Business counts

Number of private sector enterprises – total and by employment sizeband

In March 2020 there were 53,530 private sector enterprises in the North East LEP area. 

  • This is equivalent to 325 private sector enterprises for every 10,000 adults in the North East
  • the North East has fewer private sector enterprises per head than England, England excluding London and the seven other core city LEP areas
  • if the North East LEP had the same rate of private sector enterprises per capita as England excluding London, there would be an additional 26,000 enterprises.


Looking at the private sector enterprises in the North East LEP area in more detail, North East businesses tended, on average, to be larger than elsewhere in England in 2020:

  • In common with the national picture, the majority of North East enterprises employed 0 to 4 people. There were 39,510 enterprises in this category, accounting for 73.8 per cent of all private sector enterprises. 
  • this, however, is a smaller proportion than in England excluding London or England (78.0 and 78.9 per cent, respectively)
  • a further 7,355 enterprises in the North East were larger micro-enterprises (employing 5 to 9 people)
  • this was a higher proportion than nationally (13.7 per cent compared to 11.5 and 10.9 per cent in, respectively, England excluding London and England)
  • about 6.8 per cent of North East enterprises employed 10 to 19 people and a further 3.6 per cent employed 20 to 49
  • these were, again, larger percentages than the 5.6 and 3.0 per cent in England excluding London and the 5.5 and 2.9 per cent in England
  • about 895 North East enterprises were medium-sized (employing 50 to 249) and 205 were large (employing 250 or over)
  • together they made up 2.1 per cent of North East enterprises, higher than the national comparisons (both 1.8 per cent).  

Within the North East, the number of private sector enterprises for every 10,000 adults is below that of England excluding London in all seven local authority areas. It ranges from 253 in Sunderland to 415 in Northumberland.

Private sector enterprises per 10,000 adult population, Core city LEP areas

Last updated:
14/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: UK Business Counts (Nomis, last updated 29 September 2020)

Data information: Based on core city LEPs, England excluding London and England

  1.  Enterprises are defined as the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT or PAYE records) that have a certain degree of autonomy within an enterprise group.
  2.  Adult population is defined as aged 16 and over.





Private sector enterprises by employment sizeband (% of total)

Last updated:
14/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: UK Business Counts (Nomis, last updated 29 September)

Data information: Based on the North East LEP area, England excluding London and England

Enterprises are defined as the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT or PAYE records) that has a certain degree of autonomy within an enterprise group.




Private sector enterprises per 10,000 adult population, North East local authorities

Last updated:
14/01/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: UK Business Counts (Nomis, last updated 29 September 2020)

Data information: Based on local authority areas, North East LEP and England excluding London

  1.  Enterprises are defined as the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT or PAYE records) that have a certain degree of autonomy within an enterprise group.
  2.  Adult population is defined as aged 16 and over.