New figures show that Cumbria saw an increase in the number of new company formations during 2018, despite the challenges of political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

In terms of new companies, 2,259 were registered in the county compared to 2,215 in 2017, which represents an increase of two per cent.

This brings the total number of registered companies in Cumbria to 20,916, up from 20,316 at the end of 2017, which equates to three per cent growth.

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

Carlisle formed the most new businesses with 542, followed by South Lakeland at 535, Allerdale at 466, Barrow with 354, Copeland at 188 and Eden with 173.

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, said: “These figures present a very positive picture for business against a background of political and economic uncertainty and shows that the county continues to provide a supportive environment, both for new business ventures and existing enterprises.

“This achievement is replicated in a number of counties and in the UK as a whole which has seen a new record total of registered companies.”

Across the UK as a whole, a record number of new companies were formed– 669,855 compared with 634,116 in 2017.

The number of registered companies in the UK also continued to grow, finishing the year with a total of 4,308,022.