The Peak 42 team
Ellen Forster

Member Article

100 new jobs created at Sci-Tech Daresbury following sales and export growth

Companies operating out of Sci-Tech Daresbury saw sales grow by 30% in 2014, resulting in the creation of more than 100 new jobs at the site.

A profile of 76 of the 106 companies based at the Cheshire site has revealed substantial increases in sales growth and investment across the science and innovation campus.

Figures in the report showed those 76 companies delivered £59.1m in sales during 2014 – a rise of 30%. Sales growth for Daresbury companies has averaged at 30% per year over the past four years.

More than six out of 10 businesses (63%) surveyed were trading overseas and export sales from Sci-Tech Daresbury companies grew from 26% to 37% of total sales, equivalent to £21.8m of sales.

Companies also created a net increase of 107 FTE jobs in 2014, taking total business employment at the site to 569 FTE jobs, the vast majority (73%) at Bachelor’s Degree or above. Seven companies also recruited a total of 16 higher level apprentices.

Investment in Daresbury businesses also rose substantially last year, with companies securing a total of £28m during the year. In particular, companies were successful at securing investment from Venture Capital funds and angels, as well as grant funding from the likes of Innovate UK.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a private-public joint-venture partnership between developer Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council. The site, which has Enterprise Zone status, is home to businesses and globally significant science facilities.

John Downes, Chief Executive of Langtree PP and Director of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, said the figures were an encouraging indicator of the continued success of the site.

Mr Downes added: “These figures highlight the important role Sci-Tech Daresbury plays in creating the right conditions for science and innovation-based SMEs to achieve their growth ambitions.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see the rate of export growth, which is now at a record high, and that businesses are accessing new markets. While Europe continues to be the key export market, accounting for 42% of export sales, there has been a strong increase in exports to the Middle East, Africa and Russia.”

Mr Downes said the figures provided further encouragement for the year ahead, with some 71% of companies forecasting the recruitment of a further potential 192 people in 2015 (an average of 3.2 FTEs per company).

He added: “The 2014 growth record is extremely positive and, taken with previous years’ data, shows that average sales growth for Daresbury companies over the past four years remains at 30% year-on-year. Given the challenging economic backdrop, this represents a significant achievement.

“One of our key objectives is to minimise business failure and accelerate business growth for the high-tech SME companies located here.

“In almost a decade, we have had only 12 companies going into administration, six of which were subsequently re-launched and one of which was acquired by another campus company. Overall growth and survival rates are therefore extremely encouraging.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster.

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