Liverpool City Region is now home to 8,000 more employees in scale-up businesses than this time last year, according to a major new report.

The Annual ScaleUp Review - published by the ScaleUp Institute - shows that in 2018, the City Region had 58,513 employees who worked in scale-up businesses, up from 50,197 in 2017.

A scale-up has an average annual growth greater than 20 per cent over a three-year period, having had at least 10 employees in that first year.

The report also reveals that the total number of scale-ups in the City Region has risen from 550 to 610 over the past year.

The top five scale-ups by employee growth have been named as Castlerock Recruitment Group, The Contact Company, Potens, Cheshire Mouldings and Mac Roofing and Contracting.

The report shines a light on the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - which spearheads the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub - and its plans to support local businesses to scale and accelerate growth.

“Scale-up businesses are crucial for the region's economy and the fact that we've got 8,000 more scale-up employees compared to this time last year is fantastic,” said Liverpool City Region LEP commercial broker Janice Mears.

The top three barriers for scale-up businesses have been identified as access to talent, access to UK markets and customers, and access to public sector support and funding for research and development.

Currently there is a wide range of support that can be accessed through the Local Growth Hub such as the New Markets 2 programme, and most recently the Scale-up MBA delivered by LJMU's Business School.

The LEP is continuing to develop future programmes of support focused on scale-ups and leadership development.

"While the increase in employees, and total number of scale-ups, is fantastic news for the region, a lot more needs to be done for the scale-up community to overcome the barriers that it is facing,” said Mears.

“That's why the Liverpool LEP and Local Growth Hub are working closely on a range of initiatives that will enable businesses to access the support they need to drive them on their scale-up journey."

The Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub, which is backed by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), was launched in 2016 to provide a joined-up approach to business support across the region by increasing the awareness of the public and private sector support available to entrepreneurs, SMEs and scale-up companies.