The number of bankruptcies and other personal insolvencies in Blackpool fell significantly in 2012, according to new government figures. However the town still has the highest rate of personal insolvencies in the North West – and one of the highest in the country.
The figures –analysed by the insolvency trade body R3 – show that in 2012 there were 48.2 insolvencies for every 10,000 adults in Blackpool – down from 56.5 in 2011. They include people who are made bankrupt, take out an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) or Debt Relief Order.
Blackpool was in joint third position in England and Wales in terms of the rate of personal insolvencies, on a par with Scarborough. The worst affected areas were Torbay and Denbighshire, which includes the seaside towns of Rhyl and Prestatyn.
Jeremy Oddie, North West regional chair of R3, said: “It’s no surprise that Blackpool has topped the North West insolvency league. Nationally the five areas with the highest insolvency rate are all beside the coast.
“Traditional seaside towns face particular economic problems, such as competition from overseas resorts and the need to revamp their offering. Many residents within them are also employed in seasonal or part-time work and have little in the way of financial reserves to keep them afloat during periods of unemployment or to cover unexpected expenses.
“Clearly many families are under pressure and, while it’s good to see that the number of insolvencies in Blackpool fell significantly last year, the rising cost of everyday items such as fuel, food and rents is now putting greater pressure on household budgets and could result in people getting deeper into debt.
“Debt problems are extremely distressing for the individuals and families concerned. Anyone who is worried should seek professional advice from a qualified insolvency practitioner or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.”
Top five areas in England and Wales for personal insolvencies (rate per 10,000 adult population)
1. Torbay 53.8
2. Denbighshire 53.1
3. Scarborough 48.2
3. Blackpool 48.2
5. Hull 43.5
Top 10 areas in North West for personal insolvencies (rate per 10,000 adult population)
2012 2011 2010
1. Blackpool 48.2 56.5 55.2
2. Halton 40.3 40.1 47.1
3. Allerdale 35.9 33.1 29.3
4. Wirral 34.4 35 35.2
5. Chorley 34.3 39.5 44.6
6. South Ribble 32.8 31.7 42.5
7. Copeland 32.4 30.4 31.2
8. Cheshire W & Chester 31.9 30.9 31.5
9. Warrington 31 32.8 31.4
10. St Helens 30.2 31.1 33.2
NB: The figures include bankruptcies, IVAs and Debt Relief Orders