DNA of North East business landscape revealed in new data anaylsis

New analysis of Companies House data reveals some surprising traits of the North East business community

CPI & TATA open £5 million research centre at the Teesside Technology Centre, Grangetown
CPI & TATA open £5 million research centre at the Teesside Technology Centre, Grangetown

The North East’s strength in some of the most dynamic business sectors has been shown in a new study showing the “DNA” of regional business.

Figures from Companies House have been analysed to show the relative strength of 21 sectors in each region of the UK, and show how the North East has diversified its economy from the heavy industries that dominated 30 years ago.

The figures show that the North East leads the way in professional, scientific and technical activities. Teesside topped the national tables for the sector - which includes research firms, engineering and a host of professional services - with it accounting for 24.4% of all businesses in the area. In London this proportion was closer to 18%.

A spokesman for the Centre for Process Innovation said: “The North East is thriving in the manufacture of science based innovations. The region truly has world leading expertise in turning scientific ideas into marketable products.

“Start-up companies such as PolyPhotonix and Kromek are great examples of this, scientific products which have been incubated and developed within the North East and are now providing the opportunity for highly skilled jobs at the forefront of innovation.”

Other surprising findings in the Companies House data are that the proportion of Tyne and Wear businesses operating in the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors, is greater than that in London.

New data analysis shows 3% of Tyne and Wear businesses registered the sector as their main activity, above 2.9% of businesses in London, and well above the national average of 2.6%.

The proportion of manufacturing business - at 7.7% in Northumberland; 7.1% in Tyne and Wear; and 7.6% in County Durham - was significantly above the national average of 5.39%.

The wholesale and retail trade proved particularly large in the North East, accounting for 11.8% and 11.2% of businesses in County Durham and Northumberland respectively.

Figures show that the country’s dominant industry sector is in the professional, scientific and technical activities category with 17.3% of businesses working in these fields.

Mining and quarrying, once of of the UK’s booming trades, now only accounts for 0.3% of businesses registered in the country while agriculture, including forestry and fishing makes up 0.9% of businesses, though that figure was much higher in Northumberland at 2.9%.

Around one in five businesses either failed or declined to notify Companies House what their main business activities were.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer