Business booming at Havering borough’s centre

The map shows the net increase of new businesses, which have opened in 2015 by areas. These figures

The map shows the net increase of new businesses, which have opened in 2015 by areas. These figures take into account the number of businesses, which closed in the same year. - Credit: Archant

As new companies are launched around the borough, Romford continues to attract most of Havering’s start-up activity.

Last year, nearly 2,600 new businesses were created according to a study by Inform Direct, a company records website, which compiled data from Companies House and the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Although the report puts Havering as the fourth lowest borough in London for the number of start-ups in 2015, Romford experienced a boom in new companies being formed in 2014.

According to business data firm Experian it had the highest start-up rate in the UK.

But last year, neighbouring boroughs seem to have done better in attracting new businesses – 6,682 new companies in Redbridge and 3,039 in Barking and Dagenham.

In Romford, there was a net increase of 370 businesses – taking into account the number of companies which closed. Hornchurch recorded an increase of 205 and Harold Hill 105.

At the bottom of the list, the net increase of businesses in Upminster was 11.

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Havering Chamber of Commerce chairman Barry Hicks said he was surprised the borough had a lower number start-ups than most London boroughs.

Brooklands Cllr Robert Benham said the “imbalance” between Romford and the rest of the borough was due to the borough’s main town being “a major metropolitan centre”, attractive to retail, catering, professional office and light industrial businesses.

He said: “We are very happy that Romford has so much business activity, however each town centre in the borough has its own unique and vibrant character.

“Hornchurch is a flagship cultural centre while Upminster attracts independent specialist retailers.”

Upminster Cllr Ron Ower, said many large companies and a few independent businesses were interested to move to Upminster, which he described as “a vibrant place”.

“It seems to be the place to be,” he added.