Ipswich: Business start-ups in town outstripped closures last year

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer - Credit: Archant

More than 1,110 new businesses were registered in Ipswich during 2013 – a slight increase on the previous year according to a national survey of new start-ups.

However the growth in the number of new companies in Ipswich is below the national average – and the number of company closures in the town increased significantly during the year.

The figures have been compiled in the Duport Business Confidence Report for 2013.

It shows that 1,151 new businesses were registered in Ipswich during the year (up from 1,142 in 2012) but the number of company closures was also up – to 766 in 2013 from 686 the previous year.

This meant the net number of new companies in Ipswich last year was 385, down from 456 the previous year.

Managing director of Duport Peter Valaitis was pleased but remains cautious.

He said: “The rising number of company formations in Ipswich is a good sign for the local economy, but the increase in closures reminds us that trading conditions may not yet have returned to pre-recession levels.”

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Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer said figures like this needed to be treated with caution, but it did suggest that there were fewer new businesses in Ipswich than across the country generally.

He said: “Ipswich has had more public sector workers than other places, and sometimes they find it more difficult to set up their own businesses.

“And the town does have a difficulty in attracting those in their late 20s and early 30s who are the kind of people you look for with an entrepreneurial spirit.

“To attract them there needs to be more starter homes, good schools and better transport links which is what I’m pressing for.”

His Labour opponent at the next election, David Ellesmere, was also cautious about the figures.

However he felt they showed the recovery was fragile: “It is concentrated on London and the south east, and is not really being felt in towns like Ipswich,” he added.