1st December 2014
The story of our (working) lives is written, not on walls as the song says, but rather in a map of the UK.
The money section in the Mirror online has published a fascinating look at the most profitable businesses within each county in the country. The result is as diverse as the 2014 population.
From Land's End to John O'Groats (and Northern Ireland too of course) there are some very well - known names – Aldi, take a bow – as well as those who are perhaps lesser known – D. R. MacLeod – anyone?
For those who enjoy interesting statistics, how about this for size. The biggest four firms in London, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Edinburgh earned more in income last year than the largest firms in the remaining 104 counties combined.
The map also 'maps' (sorry) the evolution of business types. While traditional industries have been in decline, there is an argument to suggest that in macro-economic terms at least, this has been offset by the rise of newer industries.
The oldest business listed is Clarks – based in Somerset – and formed over 190 years ago. They are in good company and are joined by other vintage brands such as The Co-operative (the biggest in South Yorkshire) as well as publishers Harper Collins (East Dunbartonshire).
On a motoring theme, Lookers PLC – who formed in Manchester in 1910 - and co-incidentally one of the original Ford dealers within the UK - is listed as well as Ford themselves through the Plant in Dagenham which was first opened in 1930. In Lincolnshire Toyota has performed well as have Peoples in Falkirk and GM in Bedfordshire. Collectively these results would seem to reflect the strong recovery and impressive sales figures of the UK automotive industry
Company research firm DueDil who compiled the report, searched thousands of company records and then categorised each firm by turnover in every county and metropolitan area in the UK in order to find those with the largest turnover.
Matthew Rock, DueDil editor-in-chief, said: "What you see in this business map of Britain is a tapestry of talent, a blend of old and new companies, foreign-owned and home-grown, traditional industries and the cutting edge.
"It's true that our economy is dominated by the south-east and skewed towards service industries, but it's inspiring to see such diversity within the UK.