Hundreds of new companies continue to flock to Milton Keynes to set up shop in the borough, according to a new expert report.
The first quarter of this year alone saw a record number of new company registrations, according to the report from Duport Associates Ltd, a leading UK company formation agent, which registers around 10,000 new companies each year.
The Duport Business Confidence Report report shows there were an impressive 757 new companies registered - more than any other quarter on record and a 16% rise on the previous year.
In addition, there was a 2% drop in company closures, leading to an overall rise in net company growth (the number of company formations minus the number of closures).
Unemployment also continues to fall again year on year – in May 2012 it was 4 per cent (claimant count), at the same time in 2013 it had dropped to 3.4 per cent and in May 2014 it was down again, to 2.5 per cent.
“The positive statistics we are seeing in Milton Keynes suggest a local economy that is thriving and full of entrepreneurial spirit,” said Peter Valaitis, managing director of Duport.co.uk.
“The rising number of formations and the falling number of closures imply that business confidence is on the rise, which can only be a good thing for traders.”
In Milton Keynes the Economic Development Team: Invest MK (IMK), a council department plays a key role in attracting new businesses into the borough, supporting them to find premises, relocate employees and helping existing companies to grow.
From April 2013 and March 2014, the team carried out 135 engagement visits to existing businesses in MK to discuss how they could help improve the organisation and grow the business.
These visits have produced various outcomes with the most popular support given on information including sourcing vacant commercial property, local business intelligence, and support from other council departments such as Planning and Regeneration.
Over that year we also received 345 inquiries which were driven from varying lead generation work by the team. The good news is that the inquiries came from key sustainable sectors which include manufacturing, technology, automotive, distribution, food and drink, business services and leisure. From these inquiries the team helped 115 new companies set up ‘shop’ in Milton Keynes with one of the highest successes coming from the manufacturing sector.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) continues to work closely with the Economic Development Team, introducing inward investment and existing foreign owned businesses that require support.
During 2013/14 Milton Keynes received 32 high level enquiries from UKTI – this is the highest figure in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
Pam Gosal, the council’s Corporate Head of Economic Development & Inward Investment, said: “We are constantly hitting the headlines through surveys done by real ‘heavy hitters’ such as Experian, and we were named as ‘the best place for businesses to locate’ in a survey commissioned by the Management Journal (The MJ). We have also scored very highly with the independent think tank Centre for Cities for the past five years.
“Clearly, Milton Keynes remains the place to do business and our team is here to provide support and ideas to companies thinking about moving to Milton Keynes as well as providing on-going support to our existing ‘home grown’ talent.”
Councillor Rob Middleton, the cabinet member responsible for Resources, Efficiency and Growth, added: “Milton Keynes has one of the strongest economies in the UK, and that clearly isn’t changing any time soon.
“It’s no surprise that we are a magnet for inward investment – companies want to come to Milton Keynes because they know they will thrive here.”