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The East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2022 has just been published, celebrating the contribution which the region’s biggest firms make to Britain’s economy.

The 500 companies had a combined turnover of more than £90billion and employed 469,512 people – an increase of three per cent on staffing levels seen last year.

Many of the companies on the list are household names and some of the most recognisable UK brands, who have chosen to make their homes in the region.

Picture: East Midlands Chamber

Launched in 2020, the East Midlands Top 500 celebrates the range, strength and impact of leading businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

The Top 500 was launched yesterday morning at a business breakfast at the Radisson Blu, Castle Donington.  The data is taken from company accounts filed between July 2019 and June 2020.

Boots retained its top spot position for the third year running.

Alan Penhale, director of supply chain at Boots UK, said: “For Boots, being part of the community is absolutely critical. We are really proud to be here and to be part of making the East Midlands even stronger.”

The Nottingham pharmacy group was followed by Sytner Group, which is based out of Grove Park, Leicester.

Third on the list was the Pendragon car dealership business and fourth was Leicestershire-based fashion retailer Next.

Making up the top five this year, is Frasers Group (formerly Sports Direct International PLC).

This year’s list sees 78 new firms enter the top 500, mostly due to companies increasing turnover but also some registered offices moving to the region. The entire Top 500 list has been published online by Reach Plc and in print by the Real Entrepreneurs Magazine, from Cross Productions.

 The 2022 list has been meticulously put together using Companies House figures by researchers from the business schools at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Derby and Nottingham Trent universities, supported by East Midlands Chamber, and sponsored by Leicester property developer Bradgate Estates.

Professor David Rae of DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School, who leads the Top 500 Businesses, said the index shows how companies have adapted and evolved.

He added: “The East Midlands is fortunate in having a large and successful group of businesses which are generally very well-managed. In many cases they are world-leading, and demonstrably capable of riding out and recovering from the many challenges thrown at them.

“They are also very diverse in the range of industry sectors and both UK and international markets which they service. International trade continues to be a growth area, enabled by the supply-chain and logistics infrastructure the region has attracted. The combined effectiveness of leadership and management, and diversity of the business base, are both enduring strengths.

“It is essential that the positive contributions of the region’s businesses to economic prosperity, employment and their provision of valued products and services is recognised, whilst businesses themselves need to continue to engage as good corporate citizens with communities, education, wellbeing and environmental action.

Scott Knowles, CEO of East Midlands Chamber, said: “There’s an amazing story to tell here and it is set out in vivid detail within the East Midlands Top 500 Companies Index, which showcases the huge contribution our region makes to UK Plc, and the strength and depth of our business community.

“It’s a great opportunity to take stock of just how many household brands we boast, as well as many others that may not be so familiar to the average person on the street but are titans of their industries or key components in supply chains.”