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Peterborough leads UKs business population growth


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Peterborough leads the UK’s business population growth with an impressive 3.78 per cent increase, according to new results from Royal Mail’s Business Barometer.

The Business Barometer, a detailed analysis of active businesses within the UK, also revealed that Northern towns and cities are also flourishing with 11 of them appearing in the table of top 20 growth areas between April and September 2006.

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Peterborough’s impressive performance saw it move up from 29th place in the last Business Barometer results to take top spot in the latest league table. Swansea closely followed in second place with a 3.78 per cent growth and Huddersfield took third place with a 3.61 per cent increase.

John Holdich, Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Development at Peterborough City Council, said: “Peterborough has fast become a thriving city and a regional centre for commerce, industry, transport and leisure, as well as rapidly expanding to meet the demand for new houses.

“Over the last year, Peterborough has experienced strong business growth, attracting both established companies and new start-ups into the area. As a result new developers have invested heavily in the area to build a large expanse of office buildings to meet the increased demand.”

He added: “Peterborough is also considered a prime location because of its accessible rail links to London, so coupled with the affordable commercial property and house prices, the city is now a highly desirable area to work in.”

Another notable increase from this year’s results was Ilford in Essex, which moved up into fifth place with 3.55 per cent business growth in comparison to 38th place with 3.43 per cent in the last results. Wolverhampton also achieved an impressive tenth place with 3.3 per cent increase, despite not making the top 100 in the last study.

Overall, the UK average business population growth for the April to September period in 2006 was 2.58 per cent, a decrease of 13 per cent on the October 2005 to March 2006 study that recorded an average 2.96 per cent increase.

Antony Miller, Head of Media Development, Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail’s Business Barometer produces an accurate gauge of actual business growth in the UK, which allows UK businesses to identify key areas for re-location and new business start-ups. Since we deliver to every business address in the UK, Royal Mail can effectively monitor the changing business environment to collate the required data for this report.

“This information, compiled by data from Royal Mail’s Business Changes File ®, is considered a valuable source for identifying emerging business and industry trends in the UK, and provides an essential analysis on the individual growth for particular towns and cities. This report also reinforces the importance of keeping track of business customers as they move around the country to provide the most up-to-date information for business sales and leads.”

Carol Undy, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “In today’s fast moving business environment, businesses are constantly looking for new cost effective areas in which to expand. Many towns and cities such as Peterborough, Swansea, Huddersfield and Ilford have experienced a strong increase in business population growth over the last year or so, as a result of start-ups and other firms re-locating to these areas. This demand has subsequently led to developers investing heavily in building expansive business parks and other office accommodation.”

The Business Barometer research has been driven by information collected by Royal Mail’s Business Changes File®, a database product updated monthly that enables businesses to not only keep track of present customers as they move location, but also to identify new leads from businesses that have just started or have just moved. That is a key time when they are most likely to buy new products and services.

January 2007

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