How Councils Across the UK Use Beauhurst to Power Inward Investment

 16 May 2024
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With another challenging year ahead for UK councils, it could be a good time to look beyond your local area when it comes to getting more funding into your region. Bringing in external sources of revenue like new businesses can ignite your local economy.

Driving inward investment can be a powerful strategy, but how can you proactively attract new, innovative companies to your area? We take you through what inward investment is, how you can use it, and most importantly, how you can discover attractive companies to approach.

What is inward investment?

For councils, inward investment refers to efforts made by local government authorities to attract foreign or external businesses, capital, and projects into their region.

Benefits of inward investment

Inward investment is important for councils for several reasons — driving economic growth, job creation, and community development.

Economic growth
Economic growth stands out as one of the main reasons for attracting external businesses and investment.

This can help increase business activity, which leads to higher employment rates, and greater prosperity for residents. Higher growth can translate into higher tax revenues for the council, which can then be reinvested into public services and infrastructure.

Job creation
Inward investment often results in the creation of new job opportunities for local residents. This can help reduce unemployment rates, and improve living standards within the community.

Diversity
By attracting investment from diverse industries and sectors, councils can reduce reliance on a single industry or source of revenue. This diversification makes the local economy more resilient to economic downturns and external shocks.

Skills and knowledge transfer
Foreign or external businesses often bring with them new technologies, new management practices, and new expertise that can benefit both local businesses and the local workforce.

Global competitiveness
By actively pursuing inward investment, councils can position their region as an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand or relocate — for example, many regions in the UK are attracting more US companies. This enhances the region’s global or national competitiveness and helps attract talent, innovation, and investment capital from around the world.

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How to attract inward investment in your area

One of the main ways you can improve inward investment to your area is by understanding your region, so you can promote your strengths and attract businesses which will benefit from these strengths.

Understand your region and promote your strengths

First off, let’s take a look at understanding your region. While personal experiences and anecdotal knowledge are valuable — and if you’ve lived in your council area for a long time, you’ll already have plenty of great knowledge —but having access to comprehensive data is vital, and provides the factual foundation needed to see the reality of your local area.

So, what key data points should you consider to properly understand what’s going on in your region?

Which industries are performing well in your area?

A key element to understanding your region is knowing what’s already going well. For example, what are the top industries in your region? Are there any hubs of particular types of businesses? Where are lots of companies choosing to be located? The answers to these questions indicate where the strengths of your region lie, so you can capitalise on these. They could also give clues to areas for improvement or other opportunities to take advantage of.

Using the Beauhurst platform, you can find which industries are performing well by doing a simple search for companies in your region. Then you can explore those companies using the Statistics tab.

In the example video in the next section, we’ve looked at Lambeth. When searching for companies in the Lambeth area, or any region, make sure you update the Companies House status to active so you only see active companies.

The most prominent industry is hospitality; restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways. This shows us that Lambeth already has a strong hospitality industry. Second and third on the list are application software and property development and construction, indicating Lambeth has strengths in a diverse range of industries. Lower down on the list, you’ll be able to see industries that aren’t as populated.

You can also see what kind of companies are the largest or securing the most investment in your region. Further down on the Statistics tab, you can see the top ten companies by amount raised and by turnover. Or you can navigate back to the search results list and sort the results by turnover, EBITDA, employee count, fundraisings and more. Diving into the industries these companies operate in is another way to understand your area’s strengths.

Finally, you can also identify clusters of companies by exploring the heat map on the Map tab. This allows you to see where high or low numbers of companies are located, which can help with understanding which areas are popular or may need support.

Another way of understanding industries is to find up and coming, or new, industries.

Which industries are emerging in your area?

Using the Beauhurst platform, you can find fantastic insights into up and coming industries.

This time we’re looking at the Explore section of the Beauhurst platform. Here you can search by industry or by location.

For example, if we look at Biotech, you can see:

And while this is an overview of the whole UK, understanding this national data when compared with your own regional data can allow you to see which industries are new and innovative that you could be targeting, and how your region currently compares to others and the national average.

Watch our demo video below to find out more on how you can find industries that are performing well, and industries that are up and coming.

How much funding is going into your region?

Another way of identifying the success of your region is to look at the amount of funding companies in your area have received — and to compare that with other similar areas.

You can learn all about funding in your area using the Beauhurst Advanced Search.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search to your local area (e.g. Lambeth), you’ll need to ensure you’re looking at active companies only by filtering through Companies House status. Now you can see every active company in your area.

Then you can start exploring through the Statistics tab, and the Fundraisings tab below that.

In this section, you’ll be able to see all fundraisings going into the area since 2011 and where historical peaks and troughs are. You’ll also be able to see the total and average amount raised, as well as the average company valuations and average stake taken. You can download all of this information as either a PNG or CSV for reporting purposes.

From there you can scroll down and find further information on the fundraisings such as the top funders for the area by both number of fundraisings and by value invested.

If you want to see how your council stacks up against others in a variety of metrics, including funding, ESG, trade, innovation, and more, you can find everything you’re looking for in our book.

The Local Growth Index

Discover never-before-seen data on the UK economy in our exclusive book: The Local Growth Economy. The UK’s first local business data encyclopaedia. 

Identify suitable businesses for your region with Beauhurst

Our platform can help you easily access relevant companies to reach out to. Whether you need partners, suppliers, clients, or collaborators, our platform makes it simple to find the right companies. Start on our Advanced Search — from here, you can quickly narrow down what you’re looking for. As we did before, we’ll start by adding in the location and then filtering to active companies only. From here you can filter by:

All of these options are editable and can help you find even more niche companies.

We also have our Signals which allow you to find companies by Growth, Innovation, Risk and ESG indicators.

We understand the importance of supporting local businesses, and our extensive database ensures that councils can easily connect with businesses that can contribute to the growth and prosperity of their region. With just a few clicks, councils can discover the right businesses to collaborate with, driving positive impact and growth within their communities.

Discover our data.

Get access to unrivalled data on all the companies you need to know about, so you can approach the right leads, at the right time.

Book a demo today to see all of the key features of the Beauhurst platform, as well as the depth and breadth of data available.

An associate will work with you to build a sophisticated search, returning a dynamic list of organisations that match your ideal customer profile.

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