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Bristol named third largest business hub in the UK

4 July 2023
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A new interactive tool from industrial cleaning service provider, Perfect Clean, reveals Bristol as the second largest 'hotspot for information and communications services.

One million company records were analysed to show where the industry hubs of the UK are, resulting in a list of then 10 most active cities: London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, Leicester, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Liverpool.

Focussing on the UK’s top 10 industries and largest cities by population, Bristol was found to be the third largest home for business, with more than 55,0000 companies.

Read more: Swindon and Bristol among top five performing cities in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Index

Furthermore, data has shown that Bristol ranks as the second largest hub for information and communications companies in the UK, behind London.

Of Bristol’s 55,005 businesses in the top 10 industries, a total of 11,181 offer information and communications services. Across the UK, this industry provides work to 1.6 million people and held a 7.1 percent share of all UK business last year - making it one of the UK’s largest.

Other dominant local industries include manufacturing – of which Bristol had the second-largest number of registered companies outside London at 5,188 – professional, scientific and technical and wholesale, retail and repairs businesses, with totals of 9,765 and 6,746 active companies respectively.

At the other end of the scale, finance and insurance businesses see the lowest activity in Bristol of the industries analysed, with only 1,988 establishments offering these services. Across each major city analysed, Bristol ranked fifth overall for businesses in this category.

Visit Hampshire Biz News for bright, upbeat and positive business news from the county

Perfect Clean managing director Emilia Ferenc said: “It is wonderful to see Bristol place so highly in our study when it comes to information and communications activities, and we hope this information will prove encouraging to anyone seeking employment in this area.

"Likewise, although our data has shown the region's finance and insurance activities at the lower end of the scale, this presents a fantastic window of opportunity for existing businesses and entrepreneurial minds to take the reins and bring new business to the area.

"Overall, we hope that this tool proves an invaluable asset to anyone seeking new professional ventures.”


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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