A record level of start-ups has brought a 10 per cent increase in the number of businesses in the North West, according to new research by the UK insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.
There are now 32,774 more businesses in the region than in December 2015, bringing the total number of active businesses to its highest ever level of over 347,200.
While the rise was below the national average of 25 per cent, the North West continued to outperform London where the number of companies grew by just six per cent.
The figures show that transport remains the fastest growing sector, with the number of businesses increasing by 46 per cent during the year to more than 6,500.
Other sectors which showed double digit increases include restaurants (25 per cent), construction (15), technology and IT (14), and professional services (11).
Richard Wolff (pictured), North West chair of R3 and head of corporate recovery and insolvency at law firm JMW, said: “The figures reflect the start-up culture that has developed in the UK.
“People are becoming more entrepreneurial and are happy to run their own business or, in some cases, more than one.
“Whilst the technology sector commands the greatest attention, with a whole range of exciting and innovative start-ups, the biggest growth in business numbers is coming from more traditional types of businesses, with different factors driving growth in each sector.
“The incredible rise in the number of transport firms is likely to be due to online shopping creating increased demand for couriers.
The growth in restaurant numbers also reflects the fact that fewer such businesses are failing as the economy has returned to a degree of health. The rise in construction firms is driven by the buoyant property market.”