OXFORDSHIRE has bucked the national downward trend for business start ups.

New figures have revealed that more new businesses were established in Oxfordshire during 2017 than in the previous year, despite an overall reduction in new company formations.

Some 4,612 new companies were registered in the county last year, compared to 4,517 in 2016.

This brings the total number of registered companies to 39,736, up from 38,413 at the end of 2016 - a 3.4 per cent growth.

The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of UK Company Formations using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

Cherwell formed the most new businesses with 1,080, followed by Oxford which had 1,027 start-ups and South Oxfordshire with 1,012.

John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct said: “These figures for new company formations during 2017 show that Oxfordshire continues to be a fertile ground for entrepreneurs and new business ventures."

Across the UK as a whole, there was a reduction in the number of new company formations with 634,116 registered compared with 664,720 in 2016.

But the total number of registered companies in the UK continued to grow, passing the 4,000,000 milestone during 2017 and finishing the year with a total of 4,120,349.

Mr Korchak added that the national slowdown could be attributed to 'ongoing political uncertainty' and concerns in the business community over the impact of Brexit.