BOURNEMOUTH has seen a sharp rise in the number of new businesses, a report says.

The Business Growth Index, produced by the consultancy Growtion, found the town outstripping the rest of the county in company growth.

Growtion’s score for Net Business Growth shows the monthly difference between businesses that are newly active and those starting to find themselves in “distress”.

Its latest report, for March, gave a positive score of 140 for Bournemouth, 40 for East Dorset, 29 for Poole, 27 for North Dorset, 10 for Weymouth and Portland and five for Purbeck.

West Dorset was the worst-performing area, with a score of minus 54. The best-performing ward was Wimborne Minster, with a positive score of 19.

Nationally, the report found almost 92,000 businesses created in March – the highest monthly figure since the pandemic began.

The report says: “March 2022 saw the biggest leap in new business creation (+91,921)  since before the pandemic. However, it was accompanied by the fourth largest monthly cohort of businesses getting into distress (-81,721) over the same period.

“These new businesses are likely to have a shorter life – from 7.1 years old before getting into distress pre-pandemic to 5.0 years old now. It’s clear that there has been a step-change in the type of company being created, as well as founders’ expectations of what they are desired to deliver. ‘Disposable businesses' are those that are created, pumped and primed for quick success – and, if they fail to achieve an entrepreneur’s very specific requirements, they are quickly euthanised.”

The west of Dorset performed more strongly in another Growtion figure – an indexed score showing the long-term trend in the number of active businesses. It assigns a value of 100 to the number of businesses in January 2020 and measures performance against that.

By that measure, Weymouth and Portland had the strongest positive score at 110.1, Bournemouth scored 106.4, Purbeck 108.3, East Dorset 107.3, West Dorset 105.1, North Dorset 104.6 and Christchurch 103.6.

Poole was in negative territory at 95.5.

Growtion, which advises small and medium-sized enterprises on how to grow rapidly, bases its research on Companies House filings but uses its own algorithms to remove suspect data.