While Cardiff is thought to be the largest, fastest-growing digital economy outside London, it appears Merthyr Tydfil has taken the crown of ‘Welsh Start-Up Capital’, with official figures cementing Merthyr on the corporate map.
Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that there were 11,525 Welsh enterprise births in 2015, surpassing the number of business failures by close to 3,000. With Merthyr contributing heavily to Wales’ success rates, now working with a business birth rate of 12.1%, Merthyr is showing a healthy, steady growth with regards to business formations, with Councillors promising this investment in new businesses to continue for years to come.
However, when set against a UK birth rate of 14.3%, Wales are positioned the third lowest of the 12 nations and regions, only enjoying 95,000 active businesses compared to the country’s 2.6 million.
Through this research piece, the Office of National Statistics found that just five local authority areas in Wales exceeded the UK average, naming the following as strong start-up communities:
- Merthyr Tydfil 17.4%
- Rhondda Cynon Taf 16.1%
- Newport 15.3%
- Cardiff 14.9%
- Blaenau Gwent 14.4%.
Seeing a healthy year-on-year rise in the number of aspirational entrepreneurs launching a start-up, the number of businesses in Merthyr grew to 225 last year. This is an increase of 95 businesses from the year before, making the total number of active firms operating in the area stand at an impressive 1,325. This compares with 1,290 in 2014 and 1,195 in 2002, illustrating long-lived growth over the course of the past five years.
Constantly launching new business schemes, funding and support, could Merthyr Tydfil continue to outshine Cardiff in the start-up world?