Thousands of businesses in Cumbria shut their doors for the last time in 2021 as closures across the UK reached their highest level since 2017. 

Business leadership group the Institute of Directors said that, while businesses open and close all the time, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic "complicated" the business landscape across the country.

Office for National Statistics figures show 2,055 business closed in 2021 – up from 1,645 in 2020.

It was also up from 1,845 in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the IoD said: "The picture is then complicated by the impact of the pandemic, which not only led to a temporary increase in unemployment and so increased the number of people looking for freelance work, but also caused a change in consumer spending patterns that affected different parts of the economy in different ways."

Meanwhile, in Cumbria, there were around 75 high-growth businesses in the area – meaning the annualised growth in the number of employees of the business over the last three years is at least 20% – and around 2,270 enterprises employed 10 or more staff.