Islington had London’s fourth highest number of new start-ups in 2017

Hak Huseyin, second left, with Stacey Thomas from The Lexington pub, David Twydell of Chapel Market,

Hak Huseyin, second left, with Stacey Thomas from The Lexington pub, David Twydell of Chapel Market, business chief Cllr Asima Shaikh and Susan Croppe of Loop Knitting, campaigning against business rates hikes last year. - Credit: Archant

Almost 15,000 businesses were launched in Islington last year, the fourth highest of any borough in London.

New figures from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics show the number of start-ups forming across the capital has reduced year-on-year.

Inform Direct, which carried out the research, say this is in part due to the uncertainty in the business community about Brexit.

But Islington is still thriving. In 2016 11,461 people launched their own business, and last year that rose to 14,813. That’s only bettered by Camden, Hackney and Westminster.

Most of those were unsurprisingly formed in the south of the borough, with Bunhill ward showing a net increase of 8,895 start-ups.

Clerkenwell saw 589 new companies formed, but with 1,680 closing it had a net reduction of 1,100.

Mildmay ward in the east of the borough had a net increase of 180 start-ups, the most of any area not near to the tech hub of Old Street.

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Hak Huseyin, co-chair of the Islington chamber of commerce said: “It’s great, we all want new businesses and want people to thrive. Islington is a great borough to be in for lots of reasons - great transport links, wonderful existing businesses they can interact with.

“There are a lot of units opening up to allow small independents to let out rooms. A couple of businesses here in Archway have shut and with the developments there are a lot of units available.

“So there are varied degrees. Obviously in some parts of Islington towards Farringdon everything is slightly enlarged – there’s a good mix.”

But Hak did urge caution amid soaring business rates and rents, and said he would be interested to see the figures for 2018 when they are published.

“Rising rents and rates are also putting independents off,” he said.

“Five or six years ago someone would retire and sell their shop and it would go within weeks. Now they are staying empty a bit longer because of ridiculous amounts of rents people are trying to get. But that can’t last.”

Across London last year 205,527 new companies were formed – down on 2016’s record-breaking total of 209,869. In the UK there were 634,116, down from 664,720.

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