Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2020

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Leeds City Region

Entrepreneurial and corporate ecosystems combining for scaleups


321 scaling businesses on the Strategic Business Growth Programme

686 jobs created

GVA £15.1 million

£16.2 million Increased export sales

Participating sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media Engineering / Advanced Engineering Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services


A scaleup concierge service is supporting ambitious businesses in Leeds City Region by joining up the local ecosystem and raising the visibility of programmes available to help them scale. In 2019 the ecosystem in its widest sense met to examine how to strengthen the offering for scaleups.

Complete Resourcing has the role of connecting the existing dots of scaleup support already being provided in the region but not visible enough and often delivered as individual services. The vision has been to ensure each part of the ecosystem helps the other through the provision of a “concierge” service. This new service has built upon the collaborative culture of the Leeds City Region and avoided the need to reinvent the wheel and develop new programmes.

ONS data for 2017 shows that there are 1,655 scaleups in the Leeds City Region LEP: 600 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their employees, 1,405 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their turnover and 350 are scaleups that are increasing both employment and turnover simultaneously.

The ONS data reflects that across the four-year period from 2014 to 2017 the density of scaleups has increased by 4.70 per 100,000 of population per year, which is above the median of +3.90 per 100,000 of population.

If we had not had the help from the LEP I don’t think we would have been in as strong a position. The company has grown dramatically and it has helped us move forward.
Khatiza Bibi, MD of Deluxe Beds


Businesses benefit from a number of scaleup programmes already exist in the region, such as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK, the PwC Scale-up programme and Growth 365. The LEP itself has two tailored programmes:

  • The Strategic Business Growth Programme provides one-to-one advice, financial support towards capital investment that will accelerate growth, and specialist workshops. It has supported over 300 scaling businesses since March 2019.
  • The AD:VENTURE programme has been extended until 2022. It offers a comprehensive and innovative mix of tailored business support to boost growth and develop businesses in their early years.

I think this programme is absolutely superb. It makes you step back, own the business and really think about where you are going in the future.
Andy Kitchener, Owner of Semperfli


Over 320 businesses have been intensively supported through the Strategic Business Growth Programme and almost 700 new jobs created across the wider Leeds City Region.


The ecosystem still needs further joining up. Many private sector organisations are still not aware of the LEP or its range of products and services.


The LEP has made a bid for European funding to extend the Strategic Business Growth Programme until March 2023. Leeds University Business School is currently planning to luanch a scaleup peer network in 2020.


According to ScaleUp Institute analysis of data received directly from ONS for years 2014-2017, the following picture emerges on the local environment.

Local Authorities located within the Leeds City Region LEP have a high density of scaleups, and the trend between 2014 and 2017 reveals that almost all of the local authorities showed an increase in the density of scaleup businesses, and most showed an above median increase in scaleup density.

Scaleups by Density: Moderate

The vertical axis of this matrix shows where local authorities located in this LEP stand compared to the rest of the UK: 6 of the 10 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by employment growth and 6 of the 10 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by turnover growth.

Scaleup Trends Over Time: Moderate

The horizontal axis of this matrix shows whether the density of scaleups has increased or decreased over time relative to the rest of the UK: 6 of the 10 local authorities are below the median in terms of improving the density of scaleups by employment in their community and 8 of the 10 local authorities are above the median for scaleups by turnover.

The ScaleUp Institute will continue to monitor this closely in the coming years to track whether local initiatives move the dial in the right direction for increasing the density of scaleups.

Page URL: https://www.scaleupinstitute.org.uk/articles/leeds-city-region/

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