SoGlos reflects on 2023's Top 100 businesses

As 2023 draws to a close, SoGlos and its partners GFirst LEP, The Growth Hub, Lodders and Gloucestershire College are reflecting on what an incredible year it's been for Gloucestershire's Top 100 businesses — and discussing their predictions for the year ahead.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
SoGlos and partners GFirst LEP, The Growth Hub, Gloucestershire College and Lodders reflect on this year's Top 100 businesses as 2023 comes to an end.

For Gloucestershire's Top 100 businesses, 2023 has been a year of record-breaking revenues, impressive employee growth and groundbreaking new technologies, with everything from global engineering giants to homegrown fashion houses, wildlife reserves and even charities all earning a place on the prestigious list.

The latest Gross Value Added (GVA) figures show that Gloucestershire represents 12.8 per cent of the total GVA for the entire south west region, contributing approximately £19.123 billion to the economy — with the businesses featured on this list making up a significant part of that figure.

With the Top 100 being created in partnership with GFirst LEP, The Growth Hub, Lodders and Gloucestershire College, SoGlos asked them to share their standout thoughts on this year's list.

GFirst LEP's deputy chief executive, Dev Chakraborty, said: 'It’s great to see so many businesses from a wide range of sectors thriving post-Covid in Gloucestershire.'

Director of business engagement at the University of Gloucestershire, Dr Polly Pick, said: 'We are very fortunate here in Gloucestershire to have such an exciting and diverse business community. This year’s Top 100 offers many examples of enterprising new ideas as well as established and growing businesses.'

Partner in Lodders' Business Services group, Bradley Quinn, said: 'This year’s Top 100 demonstrates the remarkable diversity of the businesses in Gloucestershire. The region is home to a variety of businesses operating across many different industries, from manufacturing and aerospace to property and farming, and it is reassuring to see so many of these businesses growing and thriving within the challenging economic climate.

'The Top 100 reflects the county’s strong reputation for advanced manufacturing and engineering as well as its impressive agri-tech expertise.'

Vice principal of Gloucestershire College, Andy Bates, added: 'The Top 100 stands as a testament to the dynamic business landscape in Gloucestershire — and we're thrilled to see many featured companies for whom Gloucestershire College has delivered apprenticeship training for both new and existing staff.'

We also asked what their predictions were for the year ahead. 

Chakraborty said: '2024 will no doubt be an interesting year with a general election almost certainly now less than 12 months away. Will there be tax cuts? A cut in Corporation Tax would certainly give businesses a boost and create an opportunity for them to recruit, invest and grow.

'Hopefully inflation will continue its current downward trend along with interest rates too, again providing a boost to the business community.'

While manufacturing currently represents the largest sector in Gloucestershire — accounting for 14.9 per cent of the county's total output, followed by motors and real estate — both the University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire College predict big things for the cyber sector in 2024.

Bates said: 'Gloucestershire has the largest concentration of cyber security companies outside of London — and we at Gloucestershire College are proud to have joined forces with many of these businesses to develop the county's future tech talent.

'This year, our first cohort of cyber degree apprentices has successfully concluded their training. Most of them are expected to continue their employment with some of Gloucestershire’s top businesses. Our cyber apprenticeship provision is growing in popularity with 19 new businesses on board at the start of this academic year. We are expecting to double our cyber degree cohort in September 2024.

'Given the rapid regional growth of the IT, cyber and green construction sectors, we anticipate an increase in these businesses on the 2024 list.'

Pick added: 'The challenge for growing organisations is often to find the right staff and skills to support that growth. As businesses look to realise the benefits of developing technologies such as AI, we would expect to see many organisations thinking about digital transformation and the associated training, staff development and apprenticeships needed to upskill their staff.'

While Quinn predicts that environmental concerns will play an important role in 2024's list.

He said: 'With sustainability currently high on the region’s agenda, I anticipate the continued rise of renewables and green energy in next year’s Top 100.'

For more information about the county's biggest companies of 2023, see The Top 100 Businesses in Gloucestershire

In partnership with:

GFirst LEP is the independent business voice for Gloucestershire striving to make the county the best place to live, work and play. It does this through sustainable economic activity and in partnership with the private, public and voluntary sectors. It has successfully bid for more than £113 million in infrastructure funding from central Government to invest in Gloucestershire.

GFirst LEP

The Growth Hub exists to help businesses of all sizes across Gloucestershire maximise their potential. Whether it's sourcing funding, developing your team or breaking into new markets; its experts can help. Offering business support, workshops, one-to-ones with sector experts and meeting room spaces, there's something for every Gloucestershire business. It has hubs in Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Mitcheldean, Stroud, Cirencester and Cheltenham.

The Growth Hub

Lodders is full of excellent solicitors just as savvy about real-world complications: strong on the technicalities, but just as good at delivering creative solutions. It will help clients to grow businesses, sell a family one, resolve disputes, complete their deal on land or property, and address changes in personal or family life. Its team will tell you what you really need to know, to get the situation resolved.

Lodders Solicitors

Gloucestershire College is an innovative provider of professional and technical training, offering courses and apprenticeships for school leavers, adults and businesses across its campuses in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean. The college works with more than 1,300 employers to deliver bespoke training programmes, ensuring businesses have the right skills and staff for growth.

Gloucestershire College

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