DESPITE political and economic uncertainty Cheshire saw an increase in businesses last year.

The total number of registered companies in the county grew to 80,108, up from 78,274 at the end of 2018 - which equates to a growth of 2.3 per cent.

However, there was a fall in the number of new company formations during 2019, when 12,221 new companies were registered, compared to 13,259 during 2018, representing a decrease of 7.8 per cent.

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

Warrington formed the most new businesses (5,072), followed by Cheshire East (3,515) and Cheshire West and Chester (2,806).

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, said: “With the last 12 months presenting a very challenging environment for businesses – in terms of political and economic uncertainty – it is not surprising that some counties, including Cheshire, have experienced a fall in the number of new businesses being established compared to 2018.

“However, this picture is not replicated throughout the UK. Some counties have seen a record year for new company formations and the UK as a whole has experienced an all-time high of nearly 700,000 new businesses being established over the year.”

Alongside this record number of formations – 690,763 compared to 669,855 in 2018 – the overall number of UK companies also continued to grow, with a new high of 4,471,008, a 3.8 per cent increase on the total of 4,308,022 at the end of 2018.