Bed's businesses continue to grow

Latest figures show that Bedfordshire now has more than 40,000 companies located in the county for the first time.

At the end of May 2018, 40,220 businesses were registered according to company secretarial software specialists Inform Direct, based on statistics from Companies House and the Office of National Statistics.

Leading the way were Central Bedfordshire (16,814), followed by Luton (12,754) and Bedford (10,652).

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These positive figures are heartening in the light of a recent survey of the top 100 companies in the county by Grant Thornton. This highlights that nearly three quarters of local firms feel business conditions are more difficult or remain the same compared to this time last year, with 55% stating that the Brexit process has impacted on their strategic planning.

John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct said: “Only one year ago Central Bedfordshire was hailed as one of the most prosperous areas in Great Britain with the third fastest job growth rate in the UK and commercial confidence powering the area’s £5.4 billion economy.

“Clearly the Brexit process has affected confidence and companies are challenged by skills shortages, limited supply of commercial property and government support for businesses.

“However achieving the 40,000 milestone underlines the county’s potential, with the Millbrook Proving Ground and Cranfield University fuelling the success of the high performance technology sector and transport and logistics remaining strong with Amazon, DFS and Dwell now located in Bedfordshire.”