Meet the companies growing for gold in and around the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 16:10 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 18 September 2018
The UK's growth index is at its highest level since 2005. Lucy Parford uncovers the companies behind the upturn
In recent years, cities across the UK, including those in the Midlands and South West, have continued to see strong job growth and are catching up on the historic top performers in the South of England.
In last year’s PwC Good Growth for Cities index, the top 10 improvers included Birmingham, suggesting that the Midlands is steadily narrowing the gap. Oxford topped the index for the second year running, followed by Reading as the two highest performing large UK cities in the index, with the most recent results showing that the historic gap between these two cities and the rest of the index remains significant.
This reflects continued improvement across a range of measures in each of these cities, particularly jobs, income and skills.
Bristol came in at number five, Coventry at number eight and Swindon at number 10.
The index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the nine Combined Authorities against a basket of 10 indicators based on the views of the public as to what is key to economic success and wellbeing.
These include employment, health, income and skills - the most important factors, as judged by the public - while housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors and income inequality are also included, as is the number of new business starts.
John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, said: “The UK has been a great job-creating machine in recent years and this has driven improvement in our good growth index this year across all major UK cities.
“On average across the UK, the index is now at its highest level since it began in 2005 and all regions have benefited from this upturn.
“But there has also been a price to pay for this in terms of worsening housing affordability, increased average commuting times and more people having to work long hours. The cities that are highest ranked on our index also tend to suffer the highest price of success.”
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the growth rate for Gloucestershire is the third highest in the UK, behind London and Oxfordshire.
An independent evaluation by BiGGAR Economics earlier this year also shows that The Growth Hub in Gloucestershire is fully achieving its goals in boosting productivity and economic growth in the county. In the three years since the Growth Hub opened, businesses who have received support from the Hub have seen a £20 million increase in turnover.
The Growth Hub was created as a result of the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP committing to work together to achieve a step change in business growth and economic performance in the county. With funding from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), the University launched phase 1 of the Growth Hub at the Oxstalls campus in Gloucester, opening its doors to businesses in October 2014 with one overarching objective: to help local businesses increase productivity and grow the economy in Gloucestershire.
Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, says: “The University is committed to supporting economic growth and business success in Gloucestershire.
“The Growth Hub is a central part of that goal, providing a wide range of services to help businesses innovate, thrive and prosper.”
Here are some of the region’s top companies for continued growth from across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire:
Edison Close, Waterwells Business Park, Quedgeley, Gloucester
Stewart Golf manufactures the world’s finest golf trolleys from their HQ at Waterwells Business Park in Gloucester. Their flagship product is the premium X9 Follow, a remote controlled golf trolley that will also follow the golfer at the touch of a button. In 2018 alone, more than half of the company’s production has been exported to over 30 countries worldwide.
2018 sales: £2.25m (increase of 4%)
2018 profit increase: 44%
St George’s House, 13-14 Ambrose Street, Cheltenham
Outsauce are the recruitment sector experts that provide Back Office and Finance solutions and support to enable agencies of all sizes to grow their business. 15 years of experience within the Recruitment sector has enabled it to tailor its Finance, Payroll and Credit Control packages for clients recruiting into any sector. Its services are tailored for both start-up or existing agencies, placing contract, temporary or permanent staff.
Turnover figure for 17/18 (March 18): £95.872m
This was a 23% growth between 16/17- 17/18
Brighouse Court, Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester
Newland Homes specialises in medium to large-scale developments of apartments, townhouses and executive homes that provide desirable living spaces, attractive open areas and amenities that build communities. From a small local business to a major regional player with developments stretching across the West and South West, Newland Homes is responsible for more than 200 developments and over 2,500 completed homes to date.
Turnover has grown by 20 per cent in the last year, reaching £60million with pre-tax profits of £11.5million.
Ellenborough House, Wellington Street, Cheltenham
Harrison Clark Rickerbys brings a passion to is work, focusing on top-quality legal advice and outstanding client care across the South West, West Midlands, Wye Valley and Thames Valley, with offices also in London and Cambridge. Its legal experts can support clients in every area of their life, from making wills to protecting assets for family, to moving home, starting a new venture or developing their existing business.
Turnover: 2016/17 - £28.8m
2017/18 - £33.2m (15.2% growth)
The Castle, Cecily Hill, Cirencester
Money.co.uk is an award-winning financial comparison site created by a team of money experts to help make financial decisions as simple as possible. The website has been accredited as an outstanding place to work by Best Companies and is officially ranked the seventh best small business to work for in the UK. In 2015 The Sunday Times ranked Money.co.uk as the second fastest growing business in the UK in the Profit Track 100.
Commercial House, Liddington Park, Old Station Drive, Leckhampton, Cheltenham
Headquartered in Cheltenham, with premises in London and Leeds, Commercial is an office services company with a difference. In 2018 it was awarded the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development – the first business in Gloucestershire ever to achieve this accolade. Managing Director Simone Hindmarch passionately believes that profitability and purpose should be mutually inclusive. It’s a philosophy embedded in the ‘Commercial By Nature’ ethos.
Annual growth: 20%
Gloucester Road, Cheltenham
Headquartered in Cheltenham and employing 116 people, it’s ADEY’s mission to eliminate the headache of heating system breakdowns for everyone. Since ADEY’s founder, Chris Adey, invented the first magnetic filter for domestic heating systems more than a decade ago, ADEY has been devoted to pioneering advanced technology for systems of all shapes and sizes. ADEY’s range of products and services provide industry leading solutions to homeowners, local authorities, housing associations, utilities companies, contractors and professional installers.
Headington Campus, Oxford
Oxford Brookes is one of the UK’s leading modern universities and enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence, research and innovation as well as strong links with business and industry. It contributes over £1m per day to the UK economy, employs 2,800 staff and has approximately 18,000 students of which 94.9% are in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating. The University has over 130,000 graduates living in 190 countries. In June 2018, Oxford Brookes retained its status as the only UK institution in the QS ranking of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old.
Turnover for this year (2017/18) is forecast to be £201m rising to £219m by 2021/22
9. MCS Group
Station Works, Station Road, Claverdon, Warwickshire
Established in 2003, MCS Group is a driven and dynamic construction company with a proven track record of delivering complex and fast track projects to an exceptional standard. It has invested heavily in recruiting the right people, training staff, offering apprenticeships and developing the range of specialist services it provides. It is all part of a strategy designed to see its growth continue with major projects across the UK. It has completed more than 1,000 projects in the industrial, automotive, commercial, retail and social care sectors, including the building and refurbishment of more than 300 car dealerships for the likes of Audi, BMW, Mclaren and Jaguar Land Rover.
MCS Group expects turnover in 2018 to reach £110 million, a rise of around £30 million on 2017’s figure of £79.7million, which is 38% growth on 2017.
Minerva House, Edmund Halley Road, Oxford
Nominet is driven by a commitment to use technology to improve connectivity, security and inclusivity online. For 20 years, Nominet has run the .UK internet infrastructure, developing an expertise in the Domain Name System (DNS) that now underpins sophisticated network analytics used by governments and enterprises to mitigate cyber threats. The company provides registry services for top level domains, and is exploring applications for a range of emerging technologies. A profit with a purpose company, Nominet supports initiatives that contribute to a vibrant digital future.
For the financial period up to March 2018, revenues were £56.4m, an increase of £26.3m from £30.1m in 2016
Profit was £16.3m, an increase from £8.7m in 2016
The home of jump racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world’s pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival, which happens in March over four days every year, continues to attract record crowds. In 2015, it unveiled its £45m redevelopment, including a five-storey grandstand. Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena. Over 450,000 racegoers visit Cheltenham during the season (October – May) and The Festival, which brings in £100m to the local economy, is the fourth biggest sporting event in the country.
12. Audley Travel
New Mill Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire
Audley Travel was founded by Craig Burkinshaw and John Brewer in 1996 under the name Asian Journeys, specialising in tailor-made and group travel to Southeast Asia. In 2001 the name was changed to Audley Travel, following the creation of the South America programme. Since then, the range of destinations offered has continued to expand with the business now offering tailor-made trips to over 80 destinations around the world from its head office in Witney, London office in Shepherd’s Bush and US office in Boston.
13. Lioncourt Homes
Apex Park, Wainwright Road, Warndon, Worcester
Lioncourt Homes is a 5 Star Quality award-winning home builder, building new homes in desirable locations throughout Central England. It offers a wide range of properties from one-bedroom apartments and starter homes to executive five-bedroom detached homes. It completed the sale of 290 homes in 2017, five times more than in 2014.
2017 sales were £56.217m
104.62% annual profit growth
Oxford Road, Benson, Wallingford, Oxon
Grundon is the UK’s largest family-owned supplier of integrated waste management and environmental solutions. Operating from depots across the south of England it works in partnership with customers to help minimise the financial and environmental impacts of their waste. Founded in 1929, it has developed a distinctive approach that has helped it to maintain a leading position within the industry.
2016 sales: £108.557m
102.62% annual profit growth
Stonebridge Road, Coleshill, Warwickshire
Edenhouse implements the latest SAP technologies and cloud innovations and through its unrivalled SAP Support services is dedicated to helping its clients optimise their investment in SAP. It has delivered over 800 SAP projects to date and is the largest independent consultancy in the UK.
2017 sales: £40.726m
73.95% annual profit growth
Brindley Road, Warndon, Worcester
Founded in 2001 by CEO, Nick Grey, the launch of Gtech’s flagship cordless vacuum in 2012, the Gtech AirRam, has earned a Queen’s Award for Excellence in Innovation, and the company has featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and Profit Track 100 in consecutive years from 2015 to-date. Gtech employs 180 UK staff at its premises in Warndon and an additional 25 employees are based in China.
Sales to November 2017: £121.449m
57.32% annual profit growth
17. Wasdell Group
Euroway Industrial Estate, Blagrove, Swindon, Wiltshire
The Wasdell Group provides the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries with solutions to a range of outsourcing requirements. Established in 1971, with multiple sites in the UK and employing over 500 people, the group offers an impressive range of technical, manufacturing, packaging and storage/distribution services.
Sales (April 2017): £36m
55.50% annual profit growth
Longleat estate spans 900 acres and is home to the first Safari drive-through in the UK as well as the Elizabethan Longleat House which remains family home to three generations of the Thynn family. The Longleat Estate also has a wide range of properties which are available to lease, as well as Longleat Hotels - an exclusive collection of South West hotels and accommodation including Homewood Park Hotel and Spa and The Bath Arms Country Pub.
Sales to end of 2016: £31.935m
55.33% annual profit growth
Cheltenham & Stratford upon Avon
Lodders is a law firm with a pedigree stretching back for more than 230 years. It established its fast-growing Cheltenham office in 2013 and, under the strategic guidance of managing partner Paul Mourton, continues to go from strength to strength, including a move to impressive new offices in Montpellier Parade this month.
The firm has recorded strong double-digit annual growth, with turnover topping £10m in its last financial year.
Prodrive is a world-leading motorsport and advanced technology group based by the M40 in Banbury. As well as running motorsport programmes in FIA World Championships for major manufacturers like Aston Martin, it also develops technology for clients in the automotive and aerospace sectors, most recently helping Ford develop its first electric hybrid Transit van.
Turnover - £51.048m v £44.331m (16 v 17) 15% growth
Operating profit – £2.837m v £3.138m (16 v 17) 11% growth
Brunsdon Employee Benefits Ltd. is the preferred workplace pension and group benefits partner for over 200 well known and household name companies both locally and throughout the UK. Our primary objective is to exceed client expectations by consistently delivering outstanding value-for-money employee benefits and administration services without compromising quality.”
Turnover - £800,000,doubled in the last two years. Anticipated £1m turnover within next 18 months.
22. Group HES
Innsworth Technology Park, Innsworth Lane, Gloucester
Established in 1965, Group HES is a proven supplier to the OEM, reseller and MRO markets, distributing and building hydraulic and power transmission components and systems for major global brands. The Group’s five divisions complement and support each other to provide customers with complete, effective solutions. The five divisions are Hydraulic Equipment Supermarkets, Branch Hydraulic Systems, HES Tractec, HES Lubemec and HES Automatec.
Turnover for Group HES is £12 million. Growth is 18%.