Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2022

Select a section to expand and explore this year's review..

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

£5bn+ market value of Babraham campus companies

194 scaleups identified by Cambridge Cluster Insights in 2021

330 businesses helped since 2013 by the Accelerate Cambridge programme

£4m+ invested by LCIF2 in funding rounds


A wide range of programmes are available for scaling businesses across different sectors and at different stages of growth in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including specialised local financiers, such as Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Innovation Capital. A number of these programmes are endorsed by the ScaleUp Institute. The area’s approach is informed and shaped by data and insights about the city and wider region by Cambridge Cluster Insights. 

In a collaboration with Metro Dynamics, the Cambridge Cluster Insights programme has developed an SME Observatory to help the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority identify scaleup and other high-growth businesses to be targeted by its Business Growth Service as well as monitor labour market trends. In the past year the programme completed three employment update studies creating an accurate and timely analysis of employment changes during the pandemic. Insights from the platform are used to attract talent, customers and investors from the UK and overseas to businesses across the region’s 14 local authority districts. 

In 2021, the Combined Authority developed the new Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2025 to ensure Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has the leading-edge digital connectivity infrastructure needed for local businesses to thrive and provide wider digital inclusion so that more people can access healthcare, education and jobs. 

ONS data for 2020 shows that there are 560 scaleups in the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP: 205 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their employees, 455 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their turnover and 100 are scaleups that are increasing both employment and turnover simultaneously.

The ONS data reflects that across the four-year period from 2017 to 2020 the density of scaleups has increased by 0.46 per 100,000 of population per year.


Support to access finance, new markets, knowledge transfer as well as partnerships with academia and training and mentoring programmes are available to local scaling businesses. 

Growth Works – set up by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority – supports scaling and growth-ambitious businesses across the region to scale further. It is built around four key strands of activity with a particular focus on strategic advice and support through access to peer networks, masterclasses, dedicated courses and 1-2-1 consultancy along with access to equity and grant funding to accelerate growth.

Babraham Research Campus is a leading exemplar of effective infrastructure for life science scaleups that creates new discoveries, therapeutics, jobs and growth to support the UK economy.  The Campus is a highly connected, sustainable and dynamic ecosystem for life sciences that combines flexible working space with comprehensive support programmes and close links to academic and the latest research.  The campus is also home to One Nucleus, which offers specialist training spanning biosafety, laboratory health and safety, managing life science projects and drug development.

The first ever Barclays Eagles Lab and Barclays Eagles’ flagship incubator can also be found in Cambridge. It has created a community of innovators, specialising in Artificial Intelligence with close links to the universities and to AI pioneers who are regular visitors to the Lab to share their knowledge and expertise with their members. 

Another hub of interest to scaleups is the Bradfield Centre which in partnership with Cambridge University is providing space for early-stage and scaleup businesses in the technology sectors. Along with the flexible co-working spaces further support is available including tech & entrepreneurship related events; connections to Angel and VC investors; connections with the University’s talent through the Trinity Bradfield Prize; an internship program running with Trinity College; and access to events with student organisations and the Judge Business School.

Further scaleup support developed by the Cambridge Judge Business School is available to local scaleups. These include the Accelerate Cambridge, which offers a structured approach of three-month programmes that combine entrepreneurship training, regular coaching and mentoring, as well as access to shared workspace; and the four month Strategic Business Growth programme, providing access to the latest management thinking, dedicated coaching and collaborative problem solving and peer learning with other participants. 

Cambridge Wireless provides an international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies. It stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge and helps to build connections between academia and industry.  

The Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) is a co-investment initiative worth over £100m, providing equity finance for scaling businesses based wholly or partially in the East of England. The fund co-invests alongside private sector investors such as founders, angel investors and other funds to provide finance to growth businesses. Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) is seeking to invest £11m to help close funding rounds worth at least £30m that make measurable reductions to Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Additional public and private programmes operating in the East of England can be found on the scaleup support finder here.


In the last year, Cambridge Cluster Insights identified 194 scaleups in the area generating £4bn in turnover and employing 29,609 people. Local life science scaleups have noted a 57.7% turnover yearly increase and ICT scaleups a yearly employment growth of 35.3% employment. 

The latest economic impact of the Babraham Research Campus highlighted that located in the campus companies benefit from accelerated fundraising and scientific discovery by three months, while the number of employees is estimated to be around 20% larger than it otherwise may have been due to the Campus location. In the last year, the total market value of the largest 14 companies on site was calculated to be £5bn while the campus has contributed £286m in GVA to the local economy. 

330 early-stage and scaleup businesses have been helped by the Accelerate Cambridge programmes since 2013. These have secured £516m in funding including £475m in equity and £40m in grants.

LCIF2 has already invested over £4m and combined with LCIF1 the fund has invested over £20m and helped close funding rounds worth more than £75m


Peterborough is seeking to become one of the new ‘investment zones’ being rolled out by central Government supporting business growth through new tax and planning incentives.

A new Eagle Lab will be established in The Bradfield Centre offering 1:1 support, access to the Eagle Labs’ programmes and will deliver entrepreneurial related events in The Centre which will benefit the wider regional tech ecosystem.

Funded by DCMS, the recently launched Create Growth programme, will support the development of the creative sector Cambridgeshire area. The programme will include scaleup support to creative high-growth potential businesses along with investor building activities such as networking and pitching events. 


According to ScaleUp Institute analysis of data received directly from ONS for years 2017-2020, the following picture emerges on the local environment.

Local Authorities located within the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP have a high density of scaleups, and the trend between 2017 and 2020 reveals that some of the local authorities showed an increase in the density of scaleup businesses, and almost all showed an above median increase in scaleup density.

Scaleups by Density: Excellent

The vertical axis of this matrix shows where local authorities located in this LEP stand compared to the rest of the UK: 5 of the 6 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by employment growth and 5 of the 6 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by turnover growth.

Scaleup Trends Over Time: Needs Improvement

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: 3 of the 6 local authorities are above the median in terms of improving the density of scaleups by employment in their community and 4 of the 6 local authorities are below 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.

Next New Anglia