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Serious debt and personal insolvencies highest in UK seaside towns

British seaside towns dominate rankings for the areas with the highest levels of personal insolvencies in the UK, according to research from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.

Scarborough ranks second out of 347 local authorities in the UK for personal insolvencies in 2018, with 47.8 insolvencies per 10,000 adults, compared with the UK average of 25. Torbay ranks third with 45.7 insolvencies per 10,000 adults and Plymouth ranks fourth with 45.2.


However, the Midlands’ Stoke-on-Trent took the top spot for the highest amount of personal insolvencies in the UK, recording 51.4 insolvencies per 10,000 adults in 2018.


The collapse in sterling and resulting increase in ‘staycation’ holidays has had little tangible impact on traditional UK holiday destinations such as Scarborough and Blackpool.


Coastal towns outside of the South East of England have struggled to replace their traditional industries with faster growth sectors such as financial services and technology. With a few exceptions, most of the poorer-performing seaside towns lack universities, making them less attractive destinations for businesses looking for a highly skilled workforce, Hacker Young said.


Peter Kubik, turnaround and recovery partner at UHY Hacker Young’s London office, said: “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.”


Credit Strategy and Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) News are hosting the TRI Conference on November 13 at the London Hilton Bankside. Click here for more information and to book your place.

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