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Council ‘driving growth’ as Durham passes 33,000 businesses

Latest figures show that the number of businesses in Durham reached a record high during 2021.

The total number of registered companies in Durham rose to 33,620. During the year 5,065 new businesses were registered in the county.

The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of Company Formations using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

County Durham formed the highest number of new businesses (2,837), followed by Stockton-on-Tees (951) and Darlington (786).

Amy Harhoff, Corporate Director Regeneration, Economy and Growth at Durham County Council said: “This is exceptional news for the county at this important time for our economy and our communities. Credit should be given to all of the new, existing and growing companies in our county for their innovation, resolve and resilience during the pandemic, this news is a testament to them and the incredible offer for entrepreneurship and businesses in County Durham.

“Durham County Council has been delighted to support businesses across the County through a number of initiatives including our finance Durham programme, Durham Business recovery grant, new strategic employment sites and high performance on securing competitive funds from central government such as levelling up.

“We are committed to continuing this momentum as we are currently consulting on a new inclusive economic strategy though our Econversation. We are working in partnership with businesses to understand and support the future opportunities which is a key commitment of the County Council to drive inclusive growth and continue our current strong trajectory”

John Korchak, Operations Director at Inform Direct said: “It is excellent news to see so many new businesses being started in Durham, a trend which has propelled the county to a new record number of resident companies.

“Durham boasts an active economy, demonstrated by this latest increase in the number of businesses based in the county. Entrepreneurs are clearly motivated to invest in new businesses which meet current and emerging demands for goods or services. The overall picture for the UK as a whole is also an optimistic one with the total number of companies now exceeding five million for the very first time.”

The UK saw 771,617 new businesses formed, compared to 780,760 in 2020. The overall number of UK companies totalled 5,005,147, a 3.5% increase on the total of 4,837,426 at the end of 2020. This continues a ten-year trend which shows the number of businesses in the UK doubling in that period.

Whilst company formations grew, the number of dissolutions across the UK – 606,912 during 2021 – hit a record high. Reasons for this may be that new enterprises set up early in the pandemic may no longer be operating as people have returned to full-time employment or businesses thriving pre-COVID-19 have suffered as behavioural and spending patterns have changed.


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