25 June 2014

Brighton & Hove one of the top cities for business growth

Brighton & Hove has been ranked third in a new report from the Centre for Cities. It highlights the UK cities where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are pursuing high-growth strategies and fuelling the nation’s economic recovery.

The report provides a health check of the performance of SMEs in cities throughout the UK, and highlights the way business conditions in cities have played an important role in driving the success of firms. Cities able to facilitate businesses’ capacity to attract and retain skilled workers, access finance, and collaborate with other firms are more likely to be home to a larger number of high performing small organisations and start-ups.

Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Jason Kitcat said. “Brighton & Hove is an entrepreneurial city and it is vital for the local economy that we support small and medium businesses. I’m delighted the city has been recognised as one of the best places in the country for businesses to grow but it is clear the work to collaborate across the city to ensure companies can access finance, attract and retain a work force with the right skills continues.”

The city council is working hard to provide the right environment for the city’s small businesses to grow. A key example of this is the Greater Brighton city region business support and business growth grants programme launched in January, 2014.* 

More information

Watch this short animation introducing the report:

Read the report here

*Two companies from Brighton & Hove that have received support through the programme:

Cable & Cotton:  The company wants to expand its product range to sell to its existing customer base. Since 2009 Cable and Cotton has developed a substantial niche in the lighting-based giftware business, through the supply of a unique, handmade thread mini lampshade, from the far-east, namely Thailand. The business has grown rapidly and now serves more than 400 retail customers in the UK and mainland Europe, several thousand online consumers and has opened a flagship store in the Brighton Lanes. Having successfully opened up a broad distribution network of over 400 shops in the UK and mainland Europe through attendance at many trade shows and other marketing activities they are now primed to supply their retailers with new products. They feel the opportunity to sell other products through Brighton & Hove’s existing infrastructure is excellent. The W2GF business grant will be used alongside retained profits from the past financial year to increase stock levels of new products and sales/marketing activity.  The company will also create three new jobs.

Brighton Bier: Brighton Bier has operated as a successful microbrewery and cask beer wholesaler in Brighton since 2013 and is the only independently owned and operated brewery in Brighton and Hove. Based at the Hand in Hand brewpub in Kemp Town, Brighton Bier currently operates as a “gypsy” brewery using spare capacity at two host breweries to brew its beers.  The W2GF Business Grant will help fund the proposed expansion project to enable the company to acquire the brewery equipment and suitable premises to significantly increase production. This additional production capacity will allow the company to expand its sales into the national market via regional wholesalers; establish relationships with regional pub groups, and begin production of contract packaged (bottle, can and keg) beer for sale into alternative retail channels. In addition, the project will enable Brighton Bier to develop the existing brand and safeguard their intellectual property. As well as the benefits to Brighton Bier of being able to sell to a broader range of establishments than just pubs, the increased production volume and subsequent expansion into keg, bottled and canned product will also help them export their beers.