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Growth takes centre stage as 2024’s Fastest 50 Yorkshire businesses are announced

“Gone is the narrative of survival that dominated the news agenda for a prolonged period of time. This year it’s about Yorkshire businesses disrupting their sectors, innovating and leading change which, ultimately, is driving real growth,” declared Emma Digby, executive partner at Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, to the audience at the 2024 Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards.

The Fastest 50 is a hallmark business event, held in partnership with The Yorkshire Post, that highlights the innovation, growth and success of our region’s businesses. 2024 marks the Yorkshire award event’s 14th year where awards are given to the fastest growing business of the year in three categories – small (under £10m), medium (£10m-£35m) and large (£35m+) – as well as to the overall fastest growing business of the year. The list is based on growth over the previous three years of trading, with verified data from Companies House records.

Today’s official unveiling follows the awards ceremony that took place at Aspire in Leeds last Friday. The event welcomed keynote speaker CEO Zandra Moore of rapidly growing tech business panintelligence. She spoke alongside The Yorkshire Post’s Greg Wright and Emma Digby.

Emma continued: “Despite the UK’s technical recession, Yorkshire’s entrepreneurial spirit continues to shine through across our region’s economy. Many businesses are pushing ahead with ambitious growth plans and bold decision making as they continue to innovate and develop their product and service offerings.

“They’re embracing a digital first world – utilising technology to drive business growth whether that’s through implementing a new way of working, improving customer service delivery or reducing operational costs without affecting quality output.”

The visibility of this business growth is evident in the 2024 Fastest 50 list, which we can officially reveal today. The total combined turnover of all companies stands at an impressive £2.53bn. The average turnover growth across them all is 68.37% – a clear indicator of the robust health and ambitious drive of Yorkshire businesses. Notably, this year’s overall winners and fastest growing large business, Ivegate, were dual winners in 2022 taking away the overall winner and fastest growing medium business of the year awards. Nine companies in 2024’s Fastest 50 were in last year’s list and 30% of 2024’s Fastest 50 businesses have appeared previously. This continued growth demonstrates the dynamism, excellence and innovation that defines Yorkshire’s business community.

From construction and creative to energy and engineering, there are many industries across the region that are booming. The technology and manufacturing sectors have, in particular, shown strong growth with 14% of this year’s list comprising tech businesses and 18% flying the flag for Yorkshire’s manufacturing companies.

Emma explained: “Interestingly, the majority of those businesses in the top 50 are based in West Yorkshire, 30 in fact, which has established itself as the premier destination for tech scale-ups in the UK, outside of London and the South East. In 2021, Yorkshire’s tech sector received £120 million in venture capital investment, demonstrating the financial community’s confidence in its growth potential. Leeds also hosts the UK’s largest tech event, the Leeds Digital Festival, which attracts over 400 events and 40,000 attendees, highlighting just how deeply tech runs through the veins of Yorkshire’s business community.

The strong entrepreneurial spirit that defines the region’s tech sector transcends across all industries as you each continuously challenge the limits of creativity and establish new benchmarks for growth.”

Spotlight on the winners

Leeds-based Ivegate, a prominent player in Yorkshire’s construction and building services sector, are this year’s overall fastest growing business of the year and the largest fastest growing business. Ivegate’s growth has seen it catapult from being the winner of the medium sized business category to the winner of the large category in just two short years. In both 2022 and 2024 they were also named the overall winner of the Fastest 50.

The fastest growing business in the mid-sized category was The HACS Group, an independent building and construction services contractor that hails from Ripley in Harrogate. The company, which employs over 100 people, provides a range of services through its divisions which include construction, environmental and engineering services.

Active Security Solutions was named the fastest growing small business of the year. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Scarborough, the company is a provider of security and facilities management services including door supervision, event security and alarm response.

As Emma closed the awards, she added: “Congratulations to our winners and to every business named in the 2024 Fastest 50 list. The diversity in sectors and the remarkable achievements of this year’s winners reflect a broader narrative of adaptability, strategic leadership and the relentless pursuit of excellence. Here’s to continuing our journey of growth, driven by a digital first mindset to build a future that’s not only prosperous but sustainable for generations to come. Thank you for coming today – it’s been an absolute pleasure to meet you all and hear about your achievements.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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