HUNDREDS of businesses in Redditch shut their doors for good in 2022, new figures show.

In his autumn statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a range of tax cuts to aid businesses.

This included making a tax break allowing firms to cut their bills if they invest in new equipment permanent, in what he claimed was the "biggest business tax cut in modern history".

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said the rising number of closing businesses is a "potential warning sign for the British economy", blaming high energy costs and the end of coronavirus pandemic support schemes.

Office for National Statistics figures show around 395 businesses in Redditch ceased trading in 2022 – up from 370 the year before.

Some 3,350 businesses were active last year, meaning the 'business death rate' – the percentage of businesses that closed – has risen to 11.8 per cent.

This is in line with the 'business birth rate' – the percentage of businesses that began trading – of 14.2 per cent, with around 475 created last year.

Dr George Dibb, head of the IPPR's Centre for Economic Justice, said: "Today's new data is a potential warning sign for the British economy with more companies going out of business than started up for the first time in 2022 since the tail end of the financial crisis.

"Whilst this isn't unexpected – high energy costs combined with the end of pandemic support schemes would always see a rise in company closures – it might signify that greater business support would have maintained higher economic activity."

Mr Hunt also announced the standard multiplier for rates on high-value properties will increase in line with inflation, while the small business multiplier will freeze for a further year.

The 75 per cent business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure will also be extended for another year.