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School of Management compiles Bradford's first Top 100 Businesses list


line up

The University of Bradford’s School of Management has joined forces with the Telegraph & Argus and Bradford Council to produce the first annual Top 100 Businesses list. 

The list, which celebrates the city’s biggest successes from 2022, was unveiled at an event on Tuesday, June 27, at the University. 

Dean of the School of Management, Professor Sankar Sivarajah, said in his welcome address: "As one of the UK’s oldest and longest established modern business schools, celebrating our diamond anniversary this coming year, we have a long tradition of working closely with business, industry and the community. 

"This community includes not just our students and colleagues but extends to the city and region around us. We are confident that the Bradford Top 100 will positively acknowledge the value created by all the businesses in Bradford."


The list was compiled by the School of Management using publicly available data from, ranking businesses across a number of indicators of business success, including turnover in 2021, increase in turnover and shareholders’ funds. 

Top of the list this year was Barrett Steel, based on Cutler Heights Lane, Dudley Hill, Bradford, which supplies a wide range of products and services to a diverse range of industries and market sectors.

David Spicer, Professor of Small Business Development and Organisational Studies and Director of Business and Community Engagement at the School of Management, said: “This list does not seek to present a ranked list of the economic value and contribution of each named business to the Bradford area. It should instead be recognised as a showcase for all those included, and we would want to celebrate with all these businesses and acknowledge the role they play in Bradford and its business landscape.”

To compile the data, Professor Spicer worked alongside colleagues including Dr Yong Tang, Associate Professor in Economics and Finance. They had support and contributions from Satnam Khela and Mark Clayton from Bradford Metropolitan District Council. 

Marcus Tyldseley and Guy Barrett, of Barrett Steel

Pictured above: Marcus Tyldseley and Guy Barrett, of Barrett Steel, which was named 1st on the list of Top 100 Businesses in Bradford 

Explaining the process, Professor Spicer said: “To derive the rankings reported we employed a non-weighted algorithm based on profit, turnover, year-on-year growth/change in turnover (comparing 2021 with 2020 data), shareholder funds/balance sheet, and number of employees. 

“For the initial list, each of these variables were ranked independently and these rankings combined to give each company’s position in the final list. The list was then checked by the research team to verify that companies met the inclusion criteria set for this study.”

Inclusion criteria meant businesses that were a subsidiary of other businesses listed were removed so that the businesses retained their highest singular position. 

All the businesses included have their headquarters or their primary trading address within the Bradford Council area.  It does however, therefore not include “the many outstanding and high-profile” businesses whose headquarters or registered offices are based outside the area defined for research. 

Professor Spicer, pictured below, added: “In addition, this list is historical, drawing on financial data from 2021. It is therefore possible that some of the businesses in the list will have performed significantly different since then. These changes in performance will undoubtedly be reflected in future iterations of the list.

“We would also want to acknowledge that the data draws from a period where the impact of Covid may well still have been evident on firms.”

Professor of Small Business Development and Organisation Studies

The event on Tuesday, sponsored by law firm Schofield Sweeney, included a number of special awards, including the ‘One to Watch’ given to a business which isn’t on this year’s list but is likely to make it onto next year’s. The winner was named as shed company, Power Sheds, based on the Euroway Industrial Estate. 

The award for ‘Biggest growth’ went to Saltaire-based BGL Group, trading as Surpass Assessment. The firm is an international leader in computer-based testing technology for secure and high-stakes assessments.

Nigel Burton, editor of the Telegraph & Argus, said: “It is a good way to show off the fantastic work done in the district from companies across the spectrum, to help build confidence in Bradford as a place to do business.

“It is going to become an invaluable record of how the business community developed in Bradford in the 21st century.”

The full report can be found here