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Measuring Growth in Yorkshire

Jun 23, 2023 Rory Traynor Updated On: June 23, 2023
Measuring Growth in Yorkshire

It is no secret that the UK economy is going through a tough time. Growth had been largely stagnant since the World Financial Crisis and, as such, the country was in a poor position to weather the economic shocks of the last few years. Companies are struggling, and we are set for 28,000 insolvencies in 2023.

Newspapers and business pages seem to be littered with stories of high-profile business failures and economic doomsaying. It might be enough to persuade a director or budding entrepreneur that the best option is to throw in the towel.

However, this is not the full picture, and there are plenty of opportunities and companies with bright futures to do business with. Lockdowns and the increased cost of living have caused a major change in buying habits that are allowing some companies and sectors to thrive, as well as encouraging new players to enter the market. Similarly, as companies fail their financially sound competitors can win their clients’ business.

In this article, Red Flag Alert is highlighting and celebrating the good news stories and high-growth companies in Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire economy

Yorkshire has a large and diverse economy, which befits the UK’s largest region and generates around £110 billion each year. Retail and wholesale make up its biggest industry at 14.2% of all companies, with a very healthy scientific sector being a close second at 12.9%. 

It is not just these two industries that are doing well in the home of the white rose; Yorkshire, especially West Yorkshire, has a flourishing professional services sector, manufacturing and construction continue to be important employers in the region.

The final major industry in the Yorkshire economy is tourism. As an area of rich history and outstanding natural beauty, Yorkshire attracts visitors from around the world and is an especially important part of the economy of North Yorkshire; where it employs over 41,000 people.

 SMEs form the backbone of the economy but, whilst not often thought of as a hub for big business, plenty of companies turning over hundreds of millions or billions of pounds call Yorkshire home; DFS Furniture PLC, Northern Trains LTD and Hermes Parcelnet Limited are just three big names.

What’s there to celebrate?

Good news stories are not hard to find in the Yorkshire economy, which has shown both great resilience in the face of the pandemic and fantastic potential for growth in the post-pandemic economy.

Yorkshire Businesses average business value

Here are just a few:

Yorkshire and Humber boasted the fastest regional recovery from the pandemic. Measured by gross value added at the end of 2021 Yorkshire’s economy was at 98.8% of its 2019 level. Whilst some regions continue to stutter, Yorkshire is very much open for business.

International lockdowns have increased people’s appetite for travel and UK international tourism figures are steadily recovering; whilst high airline ticket costs and an increased cost of living means more Brits are holidaying domestically. As one of the most popular places to visit in the UK, Yorkshire is set to benefit from an increase in visitors over the summer.  

Companies experiencing insolvency-related activities have fallen in the region for two consecutive months in April and May 2023. 

High-growth companies in Yorkshire

At Red Flag Alert we love growth. We love it so much that we developed a proprietary growth score and regularly analyse company growth data in the UK. 

Recently we looked at the four counties of Yorkshire and found that there were 34,240 companies in the region likely to experience high growth and increase their turnover by 20% in the next 12 months.

This is a fantastic number and shows that even in an especially tough economic climate, Yorkshire has a robust and dynamic economy. 

Let's look at these companies in a bit more detail:

On average, these companies have experienced a modest increase in revenue since 2019. Whilst this increase has not been huge, factoring in that the majority of companies saw a significant decrease in turnover through the pandemic, it is extremely impressive. 

The average age of these companies is 11 years. This shows that there is a solid foundation of well-run companies with experienced directors that are able to make good decisions at tough times. 

Of these high-growth companies, 26,302 hold either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Red Flag Alert health rating. These are awarded to the most financially stable companies and represent a low credit risk; this shows that these high-growth companies are achieving growth from a solid financial position. 

The sectors with the most high-growth companies are:

  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles – 5,955
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities – 5,715
  • Construction – 5,199
  • Manufacturing – 3,495
  • Administrative and support service activities – 3,142

    Yorkshire Industries Pie Chart

 Three high-growth companies to watch

DFS – The Doncaster-based furniture giant has benefited from the lockdown trend of home improvements and seen their turnover rise from £724,500,000 in 2020 to £1.4 billion in 2022.

Hermes Parcelnet Limited – Hermes benefitted hugely from the rise in home shopping during lockdown and the Leeds-based company has firmly established itself in the UK courier industry. Hermes saw profits almost triple from 2020 to 2022: rising from £38 million to £100 million.

3G Truck & Trailer Parts LTD – It’s not just large business that is thriving in Yorkshire. 3G Truck & Trailers Parks LTD is a Rotherham company that is the UK's fastest-growing wholesale distributor of Commercial Vehicle spare parts. Their profits have grown from £1 million to £1.3 million between 2020 and 2022.

 All in all, there is a lot for those doing business in Yorkshire to be positive about and there are certainly many solid, well-run and well-performing companies to do business with. Yorkshire is not alone, all across the UK there are good news stories and companies with a high growth potential.

There is no getting away from the fact that UK business is facing one of the toughest times in living memory and that the risk of bad debts due to insolvency is at an all-time high, but we hope this article has shown that there is still plenty of opportunity and good business to be done.

Those companies that are growing are not necessarily doing more business, but better business. By avoiding credit risk, actively seeking out only solid clients and partners, and monitoring their business environment for any risks or opportunities, they can maximise revenue and minimize losses.

Red Flag Alert is an industry-leading business data platform that allows companies to avoid risk and find growth. As well as having the UK’s number one insolvency score, with no one being better at understanding business health and risk, we also understand the needs of a business and have designed our data to be detailed, easy to understand and easy to action.

Our system provides:

  • Records on over 15 million UK companies and over 350 million international companies
  • Detailed and easy-to-understand company reports that contain a full picture of a company’s financial situation
  • Unique and clear rating system that lets you know the level of risk attached to a company
  • Proprietary growth score
  • Fully downloadable reports
  • Fully customizable monitoring system that gives real-time alerts on up to 89 different events, so you are always the first to know if a debt is at risk of going bad
  • Search function with over 100 filters that let you prospect for only the lowest risk, most financially stable companies
  • A full AML and fraud checking suite

Start a free trial of Red Flag Alert and start protecting your business today!



Published by Rory Traynor June 23, 2023

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