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New Anglia LEP: high-growth business in a rural economy


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Beauhurst’s data platform can be a vital tool for those looking to identify, assess and support high-growth business activity in the UK’s regions. Recently, we provided data to the Norfolk Enterprise Festival, shining a spotlight on some of the recent trends in the New Anglia LEP.

Amount raised by New Anglia businesses 2012 – 2017 (£m)

For reference, technology companies in Cambridgeshire raised £650m in 2016 alone. Clearly, Cambridge is the economic and technological heartland of the East of England. It’s also worth noting that 2017 was a record year in terms of equity finance for UK-based companies – whilst the New Anglia LEP also saw a record year of funding, it was not to such a marked degree. 

Monica Vinader, a jewellery retailer based in a small coastal town, is Norfolk’s best financed private company. Backers include Piper Private Equity (who have also backed PROPERCORN) and Chicago’s Winona Capital, showing that rural businesses can be attractive to international investors. In 2015 they were valued at around £50m. By 2017 they had 184 employees and their turnover had grown to £36m from £14m in 2014. As such they constitute a fast-growing “scaleup”, and one of New Anglia’s fastest-growing businesses. 

Other notable New Anglia companies include Norwich’s Naked Wines, the well-known online wine merchant that was acquired by Majestic Wines in 2015 for £70m. In 2017, their turnover reached £65.4m. 

Interestingly,  Virgin Wines also decided to set up shop in Norwich, following a management buy-out from the Branson empire. The city is clearly a hotspot for wine retailers. 

We currently track or have tracked 348 New Anglia companies that have achieved high-growth status since 2011. 7% of these have since gone into administration. The most dominant sector is industrials, which stands in contrast to the broader national picture in the UK, where services and technology dominate. Of the industrial companies, a large proportion operate in the manufacturing of food production, reflecting East Anglia’s reputation as an agricultural region.

Of the LEP’s high-growth companies, 104 have achieved scaleup status this decade. That’s a sizeable proportion when compared with the broader UK. 

New Anglia’s top 10 scaleups by turnover in 2017

Company name Sector Location Turnover 2017
Supply chain services
Felixstowe (Suffolk)
One Group
Ipswich (Suffolk)
Hopkins Homes
Melton (Suffolk)
Ipswich (Suffolk)
Vehicle dealership
Stowmarket (Suffolk)
Orwell Truck & Van
Vehicle dealership
Ipswich (Suffolk)
Claydon (Suffolk)
Naked Wines
Norwich (Norfolk)
Great Yarmouth (Norfolk)
King's Lynn (Norfolk)

As this table makes clear, the LEP’s largest businesses are primarily located in and around Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk. 

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