Despite 1,102 new companies having been founded in the West Kent town in 2021 it ranked below Medway, Maidstone, Dartford, Canterbury, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling, Thanet and Gravesham for new formations.
This was also despite the county seeing a record year for new businesses with 16,625 new companies, compared to just 14,027 Kent businesses dissolved during 2021.
As a result, said Inform Direct, who produced the study, there was a total of 126,550 businesses registered in Kent at the end of 2021, up 3.1 per cent compared to 2020.
In Tunbridge Wells the Culverden ward saw the most activity, with 227 businesses dissolved and 154 businesses founded for a net loss of 73 companies.
The Pantiles and St Mark’s ward was more evenly balanced, with 110 dissolutions compared to 116 foundations.
The biggest net gainer was the Park ward, representing the town centre, with an increase of 40 companies – 94 incorporated compared to only 54 dissolved.
UK-wide there was an increase of 3.5 per cent in overall company numbers, which saw a total of 5,005,147 companies in 2021 compared to 4,837,426 at the end of 2020, said Inform Direct.
Although the UK saw 771,617 new businesses formed in 2021, compared to 780,760 in 2020, the number of dissolutions also hit a record high of 606,912 during 2021.
Reasons for this might be that some new enterprises, set up early in the pandemic, were no longer operating as people returned to full-time employment, or that businesses which were thriving before Covid-19 had suffered as behavioural and spending patterns changed, explained the company.
However, Inform Direct Operations Director John Korchak said: “The overall picture for the UK as a whole is also an optimistic one with the total number of companies now exceeding five million for the very first time.”
He added: “It is excellent news to see so many new businesses being started in Kent, a trend which has propelled the county to a new record number of resident companies.
“Kent boasts an active economy, demonstrated by this latest increase in the number of businesses based in the county. Entrepreneurs are clearly motivated to invest in new businesses which meet current and emerging demands for goods or services.”
By Victoria Roberts
Report: 2022 Review of UK Company Formations