Edinburgh tops list of cities outside London with most high-growth companies


EDINBURGH tops a list of UK cities outside London with the most high-growth companies.

A report by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst reveals the Scottish capital has more than 600 such firms, almost half of which are technology companies.

The city outperforms major English regional centres such as Manchester and Leeds in this respect.

The findings are contained in a report called “Unlocking Growth” which identifies the key to generating growth.

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It does this by exploring the importance of public and private sector partnerships in creating strong local technology ecosystems.

These allow businesses to start and scale successfully.

The report also examines the critical role technology “ecosystems” play in supporting high-growth firms and boosting local economies.

Local authority areas that are home to 100 or more high-growth companies have an average Gross Value Added (GVA) per person of £138,000, compared to £22,000 for those with fewer than 100.

Edinburgh has 621 high-growth firms, 280 of which are technology companies.

The city benefited from £940m in total equity investment in tech companies since 2011.

And universities have produced 83 spinout businesses commercialising  research.

There are also a range of business “incubator and accelerator” programmes.

All of this is in addition to local government intervention in allocating funding, for example through Invest Edinburgh, the local council’s investment arm and the Edinburgh and the South-East Scotland City Deal.

The Edinburgh Eagle Lab is just one of a growing network of business incubator spaces that supports 28 ecosystems across the UK, providing mentoring and networking opportunities.

Jon Hope, Director of Eagle Labs, said: “Our mission at Barclays Eagle Labs is to help support entrepreneurs and high-growth start-ups by providing them the tools they need.

“However, data from Beauhurst found that seven out of the top ten local authorities by number of high-growth tech companies were in London.

“We hope that with support from networks like Eagle Labs, towns and cities throughout the country can reap the benefits that strong local tech ecosystems can provide.”

Chris Philp, Digital Minister, said: “Business is booming in Edinburgh and as these brilliant new figures show the city is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s leading technology hubs.”