London leads Britain’s enterprise recovery with surge in new firms

Tim Wallace
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Residents in the capital are better at setting up businesses and keeping them going
Entrepreneurs set up 84,000 firms in London from 2012 to 2013, official figures showed yesterday, far outstripping any other part of the country.

It means London was responsible for 24 per cent of the country’s 346,000 new firms in the year.

At the same time, 50,000 firms in the capital closed, or 21 per cent of the 238,000, which closed around the country.

This gives a net increase of 34,000 firms in the capital and 108,000 nationwide.

Business births dropped sharply in the recession following the financial crisis, and business deaths increased rapidly.

At its worst in 2009 and 2010, the total number of businesses actually fell. In 2009, the official figures show 236,030 firms were born, but 277,435 died, leaving a net loss of 41,045.

But in 2013 the number of firms increased at a faster pace than in any year in the decade of data pub­lished by the Office of National Statistics.

In second place to London was the north east with a firm birth rate of 14.7 per cent and a death rate of 9.8 per cent.

Northern Ireland has the weakest firm creation, with just 5,000 in the year – equivalent to 8.7 per cent of the existing stock of firms. The births are exceeded by business deaths, at a rate of 9.2 per cent.

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