Wrexham a Great Place For Business
Our online investment guide has been created to tell you what Wrexham can offer your business. Everyone says they’re great, who can blame them? It’s a competitive world. We’re no different; we want you to invest and to build your business here and we’ll do our best to provide you with all the data, information and assistance you may require, in order to allow you to make your own decision about Wrexham as a business location. If you’re not quite sure Wrexham is the right fit, why not contact us and we’ll do everything we can to look after you and answer any questions you may have.
As a brief insight, Wrexham (external link) is the second largest town in North Wales, with a resident population in excess of 135,000. The area’s population increased by 5% from 2001 to 2011, with Welsh Government forecasts (external link) predicting a further 10% increase in the County Boroughs population by 2039, the second largest growth rate in Wales. As well as having a growing population, Wrexham also has a strong and diverse economy that shows every sign of maintaining the substantial growth that took place most notably in the 1990s and over past 10 years. Again, Welsh Government statistics (external link) reveal that there are over 8,910 active businesses based within the County Borough, a 26% increase since 2010. In terms of disposable income, Wrexham has a larger percentage of economically active people (external link), compared to both the Wales and the UK average, with the average gross weekly pay of individuals standing at £489.3 in 2017.
One of Wrexham's greatest strengths is undoubtedly its location, with easy access to markets throughout the UK and worldwide, if you base your business here you’ll be able to link with suppliers, customers, people, skills and knowledge from across most of the UK and beyond. Situated in the north-eastern corner of Wales, immediately adjacent to the border with England, our position in terms of road, rail, airport and shipping links is superb, whilst avoiding excess congestion, which large cities tend to experience. With easy road access to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands, Wrexham is within a two hour drive of one third of the UK's population and half of its manufacturing industry.
Many organisations have made substantial investments in the area and the fact that they continue to thrive and maintain their commitment to Wrexham demonstrates that, as a location, it provides a business setting in which they can both succeed and grow.
Wrexham remains committed to supporting a sustainable and thriving economy and provides an environment for businesses to prosper, flourish and feel confident to both expand and reinvest. Infact, when a business opens or relocates to Wrexham they benefit from a confident, creative and ambitious nation which is on their side, one which has a number of devolved powers and a strong history of supporting businesses. As a brief insight, the following points make Wrexham an attractive proposition as a business location:
- The competitive price of land / premises
- Geographical location and transport links
- Quality, attitude and loyalty of the workforce
- Good quality of life within the County Borough
- Good educational and leisure facilities
- A growing tourism market
- The quality of the support offered by Wrexham County Borough Councils business support team, along with external organisations such as Business Wales (external link).
Working in partnership with the Welsh Government, Wrexham County Borough Council have brought, over the years, unprecedented levels of funding to the area, which has transformed the town centre, in particular, beyond recognition, with money being invested into new rail and bus stations along with large scale landscaping, pedestrianisation and physical developments. Such investments have evolved Wrexham from being known simply as a traditional market town, into a retail centre of regional importance.
More than 485,000 square foot of retail space has been created in the town since 2003. The Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre development (external link) for instance reinforces Wrexham as the shopping capital of North Wales and boasts a number of multi-national fashion retailers such as Debenhams, Next, H&M and Marks and Spencer. In addition to the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre, Wrexham also has three additional retail parks based on the outskirts of the Town Centre; The Border Retail Park, Central Retail Park and Plas Coch Retail Park, together with three indoor markets and a weekly outdoor market.
The mix of parking availability, shopping opportunities ranging from market stalls to department stores, together with places to explore such as the famous St Giles’ church tower (one of the Seven Wonders of Wales), the soon to open Arts Hub and a wide range of places to eat and drink, means visitors can easily spend a day here.
A town centre steering group and forum have been established that have a commitment to influencing and securing positive developments, activities and initiatives. The forum brings together a wide range of businesses and organisations, with a common interest in the prosperous development of Wrexham town centre and aims to ensure Wrexham Town Centre is recognised as an attractive, clean and safe environment in order to maximise its potential as the major shopping, tourism and cultural centre for North Wales.
Monthly street festivals (external link) are also held in the town centre, together with numerous annual events, which increase visitor numbers / footfall.
Serviced by a £35 million link road, Wrexham Industrial Estate, the largest of the industrial estates in the County Borough, covers approximately 550 hectares and is one of the largest industrial estates in Europe!
With a low population compared to the UKs major cities, a key benefit Wrexham offers as a business location is the notable lack of excess road congestion, whilst still being able to offer excellent road, rail, airport and shipping links.
20% of the Wrexham workforce (external link) is employed within the manufacturing industry, compared to the UK’s average of just 8.1%, emphasising the skills and expertise the local labour market are able to offer within the manufacturing sector.
Wrexhams thriving manufacturing and wholesale business community consists of everything from small indigenous operations to major multi-nationals and world class companies such as Hoya, Kellogg's, Cadbury and JCB.
In terms of sectoral strengths, the following are strongly represented in Wrexham:
- Automotive Components
- Healthcare / medical / pharmaceutical
- Optical fibres
- Food processing
Both weekly and monthly footfall statistics are available for Wrexham Town Centre, which highlight footfall by months of the year, days of the week and hours of the day for example, which may be of interest when deciding opening hours and staffing levels. In addition detailed tourism reports (external link) are available, with the latest highlighting that there were 2.57 million visits to Wrexham during 2016, which contributed £115.9 million to the local economy during 2016, that’s an increase of over 37% since 2010. Visitor figures for attractions, facilities or car parks run by Wrexham County Borough Council in the immediate vicinity of any premises you may be considering purchasing / renting can also be provided upon request. Numerous demographic statistics analysing the resident population, along with funding availability and specialist market research reports highlighting trends within specific market sectors can also be provided by Businessline; Wrexham County Borough Councils business information service.
Finding the right space for your business is crucial, it’s where your business will live and grow. Whether you’re looking for an office, warehouse, shop or a brownfield site, land and commercial properties are available in nearly every shape and size, costs do vary, but generally speaking, prices are very competitive in Wrexham. There’s every chance we can offer you the right property, at the right price, with the right transport and technological infrastructure around it. Why not contact our business support team who will be able to run a customised search for you, based on your specific requirements.
Wrexham’s location outside large areas in terms of population and industry density gives it a distinct advantage, in that the area does not suffer from excess road congestion, which large cities tend to experience.
The major road serving Wrexham, just minutes from the town centre and all major industrial estates, is the A483. This road connects Wrexham to the national motorway network, via the M53/M56. From here there is easy access to all routes, north, south, east and west. Particularly to Manchester Airport and the west coast ports of Mostyn, Liverpool, Holyhead and Garston, but also to the east coast ports, via the trans-pennine motorway.
Manchester Airport (external link) is a major international airport and just 45 minutes from Wrexham. Its proximity and the ease of access to it is one of Wrexham's greatest assets. The airport boasts a purpose-built world freight terminal, via which Wrexham businesses can access the many national and local freight forwarders who use this facility.
Liverpool Airport (external link) can be reached in approximately 40 minutes and offers flights to an increasing selection of European destinations, as well as to a good selection of UK airports.
Hawarden Airport (external link) is approximately 20 minutes' drive from Wrexham and has facilities for executive jets.
There are a surprising number of options available to Wrexham companies, when it comes to shipping:
The port of Holyhead is important, because of its links to Ireland. It is approximately 55 miles away and, as well as conventional ferry crossings, offers a high speed (90 minutes) crossing by hydrofoil.
There are excellent motorway links to ports such as Hull, Immingham and Felixstowe on the east coast and Wrexham companies do find it practicable to make use of the facilities they offer. To give some idea of timescale, Hull can be reached by truck in approximately 3 hours.
Wrexham has two stations (Wrexham General Station (external link) and Wrexham Central Station (external link)) which are connected to two different lines. Rail freight sites (external link) are located in Liverpool, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Llandudno and Bangor. London Euston is just a two-and-half hour train ride
Any business, large, small, or pre-start contemplating a move to or starting a business in the area will find, in the Council's Business Support Team, a group of dedicated professionals who will do their very best to offer a comprehensive range of services aimed at simplifying and assisting any decisions you may need to make. The support and assistance which can be provided includes:
- A comprehensive source of free information on all matters relating to starting and running business in the area i.e. training and licensing requirements, market trends, supplier searches and much more.
- Research and information gathering
- Site and building searches
- Access to local and regional contacts / agencies
- Assistance to identify possible sources of funding
In terms of labour productivity (gross value added, per hour worked (external link)) Wrexham and Flintshire, outperform neighbouring areas such as Liverpool, Birmingham, Wirral, Greater Manchester, Shropshire and Staffordshire. As the gross weekly pay for fulltime workers is below the UK average, the mix of low labour costs and good productivity undoubtedly reinforces the attractiveness of the area as a business location.
Labour market profiles (external link) and Census data provide a statistical analysis of the resident population, detailing employment by occupation, qualifications and average earnings. As well as the resident population Wrexham also attracts a mobile workforce from as far as Manchester, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool and Shropshire.
Wrexham is exceptionally well served, at all levels of education, with a network of state primary and secondary schools, together with further education providers such as Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria (external link), both of which have a campus on the outskirts of the town centre.
Glyndwr University (external link) work closely with businesses on research and development, specialist projects and placements. Their commercial partners have played a major role in the rapid growth of the institution with companies including Airbus, Toyota and the BBC among the global giants they do business with on a daily basis.
A staggering 93% of students (external link) who completed a full-time degree in 2015/16 were in work or further study six months after graduation – the best in region. 10 other universities are also within an hour’s drive, including most notably, Manchester (external link) and Liverpool (external link).
Employment and workforce development schemes
Businesses based within Wrexham can also benefit from numerous funded employment initiatives (external link) and workforce development opportunities, these such schemes have long been available, highlighting the Welsh Governments ongoing commitment to providing businesses with a cost effective means of investing in, upskilling and furthering the capabilities of their workforce, along with assisting business growth from a staffing perspective. As an example, the Jobs Growth Wales (external link) scheme provides businesses with a 50% contribution towards the wages of the young person for 6 months.
Leisure, culture and heritage
A wide range of leisure and cultural facilities are available throughout the Wrexham county borough area, most notably Wrexham has its own racecourse at Bangor-on-Dee (external link), an athletics stadium (external link), football stadium (external link), two theatres, ten-pin bowling (external link) and a multiplex cinema (external link). Wrexham is also home to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (external link), which is a world heritage site, two spectacular National Trust properties - Erddig (external link) and Chirk Castle (external link), a Science Discovery Centre (external link), Ty Pawb Arts Hub/Market and a museum.
There are an excellent selection of hotels in the area, some of which offer attractive period accommodation and décor, together with a number of good restaurants and café bars.
Wrexham itself is surrounded by countryside, which is excellent for walking excursions; the River Dee is also famous for its fishing. For a relatively small town, Wrexham is very ambitious in the way in which it promotes itself through leisure activities which have a regional or national focus. The William Aston Hall (external link), My Racecourse (external link) and Central Station (external link) attract some of the Uk’s leading entertainers on a regular basis.
Numerous annual events are also held in the area such as Wales Comic Con (external link), Focus Wales (external link), Wrexham Food and Drink Festival (external link), Under the Arches and a Victorian Christmas market. Each month a street festival (external link) takes place within the town centre and various high profile events have visited the area in recent years, such as Wales Rally GB, The Tour of Britain and the Olympic Torch.
Wrexham is situated within a 20 minute drive of Snowdonia - one of the UK's most famous and spectacular National Parks. Snowdonia itself offers endless possibilities for outdoor leisure activities and, taken together with Mid Wales and the adjoining areas of North West England, the area must cater for almost every possible outdoor pursuit. The coast is also easy to reach and again there is something for all tastes within an easy drive of Wrexham.
The area has a wide range of supermarkets, grocers and convenience stores, with great offers, choice and convenience, some with 24 hour shopping where you can get everything under one roof. At the other end of the scale, the independent sector is thriving with everything from food to high quality designer clothes and jewellery available in the town centre. Wrexham also undoubtedly benefits from its proximity to a number of major cities which offer access to additional facilities. The ancient city of Chester is just 12 miles away and the cities of Liverpool and Manchester can both be reached within an hour. Between them these three offer access to the best in music, theatre, ballet and the Arts. Wrexham's central location also makes it an ideal starting point for those looking for access to the increasingly wide range of leisure activities available throughout the northwest and the north midlands.
Almost any sort of housing can be found in the Wrexham area, ranging from a country property set in extensive grounds to a terraced town house or studio apartment. There is a good choice of old and new high quality properties, both in town and in the extensive rural area, where there are many attractive rural villages. Prices compare favourably (external link) with many areas of the UK.
The Wrexham Maelor Hospital, situated on the outskirts of town, is the largest single site NHS hospital in North Wales. Wrexham Maelor is involved in research and development in medical and social healthcare and has extensive teaching facilities as part of a partnership with local universities. Wrexham also has a private hospital – The Spire Yale Hospital which is situated immediately next to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
We hope that you will be impressed by all that you have read about Wrexham. Please let us know if you would like any further details, or if you would like us to put you in touch with any other local organisations that may be able to offer help and advice. If you would like to pay us a visit, so that you can see for yourself why it is that so many businesses have chosen Wrexham as their preferred business location, just contact-us by completing the form below and we will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements or answer any queries.
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