North East of England leads UK in January startups

Start-up business numbers in the North East of England have reached their highest levels in 10 months, according to new research from restructuring trade body R3.

R3’s analysis of data provided by Creditsafe shows there were 1,707 new businesses set up in the North East in January – the highest number since March 2023’s total of 1,740, and 61% more than December’s 2023’s figure of 1,060.

R3 said the North East of England saw the biggest monthly rise in start-ups across all of the UK regions and nations, followed by the South East of England (53.5%), the South West of England (50%) and Wales (49.9%).

Start-up numbers in the North East also rose 22.3% year-on-year from January 2023’s total of 1,396.

Chris Ferguson, Chair of R3 in the North East, says: “The new year has kicked off with a wave of start-ups in the North East, with over 300 more new firms this January than in 2023.

“There is real optimism in the North East business community at the moment – domestic and export sales are expected to grow this year, cost pressures are expected to ease and salaries are rising at a much more steady rate.

“Investment and growth in the automotive industry, a key industry to the North East’s economy, has also driven up business confidence, and I’m hopeful to see this sector flourish and bring new opportunities to our region in the coming year.”

Ferguson, a director and head of recovery & insolvency at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, continues: “While these figures are positive, the first few years of a business’s life are always the most challenging and directors should be alert to the first signs of business distress, such as cash flow problems, including HMRC arrears or supplier pressure.

“For any business owners, whether new or established, that have financial concerns, I would urge them to seek help from a qualified source as early as you can.

“It’s natural to feel anxious when dealing with money worries, but reaching out for help is often a weight lifted and will afford you more time and more options for dealing and resolving any finance issues.”