Business is booming for entrepreneurs in Sunderland, finds report

Coun Paul Watson
Coun Paul Watson
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Sunderland is top of the table for expanding entrepreneurial businesses, according to a new report.

The UK Growth Dashboard analyses the growth of both new and existing businesses across the country between 2011 and 2014.

It found Sunderland had a greater proportion of surviving 2011 start-ups reaching a £1m turnover by 2014, than any other selected “primary urban area” in England, including cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham.

According to the report, compiled by the Business Growth Service and the Enterprise Research Centre, Sunderland attracted more than 40 private sector investments, leading to the creation of more than 4,000 jobs in 2011/12 alone.

Office for National Statistics figures showed that Sunderland enjoyed the region’s biggest rise in private sector job numbers from 2010 to 2012, recording a 15.2 per cent, or 12,500 job increase.

The city’s position as the number one location in the North East for fast-growing business is largely due to its automotive sector, led by Nissan’s strength as an exporter, and its supply chain.

Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “We have worked hard to create the infrastructure for businesses to thrive. In 2010, we introduced a 15-year economic masterplan, which is bringing together the public and private sectors and encouraging international investment, manufacturing and the development of digital and creative industries.”

Andrew Perkin, Sunderland City Council’s lead policy officer for economy and sustainability strategy policy and performance management, said: “We have a good range of support measures in place, with a strong start-up infrastructure, so there is lots of help available.

“There are also opportunities for new businesses, which are able to succeed in what is a less highly-competitive marketplace than other parts of the country.”

A total of 6,256 new employer businesses were registered in 2014 and 54.6 per cent of the firms that started life in 2011 were still trading in 2014. Of these, 7.2 per cent grew to a £1m turnover within the three-year period.