New Top 500 Businesses index showcases region's strengths


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A new index which shows for the first time the business strengths of the East Midlands has been compiled – and could provide crucial data as the region looks to build back better from the effects of the pandemic.

The East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2020 makes clear the robust range of leading businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Click here to download the index in a special East Midlands Top 500 brochure

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Professor David Rae of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) worked with Nottingham Trent University, Derby University, East Midlands Chamber and media partner Reach Plc to compile the list, using data from Companies House.

The top 10 businesses collectively had a turnover of just under £40 billion (£39,245 million) and employed more than 145,000 people in 2017-18.

The 500 companies in the index had a combined turnover of just under £93 billion (£92,986,950k) and employed almost 455,000 people.  

Professor Rae, Director of DMU’s Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, said: “These businesses are at the heart of the East Midlands economy and are high on the list of those most likely to drive growth and create jobs in the future.  

“Their prosperity affects not only their workforces, supply chains and the communities around them, but ultimately everyone in the region.

“The index is part of a proposed regional approach for sharing business intelligence to support economic development across the region, led by East Midlands Chamber. The East Midlands has lacked a single organisation which brings together the economic and business intelligence for the region.

“Since March, the effects of Covid-19 have been deeply felt across the region, and are affecting many companies, their employees and suppliers. So understanding the business baseline for economic recovery and future resilience is of crucial importance. The Index is one potentially important dataset within this.”

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The top spot is held by Boots, which has its head office in Nottingham. It was also the region’s second largest employer. The biggest employer was clothing retailer Next, which is based in Leicestershire.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “It’s long been recognised that the East Midlands is the engine room of the UK’s economy.

“We are a manufacturing powerhouse, a hotbed of innovation and advanced technology, and a logistics hub through which trade flows in all directions, over borders and into the global marketplace.

“The East Midlands Top 500 sets this out, in vivid detail, showing the contribution our businesses make to UK plc.”

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The index builds on the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Top 200 Companies lists that were previously published by Reach and have featured annually on its Business Live online news site.

The Top 500 is based on historic data from Companies House accounts submitted between July 2017 and June 2018. It will be updated yearly.

It includes companies with their registered offices located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. It excludes public sector organisations and businesses with operations in the East Midlands that are subsidiaries, or have their registered offices elsewhere.

The East Midlands Top 500 team: Dr Rachel English, Professor David Rae and doctoral researchers Deji Olagboye and Ngozi Eneh Ojo; University of Derby: Alexandra Charles, Professor Marc Cowling; Nottingham Trent University: Dr Will Rossiter.
Posted on Tuesday 11th August 2020

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