CHELMSFORD is officially the new-business hotspot in Essex.

Last year, more than 1,000 businesses were set up in the city - making it a destination of choice for entrepreneurs in the county.

The latest figures, released by Start Up Britain a campaign organisation that seeks to inspire enterprise, showed that 5,689 businesses were started in places with a Chelmsford post code during 2013.

About 1,379 of those were set up in places with a CM1 and CM2 post code, including Chelmsford, Broomfield, Writtle, Galleywood, Great Baddow, Little Baddow, and Moulsham.

Neil Gulliver, the city councillor responsible for economic development, said he was not surprised to hear Chelmsford was an entrepreneur hotspot, and said the city was punching above its weight.

He told the Weekly News: “It doesn’t surprise me.

“We’ve got a very well educated population in Chelmsford and more and more young graduates are seeing starting up their own business as a viable option.

“It helps that there’s a strong business base here.”

In comparison, more than 130,000 businesses were started in London last year.

Chelmsford was ranked in 21st place in the business hotspot league table, but was in the company of the country’s biggest cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham.

Mr Gulliver added: “We’re clearly punching well above our weight.”

Emma Jones, co-founder of Start Up Britain, which was launched by the prime minister said: “We’ve been looking at these figures carefully for three years since the campaign began and it’s clear the UK’s start-up community is growing year-on-year.”