Jul 05 2013

Harrow’s on the Up and Up for Business

dupont_lgooNew research by Duport.co.uk reveals that Harrow broke several economic records during the first three months of the year.

The first quarter saw a record number of company formations, with 815 new companies registered between January and March – more than any other quarter in the history of the area.
In addition, the month of February set a record for net company growth, when compared to any February on record for the town.

And that’s not all. There were also a record number of female director appointments during the first quarter. During this period, 25% of all new company directors were women.

Further good news for the economyof Harrow came earlier this month, when proposals to complete the unfinished commercial and residential Bradstowe House project were granted planning permission. Work on the building came to a halt during the economic downturn, but its completion will signal that the town is recovering from the effects of the recession.

Managing Director of Duport.co.uk, PeterValaitis commented: “Harrow, like much of the UK, has suffered during the recession. However, the positive results we have seen in Q1 point towards a return to prosperity for the town in the coming months and years.”

The Duport Business Confidence Report for Harrow uses economic data to provide an overview of the local business landscape. More information and statistics can be found at http://www.duport.co.uk/harrow.

Duport Business Confidence Reports are generated and released by Duport Associates Ltd. The data contained in these reports is assimilated and analysed by Duport using public record data from sources including Companies House, Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey. Duport Associates Ltd is a leading UK company formation agent, established in 1997 and registering around 10,000 new companies each year through its Companies House approved software.


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  1. john p hobbs

    I find this hard to believe when you see how many shops and offices are boarded up or empty and who is to say many more may not follow in the next difficult year , the massive increase in postal charges wont help , I wont mention parking ……. This time . lol

  2. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    I think that Mr Duport puts far too much store in management puff, hype and Orwellian factoids.

    For a start, business start ups and registrations are no indication of economic activity. Any pillock can register a business, call himself a “managing director”, lease a fancy car and have some cards printed to try and impress.

    The evidence of the closed and betting shop infested High Streets and empty offices dispels any myth of a new Utopia.

    As for that disaster area Bradstowe House, sorry Mr Support but cramming 177 undersized, overpriced, cramped rat hole future slums into that development is not a sign of “regeneration”, it’s a sign of greedy opportunism in a scarce market aided an abetted by a stupid Council and equally complicit, incompetent, uncaring and arrogant “planning” officers who should’ve been pensioned off years ago. USELESS, utterly useless.

    I’d bet that Mr Duport, he of the fancy title or his family, wouldn’t be seen living in one of these “sustainable” (to dust mites and moulds), rat hole, undersized, future SLUMS.

    Until the PARASITE Council stops treating residents, shops, customers and motorists as a cash cow to support itself and damn the rest, nothing will change.

    Until the self important Mr Duports actually admit there is a real problem as opposed to spinning meaningless statistics as facts, nothing will change.

    Until various layers of the tapeworm that is government gets out of our lives and stops trying to micromanage every aspect of our increasingly overdrawn existences, nothing will change.

    And until the parasite Council and its entrenched bureaucracy is cut down to size and gets back to the business of serving residents as opposed to pushing us around and serving itself, it doesn’t matter how many “managing directors” there are, because unless they are generating sustainable employment on the back of a healthy market economy, nothing can change.

    I suggest that Mr Duport and I take a walk around Harrow, the litter, closed premised, rat hole slums, betting shops, loan sharks, pawnbrokers, drinking holes, takeaways, charity shops, overpriced parking, yellow lines, fine traps………. About 5minutes worth should show him the reality as opposed to the comfy but erroneous statistics.

    Over to you….

  3. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    Apologies, I meant My Valaitis. Spookily, when I typed his name into my tablet, the predictive text inserted “falsity”….. Ironic considering his misleading puff.

  4. Praxis Reform

    I thought this was very interesting, so I’ve been poring over the numbers for a while now, because like the commenters above me, I was also a bit sceptical.

    From what I can gather, it looks like Peter Volatais has put together a website using data scraped from the companies house website, and is using it to sell his business advice and company formation services. My guess is that he’s been in touch with a number of different local websites and asked them to plug his website in exchange for a report on the state of local businesses in their area.

    Fair play to him, it’s a nice site, simple to use, and his own advertising isn’t too blatant… Further, I don’t think Mr Volatais is making any special comment on Harrow, and I doubt we’ll hear further from him.

    So, on to the data and the matter in hand. The most obvious problem is that the data from Companies house has been organized by postal district rather than London borough. This is understandable because data at Companies house is organized that way, and I suspect that converting the data from postal districts to London boroughs would cost more in time, effort and money than Duport would want to expend.

    Thus, when you look at the report for Harrow, what you are really seeing is just data for businesses registered in the HA1, HA2 and HA3 postal districts. Which us Harrow residents will recognise as (very roughly) the area round Harrow on the Hill, North Harrow, Harrow Weald, Kenton, Belmont, Wealdstone and South Harrow.

    With the notable exceptions of Wealdstone and South Harrow, these areas are some of the better (read likely to be more affluent) areas in Harrow, so in this analysis, many of Harrow’s less desirable areas are masked, or have been omitted from the report.

    As mentioned, Harrow postal districts don’t map directly onto the areas covered by the London Borough of Harrow. I believe part of the UB and NW districts are in the LB Harrow area, whilst some of the HA postcodes are actually in LB Brent. However, to try to get a better idea of business activity in Harrow, I’ve run a number of reports from Duport’s website and compiled the net growth data here, to try to create a better statistical indicator:
    Net growth
    Location Postal dist. 2012 2013 Change Pct.
    Harrow HA1,HA2,HA3 370 398 28 7.57
    Ruislip HA4 78 74 -4 -5.13
    Pinner HA5 48 104 56 116.67
    Stanmore HA7 96 97 1 1.04
    Edgware HA8 181 163 -18 -9.94
    Total All above 773 836 63 8.15

    The first thing I note is the impressive increase in the net growth of businesses in Pinner (a pretty affluent area). The next thing is that overall there was an 8.15% average net increase in businesses within my approximation of LB Harrow. Sounds impressive, but then you have to compare each area with that 8.15% figure, whereupon we find that with the exception of Pinner, all HA postcodes are underperforming the average. If we remove Pinner from the calculation, the percentile change in net growth drops to 0.97%

    Unfortunately, the Duport site won’t give me figures for the individual HA1, HA2 and HA3 postal districts, so I can’t determine whether the unpleasantness of the HA3 postal district has been masked or there really is a recovery underway.

    It’s also worth noting that Harrow’s figures are likely to have an upwards bias to them, since according to the London plan, Harrow has had a higher than average population increase over the past few years.

    Further, Duport’s figures will have a built in upwards bias to them, since they define net growth as the difference between the number of companies registered and dissolved. I don’t buy Mr Zeid’s idea that London has a population of megalomaniacs desperate to call themselves Managing Directors. However, it seems quite plausible that in a number of cases, Directors may simply allow a poorly performing company to become dormant rather than having it struck off (so that things can be resurrected when there is some actual tangible evidence of an economic recovery). Further, in my own case, the three fraudulent companies that my former employer registered are simply marked as “In Liquidation”, approximately 4-5 years after they effectively ceased trading, and so have still not been dissolved.

    Conclusion: The Borough of Harrow (in general) is only showing a small change in business growth, but Pinner seems to be the go to place if you want to start a new business.

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