Areas which recorded high Leave votes in favour of Brexit have seen an increase in the number of new business start-ups – but in Doncaster the number of new firms has fallen by 15% since the EU Referendum in 2016, according to figures.
New statistics show that last year, 2,375 new businesses were recorded as having started up in Doncaster.
In 2016 – the year of the vote to leave the European Union – the number was 2,802 – meaning a 15% decrease since the Referendum.
However, Doncaster was still ranked 35th best performing region in the UK for new business start-ups out of 348.
Nationwide, the number of new businesses registered in the UK grew by 6% compared to 2016.
This growth, revealed by Companies Houses, flies in the face of negative Brexit rhetoric just two months before Britain is due to leave.
Other key findings from the report were:
Leeds and Sheffield's new business founding rate is down 4% from 2016
The top five regions with the highest new business growth from 2016 to 2018 all voted leave in the EU referendum with at least a 12% majority
Three of the five regions with the largest leave vote majority have a faster rate of new business growth than the national average (Boston 13.1%, Castle Point 10.5% and Thurrock 14.7%)
Of the highest remain voting regions in the UK, only East Renfrewshire (8.9%) grew at a faster rate than the national average. Glasgow, who voted remain with a 33% majority, the new business rate fell by 18.5% from 2016
Of the top five regions with the largest amount of new businesses in 2018, only Birmingham’s new business rate grew quicker than the national average (6.39%)
Birmingham was the only region within the top five with the largest amount of new businesses who voted to leave the EU with a majority of 0.84%
Across the top 25 regions with the largest amount of new businesses, the largest rate of growth happened across the Midlands (inc Wales), which grew at a rate of 6.77%.
Luke Davis, CEO of private investment house IW Capital, has commented on the findings and said: “This report demonstrates how the ongoing media furore surrounding Brexit does not represent entrepreneurial attitudes on the ground across the country.
“The UK continues to be a hot bed of new business ideas and ambitious forward thinkers. The fantastic range of SMEs looking to grow and scale as we approach 29 March is testament to Britain’s attitude to starting businesses and forging our own paths, as people and as a country as a whole.
Mark Brownridge, Director General of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association, said: “The data from the Office of National Statistics show a worrying trend for business investment, with there being a constant fall throughout 2018, and minimal growth from Q1 2016. As we near the crucial Brexit crunch point, investment needs to reflect what is evidently, buoyant entrepreneurial sentiment across the country.
“The voting trends linked to this research show broadly that those who voted leave in the 2016 EU referendum have confidence in the new business environment, but this does not seem to be reflected in the investment trends across the same period. With new business growth picking back up across 2018 to 6% across the country since 2016, there is positivity across the country regarding post-Brexit business activity. This confidence is what we need to nurture as investors moving into such an uncertain period.”