Business structure: employment, size and turnover


At the end of March 2017, there were 52,070 VAT/PAYE-registered enterprises in the Lancashire-14 area, and 43,550 in the Lancashire-12 area. The Lancashire-14 area accounts for 2% of all enterprises in the United Kingdom (2,668,810) and 20% of enterprises in the North West.

Preston (5,155), Blackburn with Darwen (4,655) and Lancaster (4,580) had the largest number of enterprise in the Lancashire-14 area and Hyndburn (2,275) had the lowest. 0.4% were in the public sector in Lancashire-14.

The Lancashire-14 area has a lower proportion of very small enterprises (0-4 employees) than the UK and a slightly lower proportion of very large enterprises (250+ employees).

More than half (54.9%) of Lancashire-14 enterprises fall in the £50,000 to £249,000 turnover bands.

Lancashire-14 (29.1%) has a slightly greater proportion of its enterprises in the higher turnover bands (£250,000 or more) than the UK average (27.9%). Blackburn with Darwen (31.9%), West Lancashire (31.8%), Hyndburn (31.6%), Preston (30.4%) and Burnley (30.0%) have percentages of 30.0% or more within these higher bandings.

Yearly change

Lancashire-14 saw the number of VAT/PAYE-registered enterprises rise by +3.2% (+1,620 enterprises) between 2016 and 2017, lower than the UK rise (+4.5%, 114,300).

Within the Lancashire-14 area, only Blackpool (6.6%, 240 enterprises) and Rossendale (4.6%, +115 enterprises) saw rises above the UK rate (4.5%) between 2016 and 2017.

Change from 2011 to 2017

Between 2011, the UK post-recession low point for the number of enterprises, and 2017, the number of UK enterprises has increased by 28.3% (587,950). The percentage increases of 17.1% (7,585 enterprises) in the Lancashire-14 area, and 16.0% in the Lancashire-12 area were lower.  

All of the Lancashire-14 areas recorded lower percentage increases in enterprises than the UK since 2011. Blackburn with Darwen (26.5%, 975 enterprises) recorded the largest percentage increase in the area, followed by Burnley (23.0%, 480), Chorley (21.7%, 780) and Preston (20.2%, 865 enterprises). Hyndburn recorded the lowest rise (10.2%, 210 enterprises).

Further details are contained in the article and dashboard below.

Further analysis

Business structure: size and turnover of VAT/PAYE-registered enterprises (PDF 1,112 KB)


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Page updated October 2017