Two companies in the East Midlands win places on league table of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies

Published this weekend, the 23rd annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.

The two companies headquartered in the East Midlands are accompanied by seven others from the wider Midlands. Together their sales have grown by an average of 75% a year over three years to a total of £399m, and they employ more than 3,204 people.

Leicester-based Spirit Healthcare is one of the two featured East Midlands firms, which began life as a prescription medication supplier but has expanded services to include running GP surgeries and developing software which remotely monitors patients. It boosted sales to £14.3m this March and employs 66 people.

The other is Northamptonshire-based Warner’s Distillery, a gin distillery, which saw sales rise to £10.9m at its December 2018 year end. The business, which employs 34 people, also appeared on the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table in 2018.

The Fast Track 100 is sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, BDO, BGF and N+1 Singer, and is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group, which has supported Fast Track 100 for all 23 years, said: “While these are uncertain times, there is one thing I am certain of: entrepreneurs are the ones driving innovation, chasing improvements and challenging the norm. There are so many inspiring examples of this on the Fast Track 100 league table and it’s heartening to see the power of entrepreneurship to create jobs and positive change across Britain.”

Private companies in the East Midlands with the fastest-growing sales, by county and rank:


HQ location County



[2018 rank]



Annual sales growth over 3 years

Sales £m


Year end ‡





Spirit Healthcare

Healthcare products supplier




Mar 19

An NHS study found that this company’s software helped reduce hospital admissions by two thirds





Warner’s Distillery

Gin distillery




Dec 18

Claims to have started the recent pink gin craze when it created its rhubarb gin

‡ Financial year end of latest available accounts * Supplied by company


The national picture

This year’s Fast Track 100 achieved, on average, sales growth of 78% a year over three years to a total of £3bn. Together they employ 16,818 staff, having more than tripled their combined workforce over the period.

Regions: The region with the most company HQs is London (30), followed by the southeast (19). The second most dominant region is the north of England – 22 companies are based there, with 11 each located in the northwest and the northeast. There are nine companies based in the Midlands, eight in Scotland, four each in the southwest and Wales, three in the East of England and one in Northern Ireland. The full league table is published on 1 December as a 10-page supplement with the business section of The Sunday Times both in print and in the digital edition, and on