Just six months ago a report named Northamptonshire as one of the best places in the country for building a business. Employment levels among Northamptonshire’s biggest companies had risen by almost 6% during the previous twelve months, with turnover rising by 7% to £55.5 billion. Apprenticeship vacancies also increased by 35%, giving young people many more local opportunities to kick-start their careers.
Weatherbys, parent company of Arkle Finance, is one of the largest private sector employers in Wellingborough, where the company has been based since the late 1960s. But what is it about Northamptonshire that makes it such a great place to grow a business? Here are five reasons why entrepreneurs might want to make the move to our fair county:
1. Business Support Initiatives
There is a lot of support offered for start-ups in the county. Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) offers guidance and practical assistance, including helping businesses to find a property, recruit staff, and secure funding. Businesses can also benefit from the Soft Landing Scheme, which is run in association with Northamptonshire’s eleven Innovation Centres and offers businesses a rent-free period to help them get started.
2. Good Links to London
With its central location, Northamptonshire is a great base for doing business because it’s so conveniently placed. And it’s not just London that’s easy to get to from here – Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham are all just an hour away. This makes Northamptonshire a good choice for logistics companies, as well as other businesses operating in various locations across the country.
3. Town Centre Regeneration
Northampton is currently going through a regeneration phase, which aims to improve the quality of life and attractiveness of the town to make it a more appealing place to work and live in.
Northampton is home to the largest urban enterprise zone in the UK, Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone. This area is a hub of business, featuring brownfield development opportunities, industrial estates and sports stadium sites. The University of Northampton is also planning to relocate its Park Campus to this site alone the River Nene, and with many companies conducting business there already and more panning to join them, this is going be a thriving part of the town.
The demolition of Greyfriars bus station has also given the town more space and opportunity for development on the old bus station site, and there is a lot of redevelopment taking place in the town centre, including the reopening of part of Abington Street to traffic, and a £10 million investment in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre.
4. Fast Broadband
The internet is an essential tool for every business, and in Northamptonshire an initiative has been put in place to provide businesses with fast and reliable internet connections. The Superfast Northamptonshire project aims to provide superfast broadband (download speeds above 24mb) to businesses across the county by the end of 2017.
5. Dynamic and Varied Business Environment
Northamptonshire is home to thousands of companies, including over 1,000 High Performance Technology companies, and thriving food and drink companies worth £1.5 billion to the local economy – including big names such as Weetabix and Carlsberg.
With such a melting pot of small and large businesses across a wide range of sectors, there is so much scope for networking and developing your supply chain in Northamptonshire.
So many businesses have decided to settle here, and there are many, many reasons why more businesses may plan to do the same. Our links to larger cities – combined with our position amongst some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer – means we get the best of both worlds, and we are proud to be a business operating in Northamptonshire.
To find out how Arkle can help your business grow please call 01933 304789 or contact us online.