Bath is known for its beautiful Georgian architecture and rich history, but it also has a productive business scene. Since the Roman times, innovators and pioneers have gathered in the city, and centuries of development have helped shape the region as it stands today. Franchising in Bath could be your route to successful business ownership.
Bath combines natural beauty with cutting-edge facilities, and is well-connected to neighbouring locations; it’s just a 10-minute train ride from nearby Bristol, and an hour and a half from London. Keep reading for more reasons why you should consider franchising in Bath.
An overview of Bath
Bath has a population of around 468,000, with an average of 2.37 people per household. Residents have an average age of 42, slightly above the figure across England and Wales (40.3), and a smaller proportion of working-age people, at 61 percent, compared to 62.3.
Salaries range from an average of £28,600 in Mendip and £36,400 in the region of Bath and North East Somerset, while the UK average sits at £38,600. Properties are valued highly in the region, which pushes the average price up to £341,000, compared to £314,000 across England and Wales.
Despite its peaceful feel, historic buildings and surrounding countryside, Bath is a highly connected city. Workers living in the desirable nearby areas of Frome, Midsomer Norton and Bradford-on-Avon can get into central Bath in around half an hour. And you can access many more destinations from Bath Spa Station; it only takes 10 minutes to get to Bristol, and an hour and a half to reach London Paddington.
Did you know? Nine of the 12 biggest aerospace firms in the UK have major facilities in the South West - and five are in Bristol and Bath.
For international business trips, you can use Bristol International Airport, just 45 minutes away from Bath by car.
At first glance, Bath’s relatively old population and high property prices might seem off-putting for business owners - but there’s plenty to attract budding entrepreneurs. In fact, the Bath region has one of the biggest proportions of highly-skilled workers in the West of England. Over 44 percent of residents are qualified to NVQ4+ level, and a quarter have professional occupations.
Plus, The University of Bath, Bath Spa University and Bath College all produce a continuous flow of talent in areas including engineering, computer science, sports science and management studies. Across the city, there are roughly 8,500 businesses up and running, with a combined workforce of around 92,000 people.
What’s more, in 2015 the city was recognised as the top choice for Londoners looking to relocate from the capital.
>> Read more:
Running your own business in Bath
Thanks to the city’s historic connections, the tourism and retail sectors are particularly successful in Bath, but its creative, digital, IT and health industries also have above-average employment figures. Here’s a bit more information on some of Bath’s most profitable industries:
- Creative and digital - Bath has won several awards in this sector; it’s been recognised as a UK creative hotspot (NESTA) and the most productive digital tech cluster in Britain (Tech City). Across the city, you’ll find offices for the BBC, Creative England and Creative Skillset. One of Bath’s specialisms is publishing, as it’s home to Future, one of the city’s biggest employers.
- IT - The University of Bath helps power this sector in the region, as it’s renowned for its strengths in computer science, as well as engineering and design. The city has already attracted a number of large companies, including Civica, Altran and AMDOCS. And organisations such as Bath Digital, TechSPARK and OpenMIC (Mobile Innovation Camp) provide networking and business opportunities for local companies.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Complete Guide to Franchise Costs in the UK
- Franchising 101: How to Buy a Franchise Business in 10 Steps
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: Top 5 Qualities of a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
- Franchising 101: The Pros and Cons of Franchising Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Top Contributors of Franchise Failure
- Engineering and electronics - Nine of the 12 biggest aerospace firms in the UK have major facilities in the South West - and five are in Bristol and Bath, including Airbus UK and Rolls-Royce. In fact, the region forms the centre of the biggest cluster of microelectronics companies outside of Silicon Valley, and is home to firms including HP, Motorola and Toshiba.
- Professional services - Businesses in Bath specialise in accounting, law, insurance and financial and management consultancy. While there are many recognisable brands in the area, including legal firms like Stone King and Mogers Drewett, the city has also welcomed many small advisory companies too.
- Retail and tourism - Bath attracts around 4.5 million visitors every year, who contribute roughly £350 million to the local economy. Attractions such as the Roman Baths and Thermae spa help to generate a huge amount of money for the city, along with the area’s many shopping districts. Every year, the famous Bath Christmas Markets and their 170 wooden chalets tempt visitors from miles around too.
- Green energy and sustainability - Development in this sector is championed by The University of Bath’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, and its Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies. Many progressive companies have been launched in Bath, across areas including sustainable construction and retro-fit, which helped to cement the city’s status as the European Green Capital back in 2015.
Franchising in Bath
Joining a franchise in Bath could be a great way to launch a profitable business. B2C companies can join the region’s thriving tourism industry, while certain B2B firms have the chance to benefit from the area’s specialisms in engineering and technology.
If you’re considering running your own business in Bath, there are plenty of resources available to help you see success. Entrepreneurs in the region can join The Bath Business Expo, which hosts over 100 exhibitors and more than 500 visitors, and events like The Bath Business Festival, introduced last year.
You’ll also find a range of different networking events in the surrounding area. The bi-annual Business Showcase South West in Bristol is the biggest free event in the region, with more than 250 exhibition stands.
Are you ready to consider franchising in Bath? Take a look at the best investment opportunities on offer in the region to get started.
*Statistics taken from Plumplot.co.uk and InvestInBath.com
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©