Steve Park, managing director of the town’s economic development agency Warrington & Co hails growth figures at h-tech businesses hub, The Base. Tony McDonough reports
A Warrington business leader is hailing the strength and resilience of the town after new figures show string sales growth among firms at a hi-tech business hub.
There are 21 firms at The Base, a 50,000 sq ft facility in Dallam Lane, employing more than 220 staff and a new survey of the tenant revealed average sales growth in 2018 was 46%, whilst 41% of companies have taken on staff there.
And Steve Park, managing director of the town’s economic development agency Warrington & Co and director of growth at Warrington Council, says it shows the town’s economy is in good hands and “ready for whatever is thrown at us”.
He added: “The results are quite remarkable. The most encouraging finding relates to the number that launched new products or services, which is a key indicator of future growth potential.
“Remarkably, 66 % did so in the last year and 58% have collaborated with other tenants in the building to help them. Warrington’s economy is now amongst the most dynamic in the UK.”
The Base is home to a wide range of businesses involved in different aspects of technology, software and engineering development, many around the transition to ‘Industry 4.0’, the move towards systems integration and digital transformation.
Sylvie Morton, business development manager for Langtree, which manages The Base on behalf of Warrington & Co, believes the ‘eco-system’ in the building encourages an outward looking and ambitious culture amongst tenants.
She explained: “We see tenants meeting in our collaboration area all the time and to find that borne out in the research findings is gratifying.
“Our tenants also recognise that their growth will depend on a skilled workforce and so a quarter have recruited apprentices and 41% of all employees are graduates. The place just fizzes with energy and we have put in place an infrastructure of partners that are committed to helping them grow.”
The findings follow on the heels of one of The Base’s most high profile tenants, open-source web developer Ixis, reporting record profits following its management buyout. The company increased revenues by more than 50% to £1.7m, with profit trebling from £227,000 to £638,000.