think that the proposed innovation centre would directly benefit their
own businesses and 67 per cent think it would benefit the city. There
is a similar opinion of the South Bank development, with 28 per cent
of companies saying they will directly benefit when the project
proceeds and 59 per cent saying it will benefit the city.
Support for the development of
Peterborough's university is even greater, with 78 per cent of firms
saying the city would benefit from the establishment of a full
university and 37 per cent saying they would benefit directly.
Gloria Milne said: "The backing
for the university and other future developments is very encouraging
and helps support the case for the funding needed to turn these plans
"Overall, the data we have
collected through this research has provided us with a useful picture
of the way businesses in the city are planning for growth and the
economic impact of the companies which have moved into the city over