A wave of East Anglians furloughed or made redundant during the pandemic has fuelled a record rise in start-ups - but their survival may be under threat, insolvency practitioners have warned.

R3 Eastern, the regional trade body for insolvency practitioners, welcomed a record high for business starts ups in the region, but has warned late payments could pose a "sizeable challenge" to them.

R3 Eastern - which analysed data from business intelligence provider Creditsafe - said East start-ups hit a new high with a total of 7,382 new company registrations in October - the largest UK regional figure for the month outside Greater London (22,160).

The figure was 8.6% higher than the September total - and a 12.4% increase on the number of new companies registered in the region at the start of the year.

But its analysis indicates late payments could pose a tough challenge to the new companies - as well as to longer-established ones.

East Anglia has the highest number of companies with late payments in the UK outside Greater London at 73,576, according to the data, with numbers rising steadily in recent months.

R3 Eastern chairman Alistair Bacon said: "These statistics highlight the effect that over two years of economic turbulence have had – and continue to have – on our local businesses.

East Anglian Daily Times:

"The growth in start-ups is most definitely a positive – a trend which is likely to have been driven by those who were furloughed or made redundant during the pandemic and who have decided to venture out on their own. This is an encouraging sign of entrepreneurialism and enterprise resilience in our region.

"However, this growth is being severely threatened by current market conditions, which include a perfect storm of spiralling inflation, contracting economies, steep rises in fuel, energy and wage costs, and dwindling consumer confidence. Late payments will only exacerbate these challenges.

"Our advice to any director who is worried about the viability of their business, start-up or otherwise, is to seek professional help and to do it as soon as possible.

"The sooner support is sought, the more opportunities there may be to assure a company’s survival and future success."