British seaside towns dominate top 20 bankruptcy list
A decline of coastal economy has contributed to the number of insolvencies, claim accountancy group UHY Hacker Young who carried out the research.
Seaside towns dominate the rankings of areas with the highest number of personal insolvencies in the year ending 2018.
Though Stoke-on-Trent took the top spot, seaside town Scarborough ranked second, with 15 of the top 20 being seaside towns.
Great Yarmouth ranked 14th on the list, with 39.2 insolvencies per 10,000 adults.
“The data suggests that these seaside towns are still a long way from recovering from the decades of contraction in their traditional coastal industries such as tourism, ship-building and fishing,” the group says.
They also suggest that the weakness of the local economies leads to more skilled young professionals moving to higher growth parts of the UK, leaving behind a population more weighted with pensioners.
Peter Kubik, turnaround and recovery partner at the London office of UHY Hacker Young, says:
“People living in seaside towns continue to fall into bankruptcy as the coastal economy fails to keep up with the rest of the country.”
“Coastal towns such as Blackpool are clearly struggling to reinvent themselves and throw off their old image. Further investment is going to be needed to help these towns unlock their potential.”
“Increased funding from central government, far in excess of the levels they are currently getting, could be key to tackling local economic decline in many of these areas. Many coastal areas are in need of further investment.”
A comment from Richard Bird:
“As a former mayor for a seaside town and a district and county councillor for the area, it is obvious that this statistic should come to light. For years, those amongst us that have attempted to trade in seaside areas have recognised the need for some sort of special relationship with all levels of government, including national.”
“What is needed is not some silly solution of bringing in some external ‘expert’, but a sensible approach to the developing market that is available.”
“Promising to extend the so called ‘season’ has been a dream of all for decades. What’s really required is an industry that is required 52 weeks of the year, and a short discussion with locals would reveal that industry.”
“Of course, the small but important retail element would be greatly assisted if retailers didn’t have to pay commercial rates for 52 weeks of the year when you consider that they only trade properly for about 40 in seaside towns.”
“It’s a great debate, but nobody in power wants to hear it; we just get more reports telling us what’s already known.”