Business has been booming throughout many regions in the UK for years, and it’s still showing no signs of slowing down; particularly in the North West.
With this in mind, it’s even more imperative that the North West’s public and private sectors work collaboratively to overcome the challenges facing Britain once it leaves the European Union, according to a group of business and civic leaders.
The facts are in the figures when it comes to the region’s obvious bloom in business. It’s true; the North West really is one of the most noteworthy players in the game right now. But as the introduction of Article 50 has finally begun, the North should find ways to take back control, as it looks to achieve its potential and remain a key player in the global marketplace.
But what is it about the North West that makes it so prosperous?
Firstly, it might be down to the close-knit collection of hugely popular cities that reside there. Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Lancaster, Salford, Preston, Warrington and a whole host of others are all within close proximity of one another. The North West is also home to hundreds of warehouses and headquarters, thanks to having so many noteworthy businesses that chose the area as their home.
Secondly, it could be the sheer success of the location of the North West. Having areas like the Midlands and Wales so close-by gives businesses and companies the opportunity to pave the way for the best possible recruitment processes. It has a fantastic base for recruitment companies to set their targets on, and therefore a lot more agencies are focusing solely on the North West as time goes on; more so than the majority of other places in the UK.
Lastly, it likely has something to do with the serious competition throughout the region. Every year on Greater Manchester Business Week, the Top 200 companies in the North West are revealed. To be on this list is a huge achievement; even if you only reach the number 200 spot!
This acts as solid proof that there is an abundance of high talent, technical development, modern innovation and company growth happening all over the North West lately, and there are a few stand-out businesses that are prime examples of this.
For instance, the Manchester mutual Co-Operative Group had a turnover of £9.2bn in 2016, which would actually make it the firm with the largest revenues in the whole of the North West. The continuous interest in this particular region could also be credited to include colleges and universities; another factor contributing to the roaring success of North West based businesses.
Manchester Metropolitan, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores, University of Liverpool and the University of Chester are all very prevalent in the world of students, with record-breaking numbers in applicants over the past five years. This means that now more than ever, many people with diverse skillsets and multi-cultural communities are living within the region, and more people are relocating to remain in these places because of their university experiences and graduate jobs.
The latest on-trend success technique seems to stem from sticking to your home roots. Many of the North West’s most flourishing companies started out in the hometown or city of their founder or CEO, which makes for a much more cultural and personal approach.
Proving this to be a winning strategy – and the leading the field once again in the Top 200 businesses of 2016 – is BetFred Group, after building on its position as the North West’s best performing business. The Warrington-headquartered gambling giant saw their turnover soar by 19.1% to £8.023bn in 2013, and has topped that figure every year since. The company, owned by Fred and Peter Done, employs more than 10,000 people and has just under 1,400 licensed betting shops. The brothers started the chain with a single betting shop in Salford in 1967 and have since built it into the world’s largest independent bookmaker.
From betting to baked pizzas, Iceland is another leading example of how the North West does it best. In the year to the end of March 2014, Deeside-based Iceland saw its total sales increase by 2.7% to £2.711bn from £2.640bn.
The company also opened 43 new stores in Britain with the creation of 1,500 new jobs. 2014 was a significant year for the business because it then launched its new online shopping service which was simultaneously rolled out to 280 stores. Since then, the business has persisted to go from strength to strength in terms of turnover and staffing levels. Iceland chairman and chief executive, Malcolm Walker, had founded the company in Oswestry, Shropshire, in 1970 but moved its head office to Deeside in 1979.
Moving onto the booming automotive industry, and reaching the number 5 spot in the top 200, is Lookers PLC. Celebrating an eighth consecutive year of turnover and profit growth, Lookers, with headquarters in Manchester, boosted its revenues by 17% to £4.3 billion in 2016, with much of its growth coming from increased sales at its existing businesses.
Lookers has continued investment in the effective and successful delivery of a multi-channel customer experience, especially driving significant increases in visitor and enquiry levels through online, and are planning to launch a new website in 2017 to enhance operational efficiencies even further.
Shop Direct – which is Britain’s largest online retailer as well as being the country’s largest home shopping company – continued to grow in 2016 and maintains its number 9 spot on the list too. March UK is the holding company of the former Littlewoods business which is based in Speke, Merseyside. It was bought by the Barclay brothers for £750m from the Moores family in 2002 in a bid to create a digital age, multi-channel retail operation.
It can now give customers a fully personalised homepage at its flagship brand Very.co.uk, in what is understood to be a retail first. This breakthrough is a major step towards its goal of building the world’s most personalised digital stores, which will give customers an easier shopping experience.
United Utilities is both Britain’s largest listed water utility as well as being the North West’s only FTSE 100-listed firm. Based in Warrington, the company provides water and wastewater services to nearly seven million people in the region. On a daily basis, it treats and delivers nearly 2,000 million litres of water. In its full year results, United Utilities reported revenues of £1.7bn, up from £1.64bn, with underlying pre-tax profits roughly up 10% to £390m.
Each and every one of these businesses have achieved so much success in their own right; but we are so delighted to see that some of that success could be down to the strong relationships we have with our clients, and the services we provide here at Uniting Ambition – as these are all companies that we work with on a regular basis.
There are, of course, many other noteworthy companies throughout the entirety of the North West of England; but these are all evident examples of why this region is particularly special in the world of business right now.
If you wanted to hear about every successful business in the North West that has triumphantly put their stamp on the world, you’d be reading all day. As recruitment specialists, we have sourced candidates and clients throughout the North West on a huge level and working with businesses who receive such special commendations like this just proves that what we do works – so we must be doing something right.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, Uniting Ambition could be your ticket to grabbing that next big job offer at an incredible company such as these.
What are you waiting for? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org