More companies operating in the Liverpool City Region are now classed as High Growth Firms (HGF) than ever before according to new research from the Enterprise Research Council. With City Regions up and down the country closing the gap on London for the numbers of HGFs operating in local economies, the Liverpool City Region now boasts the highest proportion (8.5 per cent) of HGFs of any English region outside of the capital. In the last six years, the number of HGFs in the Liverpool City region has risen by 56 percent from 141 in 2009 to 220 in 2015. Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Robert Hough, said: “This is hugely encouraging and important research which further demonstrates the importance of nurturing a vibrant and diverse economy. “The driving force of the economy here in the City Region are those companies which are delivering growth and thriving in their markets. It is important that we acknowledge the impact on jobs and prosperity that they all have not just the ones in the high growth bracket. “That said, we should celebrate this news and continue to cultivate the best possible conditions for growth in the City Region.” According to the OECD’s definition, a HGF is a company that has at least 10 employees and records an annual average growth of 20 per cent in employment over three years. In 2012-15, HGFs accounted for 7.5 per cent of all firms of this size in the UK. HGFs are regarded as important ‘bellwethers’ of economic vitality because, despite accounting for a small proportion of all firms, they generate a disproportionately large share of the increase in jobs. ERC research has shown that HGFs create around a third of the increase in private sector jobs in the three-year periods over which they are measured.