Record number of new companies formed in Suffolk during 2016, according to Inform Direct

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct.

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct. - Credit: Archant

More new companies were registered in Suffolk during 2016 than in any previous year, according to Ipswich-based business secretarial software firm Inform Direct.

John Korchak of Inform Direct.

John Korchak of Inform Direct. - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

A total of 4,291 new companies were registeed in the county last year, compared with 4,031 in 2015, figures compiled by the company show.

With a total of 2,931 companies in Suffolk being dissolved during the year, this left a total of 32,526 companies in the county at the end of 2016, an increase of 5.1% compared with a year earlier.

Among the county’s seven boroughs and districts, Ipswich saw the most new companies launched during the year, with a total of 1,047, followed by St Edmundsbury, on 728, and Suffolk Coastal, 651. Mid Suffolk saw 574 companies registered, Waveney 519, Babergh 438 and Forest Heath 329.

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, said: “These figures underline the positive entrepreneurial culture that fosters new company formations and drives economic growth. So far, at least, we’re not seeing evidence that the Brexit vote has dented confidence among those considering starting up in business.

“Suffolk again delivered an impressive number of new companies in 2016, demonstrating that it offers a fertile environment for new businesses to spring up and prosper.”

However, despite the record number of company formations, Suffolk continued to lag behind the national average when population is taken into account, with last year’s total representing 5.9 new companies per 1,000 people compared with a UK-wide figure of 10.5.

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Essex was closer to the national average with its total of 15,887 formations during 2016 representing 9.2 per 1,000 people.

With 12,823 companies in Essex being dissolved during 2016, the county’s year-end total of 112,065 marked an increase of 3.9% on a year earlier.

In north and mid Essex, Chelmsford led the way with 1,497 new registrations, followed by Colchester on 1,385 and Braintree on 914. Uttlesford saw 690 new companies formed, Tendring 613 and Maldon 476.

Inform Direct, whose online software products include packages for people starting up a new business, compiled the figures using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.