Cumbria has seen an increase in the number of businesses in the county, despite a background of political and economic uncertainty.

The total number of registered companies in the county grew to 21,286, up from 20,916 at the end of 2018 - which equates to 1.8 per cent growth.

However, there was a fall in the number of new company formations during 2019, when 2,171 new companies were registered, compared to 2,259 during 2018, representing a decrease of 3.9 per cent.

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

South Lakeland formed the most new businesses (564), followed by Carlisle (530) and Allerdale (396).

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 Cumbria, 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.