For the third year running, Sandwell Council has published details of the borough’s 50 fastest-growing businesses – giving a snapshot on firms that employ more than 6,500 people and have a combined revenue of £1.5 billion.

The Top 50 list celebrates the companies’ achievements, as well as the economic contribution they make to the West Midlands.

The Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies Index 2017 was released with a networking breakfast at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich yesterday (Thursday 27 July), where representatives from nearly 100 businesses and partners gathered in celebration of Sandwell’s latest success stories.

The index lists the 50 top-ranked companies in Sandwell in terms of rate of growth in turnover.

Collectively the companies employ 6,500 people and have a combined revenue of £1.5 billion.

Twenty-seven of the 50 companies listed have shown growth of 10% or more in the past year. The 12 fastest growing companies have enjoyed growth of 20% or more, while the highest revenue growth rate – from transport operator Diamond Bus – is 44%.

More than half of these businesses are engaged in manufacturing, while 22% operate in the wholesale and retail sector.

Transport and haulage contractor Sheldon Clayton Logistics is at number 43 in the index with a solid 3.8 per cent growth in turnover.

The West Bromwich company started life around 40 years ago, servicing the North Sea oil boom. Today its strategy of “better business not more business” helps maintain stability and steady growth even through times of economic difficulty.

“We are a tough lot in the Black Country,” said group chairman and founder David Sheldon, referring to the entrepreneurial spirit of the region.

Councillor Steve Eling, Leader of Sandwell Council, said the UK’s economic and political circumstances are making trading tougher than usual and that the companies that made this year’s Top 50 index should feel prouder than ever.

“The success of Sandwell’s Top 50 can only reflect hard work, great leadership, commitment and foresight.

“Their growth also demonstrates Sandwell’s position as a profitable place in which to operate. Our borough is ideally located at the heart of England and well connected by road, rail and air. We have a highly skilled workforce and a strong heritage of manufacturing,” he said.

“The wider West Midlands’ spirit of innovation has always helped us ride out waves of political and economic uncertainty.”

At the networking event, local business people networked with like-minded professionals (including representatives from the Top 50), made new contacts and heard from Sandwell Council about its work to support local businesses, and its vision for the future of the borough.