Figures signal growth in North Lanarkshire economy

Increased number of business and employment

Business people

North Lanarkshire's economy is showing clear signs of growth according to figures published by the Scottish Government.

Businesses In Scotland, a report that compiles annual figures on business performance across Scotland's 32 local authorities, confirms that North Lanarkshire now has:

  • 8,285 businesses - an increase of 165 (2%) from 2018

  • 98,720 in employment - an increase of 790 (1%) from 2018

  • £15.050 billion turnover - an increase of £279 million (2%) from 2018

This success evidenced locally has contributed to the overall Scottish picture, with businesses in North Lanarkshire, together with those in Glasgow and Edinburgh, accounting for 54% of all new businesses in Scotland in 2019.

A breakdown of these headline figures, which were published in November, show that small businesses (employing 0-49 people) have grown most in number over the last year and now make up 150 (91%) of new businesses recorded.

Medium-sized businesses (employing 50 to 249) increased in number by five (3%) and large businesses (employing 250+) increased by ten (6%).

Large businesses were responsible for the biggest increase in jobs, creating 910 new jobs in the local economy. Small businesses also played their part, creating 110 new jobs.

The biggest increase in turnover for the period came from large businesses, which generated £277 million of growth, while small businesses again performed strongly, generating £132 million of turnover growth.

These latest figures dovetail with the council's ambitious plan to drive major economic regeneration and growth, investment and employment in North Lanarkshire, by establishing the area as the best location for businesses to thrive, grow and prosper. Business numbers in North Lanarkshire have grown by 23% in total since 2010, helping to contribute to the diverse economy. Along with a skilled workforce, flexible land and premises, an ambitious digital infrastructure and excellent transport links, the area provides solid foundations for a range of businesses across a great mix of industry sizes and sectors.

The figures also highlight sectoral trends, with some industries showing marked growth in the number of business operating in North Lanarkshire, compared to 2018: financial and insurance services (+8%); arts, recreation and entertainment (+7%); transport and storage (+5%); construction (+4%); education, human health and social work (+4%); and manufacturing (+3%).

With increasing workforce opportunities a key part of the council's shared ambition for future economic growth, it is welcoming that employment growth can clearly be identified in a number of industry sectors, in particular: financial and insurance services (+16%); wholesale, retail and repairs (+13%); other service activities (+7%); admin and support service activities (+6%); arts, recreation and entertainment (+5%); and education, human health and social work (+3%).

A growth in turnover is reported in a number of sectors in North Lanarkshire: wholesale, retail and repair (+12%, valued at £3.8 billion); arts, recreation and entertainment (+9%, valued at £600 million); manufacturing (+6%, valued at £2 billion); and construction (+2%, valued at £2.1 billion).

EU and other foreign-owned businesses continue to play an important role in North Lanarkshire's economy. Combined, these segments make up 340 of North Lanarkshire's business base and account for 21,670 (22%) of the area's employment headcount. The figures demonstrate growth in both categories with EU foreign-owned businesses increasing by 20 and other foreign-owned businesses increasing by 15.

Yvonne Weir, Enterprise Manager at North Lanarkshire Council, said: "The figures are encouraging, and demonstrate the strength and resilience that exists in North Lanarkshire's economy.

"We are seeing sustained growth in our largest sectors - wholesale, retail and repairs, construction and manufacturing - which is positive. These businesses sit in the top tier as being amongst our biggest contributors to business numbers, turnover and employment in North Lanarkshire.

"We also see that we cannot under-estimate the value and importance of our small business sector who make up 90% of our business base, contribute to 31% of employment and 21% of turnover.

"The figures re-enforce the message that we must continue to support business start-up and growth activity via our Business Gateway Lanarkshire services to create a resilient, productive and adaptive business base.

"The figures are also fitting evidence of the council's shared ambition to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit. It is vital that we continue to work with our partners to promote North Lanarkshire as an area for businesses to locate, invest and grow, maximising our ample land supply, plentiful industrial and business premises and excellent transport networks."

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