Record 900,000 new start-ups were launched in the UK in 2023

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A RECORD 900,000 companies were started in the UK 2023, according to a new report.

The number of new businesses was 12 per cent higher than in 2022, according to ­Natwest.

GettyA record 900,000 companies were started in the UK 2023, according to a new report[/caption]

James Holian of NatWest, said: “Despite the recent economic challenges, entrepreneurial spirit in the country has not just endured, it has thrived.”

The survey of new incorprations by data firm Beauhurst showed that the biggest growing sectors last year were online retailers, property, and street food stalls.

There were 82,000 new online sellers, 49,000 new companies letting property and 21,000 new takeaway and street food stands.

While the majority are probably one-person businesses, many could grow to become bigger firms.

The sectors showing the slowest rate of growth were led by packaging, passenger rail, and logistics warehousing businesses.

Northern Ireland showed the largest boom in start-ups with 14,000 new businesses, a 59 per cent increase on the previous year.

In London there was a 20 per cent increase, while Scotland showed third largest growth, up 11 per cent.

Meanwhile the number of female-founded businesses also increased, with a record 164,000 companies incorporated by women in 2023, up 4 per cent on 2022.

The study showed that the number of active ­companies operating in the UK is now at a record 5.31 million.

Henry Whorwood of Beauhurst said: “The growth in these numbers really speaks to the growth in the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

But many new business will struggle under the headwinds of rising costs and a turbulent economy.

Last month the Insolvency Service revealed that the number of British businesses going bust hit 25,158 in 2023, the highest yearly total for 30 years.


UK AIRPORTS are flying high again as passenger numbers reach pre-pandemic figures.

Heathrow was used by sixmillion passengers last month — up from 5.5 million in January 2023.

AlamyPassenger numbers at UK airports have reached pre-pandemic figures[/caption]

That is just a little below pre-pandemic levels when it had 6.1 million in January 2020.

Manchester Airports Group, which operates Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands, said the number of passengers using its locations was 3.9 million last month, equalling January 2020’s total.

Some 1.95 million went through Stansted, a record monthly total about 20,000 more than its 2019 high.

Heathrow handled more cargo than in 2020, with the weight of freight rising from 116,000 tonnes five years ago to 122,000 tonnes last month.

The airport claimed the UK has “shut the door on home-grown growth” by “turning away international shoppers through the tourist tax”.


WAREHOUSE giant Tritax Big Box is splashing out £924million to buy rival UK Commercial Property Reit (UKCM).

The acquisition will create a real estate giant worth almost £4billion.

Tritax owns several large warehouses and has major tenants including Ocado, Amazon and B&Q.

UKCM invests in shopping centres, office buildings and distribution centres.

Its shares rose 5 per cent on news of the deal.


THE owner of transport sandwich chain Upper Crust is buying Australian rival Airport Retail Enterprises for an undisclosed amount.

The Aussie business has 1,500 workers and 62 sites across seven airports — mainly bars, casual dining restaurants and cafes.

AlamyUpper Crust is buying Australian rival Airport Retail Enterprises for an undisclosed amount[/caption]

AlamyThe sandwich retailer has annual sales of around £100million[/caption]

It was founded in 1971 and has annual sales of around £100million.

SSP Group’s Upper Crust has outlets in UK rail stations including London’s Marylebone.

And since 2007 it has been operating Down Under where it already runs 40 sites across seven airports and one railway station.

The deal will give it a presence in four extra Aussie airports: Canberra, Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa.

Boss Patrick Coveney said: “It will enhance our position as a leading airport food and beverage operator in the country.


THE number of shoppers visiting high streets fell 7.9 per cent last week, compared to the previous year.

Shoppers and office workers were put off stores by the wet weather and even snow in some parts of the UK.

LNPWet weather saw the number of high street shoppers fall by 7.9 per cent last week, compared to the previous year[/caption]

This led to travel disruptions on Thursday which encouraged many workers to choose to work from home, with a key London footfall index down by 9 per cent.

Market towns saw a 12 per cent reduction in footfall, only just ahead of coastal towns where the number of shoppers fell 11 per cent.

Analysts MRI Software said retail parks fared better, falling just 0.7 per cent compared to a 7.9 per cent decline in high streets, and a 4 per cent fall at shopping centres.

But the downturn followed three weeks of rising figures and retailers are expecting a half-term boost this week, said Jenni Matthews of MRI.

LIDL has opened a new bottling plant in Derby which will supply 380 million bottles a year to its stores across the country.

The facility has created 90 jobs, the firm said. Meg Derby LTD is part of German drink maker Schwarz Produktion.


OUTSOURCER CAPITA has been blasted by union Unite which says it mucked up MoD firefighters’ pensions.

Capita paid the MoD £600million in 2019 to take over the Defence Fire Rescue Project but 700 workers complained of pensions not being paid or incorrectly calculated.

Unite also said some widows have not been paid their partner’s pension.

Capita has recently been awarded a ten-year contract, beginning in September 2025, to manage the Civil Service pension scheme of around 1.6 million members.

That’s crackers, said the Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

The union wants the Government to reassess the awarding of the contract.

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