Exports And Sales Up At Sci-Tech Daresbury
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 £28 million 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 therecruitment of a further potential 192 people in 2015 (an average of 3.2 FTEs per company).
“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.”
Case study – Peak42
Automation technology company Peak42 is one of the Sci-Tech Daresbury companies that has enjoyed sustained growth since relocating to the campus in 2007.
Founded 11 years ago, the business works across theutilities, pharmaceuticals, food& drinkand chemicals industries with a wide range of vendors, including Rockwell, Wonderware, Mitsubishi and Siemens.
Peak42 first took space in Sci-Tech Daresbury’s Innovation Centre and then moved to Vanguard House as its space requirements grew.
The company had seven employees on arrival and now has a total of 28 members of staff.
Last year, the business had a turnover of circa £2 million, an 18% increase on the previous year. This strong growth is forecast to continue, with a projected 10% sales growth in 2015.
Nigel Hall, Managing Director at Peak42, said: “We pride ourselves on providing a good environment for our engineers in order to attract and retain highly skilled staff.
“Sci-Tech Daresbury provides a tech-focused environment to achieve this and offers a strong shop front for our business.
“We have enjoyed sustained growth and have definitely benefited from being positioned alongside companies that we can network with and sell to – that’s been integral to growth.
“By remaining client focused and offering a highly competitive service we have been able to develop sales and we look forward to sustained growth at Sci-Tech Daresbury.”
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About Sci-Tech Daresbury
Sci-Tech Daresbury is a world class location for high-tech business and leading edge science based in Cheshire. It provides a unique environment for innovation and business growth, with knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking.
Home to the ground-breaking STFC Daresbury Laboratory and the Cockcroft Institute as well as over 100 high-tech companies, the site was originally established in 2006. In December 2010 a new private-public joint-venture partnership was created to spearhead the longer-term development of the Campus. Partners in the private-public joint-venture partnership are developers Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and Halton Borough Council.
Originally named Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, the site’s name was changed in July 2012 to reflect its new Enterprise Zone status, which was granted in April 2012. Enterprise Zone status allows business rates to be reinvested in the campus, potentially creating up to 15,000 skilled jobs and providing funding for new specialist office, laboratory and technical space. Enterprise Zone status will also allow the campus to leverage more than £150 million in private sector investment.