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Record year for business creation in Norfolk but county still lags behind the country

PUBLISHED: 11:43 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 27 January 2017

Last year was a record year for business creation in Norfolk.

Last year was a record year for business creation in Norfolk.

Archant

Despite a record year in 2016 but Norfolk lags behind the rest of the UK in business creation by population, according to figures.

The county averaged 5.2 businesses created per 1,000 people last year compared to a national average of 10.5, a review by Inform Direct said.

However, Kevin Horne, chief executive of enterprise agency Nwes, said the start-ups in the region performed well when it came to growth.

He said: “It is not just a matter of how many businesses are created but how many of these business grow and employ people.

“Outside of London and the South East we are the best region when it comes to businesses which are VAT registered and employ people.”

Alasdair Willett who has started an escape games company called History Mystery based at Norwich Guildhall.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYAlasdair Willett who has started an escape games company called History Mystery based at Norwich Guildhall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Horne said the main demographic starting their own firms was 40 to 45-year-olds but he said there was a younger group launching technology based businesses.

He said: “A lot of people realise when they get to that ‘mid-life crisis’ that they always wanted to start their own business and it is very easy to start a business in the UK.

“Many people have done very well in terms of the economy and house prices so they have a bigger safety net behind them than other age groups.

“We do get a number of technology start-up businesses and these tend to be quite boom or bust in that either the technology takes off or it doesn’t.”

In Norfolk a total of 4,480 new businesses were registered in the county compared to 4,296 in 2015 taking the total number of registered companies to 34,374, a 5.8% rise.

Norwich formed the most new businesses (1,112), followed by Broadland (779) and Breckland (608).

One of those to start their own business in 2016 was Alasdair Willett who launched Norwich escape room game firm History Mystery which turns one this weekend and is already considering expansion.

Mr Willett, 45, said: “The most important thing to realise is that there is a lot to business that you don’t know, whoever you are.

“Make sure you get all the help you can and when you are not at work you need to learn as much as you can about the business side of things.”

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