New research reveals top locations for starting new trade businesses

trade businesses

Using data acquired from Companies House, the research helps to show that despite another challenging year, the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation is alive and well, with more businesses founded per month in 2021 than in 2020, or even during pre-pandemic 2019. In fact, an average of 13% more new businesses were founded each month in 2021 vs. 2019, with retail leading the way.   

Of those new ventures founded within the trades sector, some 6598 were companies working in electrical installation (21% of trades businesses started), while a further 6281 that registered with Companies House (20%) were based around plumbing, heating and air-conditioning. 

Yell’s research also revealed where budding entrepreneurs could find the biggest opportunities within the trades. This was achieved by analysing Google search demand for the likes of ‘London builder’ versus the actual number of businesses offering these services in each area.  

The demand for plumbers in Belfast far outweighs the supply, with over 31 searches per listed firm, providing an opportunity for any plumber looking to go it alone. Similarly, Milton Keynes and Salisbury also showed significantly higher demand than supply for various trades services, making them equally strong bets for anyone looking to set up a new business. 

Business type   Top three locations based on searches per listing 
Plumber  1.      Belfast (31.60) 

2.      Milton Keynes (27.07) 

3.      Newcastle upon Tyne (25.57) 

Carpenter  1.      Milton Keynes (27.20) 

2.      Peterborough (24.64) 

3.      Belfast (23.56) 

Handyman  1.      Belfast (60.25) 

2.      Nottingham (39.41) 

3.      Wakefield (35.56) 

Plasterer  1.      Salisbury (50.32) 

2.      Belfast (48.56) 

3.      Oxford (42.89) 

Welder  1.      Belfast (70.42) 

2.      Milton Keynes (60.00) 

3.      Newcastle upon Tyne (48.29) 


Claire Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Yell, comments: “With the challenges of the last two years, we might expect to find that fewer people were deciding to take the leap into the world of starting and running their own business. However, the data clearly shows that it has potentially inspired more people to take ownership of what they do for a living and finally make the dream of running their own business come true.  

With the background of the pandemic and numerous economic and supply chain challenges, it’s really encouraging to see that the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is continuing to grow year on year. We look forward to working with some of these new business owners in the Trades sector in 2022, to help make their venture a success”.  

Finally, the findings highlighted which areas of the UK had seen the highest number of businesses launched per capita, and somewhat surprisingly the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno ranked as the most entrepreneurial location, showing that big business doesn’t just start in the city.  

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