A productive and innovative economy

Drive innovation, efficiency and productivity within our strong micro business base​

Innovation can take various shapes within a business. For York and North Yorkshire’s micro businesses this is often small, incremental changes which lead to big impacts. This could include: implementing process improvements, technology adaptation to improve efficiencies and resilience, bringing new products to market or exploring a new market and customer demographic. ​

​The subregion has many assets to help implement these changes in our businesses, covering research centres, incubator/R&D facilities and educational institutions. However, there is sometimes a gap between industry and these assets which needs to be bridged. ​

​Improve the productivity of our most prominent sectors, such as tourism and agriculture​

York and North Yorkshire has a number of sector strengths, but tourism and agriculture are most prominent, and this is partly driven by the geography (77% of the subregions land is farmed area) and our heritage and culture assets. Although employment levels are low, Agriculture, forestry and fishing is the largest sector by business numbers and has a much higher proportion than national levels. Tourism largely refers to accommodation for visitors, food and beverage serving activities, travel agencies and other reservation activities, cultural, sports and recreation activities. ​

​The subregion often ranks highly in top visitor attractions and has a significant employment base within Tourism, particularly accommodation and food service activities. There will also be opportunities to support and grow the sector via the Local Visitor Economy Partnership.​

​Build resilience in our businesses to mitigate climate change impacts and future trends ​

York and North Yorkshire currently has strong business ​survival rates. In 2017, 50.4% of new enterprises survived after 5 years, which was higher than England (39.4%) and the regional levels (43.5%). However, our business base faces a range of threats, particularly driven by climate change, which could lead to significant disruptions and costs. ​

​To ensure longevity of businesses, they need to be adaptable. This could include integrating new models, such as circular economy practices. ​

​Develop a collaborative and coordinated business support landscape​

Accessing support can be challenging for many businesses and difficult to navigate, especially with multiple organisations available for this role. Collaboration and coordination of business support will be critical to ensure that all businesses, of any sector or size, are able to find the right support to suit their needs. ​

Our focus will be to…​

  • Support collaboration between our academic assets and enterprises ​
  • Support our micro and SMEs to make innovative changes​
  • Improve productivity in our most prominent sectors, such as agriculture and tourism​
  • Future-proof our enterprises, particularly linked to climate change​
  • Ensure the available support is business-led, simplified and easy to access​


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York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub

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Invest in York & North Yorkshire

Supporting organisations looking to our region as a place to do business and grow.

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