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April sees UK-wide hike in start-ups with over 30% more new businesses launching in Yorkshire and the Humber


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Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire

Economic confidence in Yorkshire and the Humber appears to be on the rise with the region, along with much of the rest of the UK, experiencing a marked uplift in the number of new businesses launching last month compared with March 2024.

The latest research from the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body, R3, which is based on an analysis of data provided by CreditSafe, showed that in April all regions and nations saw a rise in start-ups since the previous month. Yorkshire and the Humber was among the strongest performing with an increase of 32% which represented a total of 6,773 new businesses. Since December 2023, almost 22,700 new businesses have launched in the region.

Looking across the UK, the East Midlands saw the greatest month-on-month rise in start-ups with an increase of 41.7% while Northern Ireland and the North East both rose by over 33%. In contrast, the poorest performing of the 12 regions and nations was Scotland with an increase of just 1.8%; followed by East Anglia (up by 27.2%) and the South East (up by 27.6%).

The research also showed that insolvency-related activity (which includes liquidator and administrator appointments and creditors’ meetings) had fallen across much of the UK in April. The most marked decreases were in the South East (-20.7%); Scotland (-20.6%); and Northern Ireland (-19.2%). However, Yorkshire and the Humber was one of four regions and nations to experience a rise in this type of activity with 263 businesses affected here, an uplift of 8.7% since March. The East Midlands, Greater London and the South West also saw a month-on-month increase.

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and a barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, commented: “Last month’s rise in the number of start-ups across almost all of the UK is an encouraging sign of slowly returning business confidence. Unfortunately, the year got off to a slow start for many consumer-facing businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, amid high interest rates and energy costs, together with dismal weather further dampening spending.

“As we head into the summer, economic prospects appear to be brightening, although many experts are not expecting a real recovery until the autumn. Given the current uncertainty, it is vital that business owners remain vigilant and turn to a qualified insolvency practitioner for advice as soon as any financial problems become apparent.”

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