The Highlands and Moray are home to a high potential group of 51 SMEs generating revenues of between £3m and £150m, according to new research from BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor. More than three-quarters of these businesses (76 percent) have grown their combined turnover over the last three years, putting the Highlands and Moray ahead of the UK national average.

The research calculates growth through changes in turnover and employee size among Britain’s private companies with revenues between £3m and £150m, a category of 13,286 businesses nationwide, 892 of which are based in Scotland.

Businesses within the group in the Highlands and Moray have experienced an 11 percent revenue growth over the last three years. These businesses have also contributed to a 7 percent increase in employment over the last three years, creating over 700 jobs in the region.

Keith Barclay, an investor at BGF, covering the Highlands and Moray said: “Our data reveals encouraging news that businesses in this group in the Highlands and Moray are continuing to grow. In such an unpredictable landscape, these companies represent activity, productivity and progress and are making a significant contribution to making Scotland a great place to do business.

“BGF is proud to already be supporting companies like these across Scotland. We recognise the impact that unlocking capital can have on industry, the economy and society as a whole – it’s crucial that businesses like these continue to have access to the support to help them accelerate growth.”

Parklands Group is one of the largest independent care home providers in the North of Scotland, set up in 1993 and providing high-quality residential care for older people at eight care homes across Moray and the Highlands. The business received a £5m investment from BGF in December 2018 to further accelerate its growth.

Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands, said: “We are delighted that Parklands Care Homes is the first business in Moray and Highland to secure investment from BGF. It gives us access to an experienced team and the confidence to invest for the future. We have been able to accelerate our investment plans thanks to BGF, with new homes earmarked for Fortrose and Inverness by 2020. This represents a combined investment of almost £11m over the next two years which will generate around 150 new jobs and deliver additional care capacity for the region, which has a large and fast growing elderly population."

The research has been released as part of BGF’s ‘Ready for Business’ campaign, which will see the investor confidently advocate for continued growth, committing to entrepreneurs and investing in the age of uncertainty.

BGF’s ‘Ready for Business’ report is available to download here. The research looks at publicly-reported data. Given current reporting thresholds, this group of companies is likely to be much larger - BGF’s proprietary database indicates that there could be an additional 4,000 companies, increasing the size of this group by 30%.

BGF, the world’s most active investor, was founded in 2011 specifically to address a long-standing gap in equity funding directed into companies that have outgrown friends, family or angel funding but are not typically large enough to be courted by traditional private equity. BGF has invested £1.9bn in 270 companies since 2011, three quarters of which are based outside London and the South East. Investments include oil and gas service companies FrontRow, ROVOP, Aubin and STATS Group based in Aberdeen.

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