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Hospitality sector serves up 10% growth in number of businesses



The number of hospitality businesses in the UK grew by 10.1% last year, ONS data published last week reveals.

The industry sprouted just over 20,000 new companies to reach 220,950 by the start of 2022 — the biggest increase of all sectors in percentage terms, analysis of Thursday’s figures by innovation funding specialist Catax shows.

In comparison, business numbers in the UK overall fell by 1.5% over the same period.

However, turnover in the accommodation and food service sector suffered with a 29.7% fall — the biggest drop of any industry.

It fell from £116.6billion at the beginning of 2021 to £82billion a year on.

The figures are likely to have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, as the sector faced more lockdowns at the beginning of 2021 and did not fully reopen until July.

The number of people employed in the sector also held steady, growing by 1%. It suggests that the furlough scheme and other initiatives were largely successful in keeping businesses going.

Mark Tighe, CEO of innovation funding specialist Catax, comments: “The hospitality sector had a gruelling two years during the pandemic and, while turnover fell last year, strong growth in the number of new businesses starting up is a welcome surprise.

“The return to workplaces didn’t really gather steam until this year, so there should be more good news to come.

“The current economic climate means the hospitality industry still faces a challenging 12 months, but the sector can continue to grow if it keeps innovating and reacting quickly to changing trends.”