1093 small businesses are scheduled to be wound up this January

Best Cities for Business

Business survival rates in Blackpool have prospered over the rest of the country, new research reveals.

The Lancashire seaside resort - with a population of 240,000 - has a high unemployment rate compared to the national average, but is the most improved for business survival rates.

Blackpool’s businesses are heavily reliant on the skills and competencies of local residents, providing an important resource for labour, investment and business.

Belfast tops the list across the whole of the UK, showing a 44% decrease in rate of closures between 2010 and 2015.

Mansfield (3rd), Sunderland (4th), and Worthing (5th) make up the remaining top five improved locations across the UK.

These three locations showed on average a 19% improvement in business survival rates, a considerably higher figure than the average of 3% found across the 64 cities covered.

The new research - which analysed the most recently available figures was carried out by London insolvency practitioners Hudson Weir.

The research compared 64 UK towns and cities, highlighting the number of businesses to close per 10,000 population.

Somewhat surprisingly, some of the UK’s biggest business hubs, such as London and Edinburgh, showed a significant drop in business survival rates.

These cities were both in the top 10 for increased business closures - Edinburgh showed an 11% increase, slightly higher than London’s 9%.

London’s start-up businesses in particular have been found to struggle with steep business rates and skyrocketing commercial rent prices.

And there was bad news for business owners in Northampton and Aberdeen, with both showing a 34% increase in businesses closing down.

Businesses struggling to stay open in Northampton has been attributed to a decrease in high street customers and sales revenues since around 2012.

Aberdeen has been hit hard by the global oil crisis, with slumping oil prices resulting in job losses and business closures.

Plymouth had the third highest increase in business closures (20%), followed by Luton (18% closure increase) and Oxford (17% increase).

Top Ten Cities showing the greatest decrease (%) in business closure rates between 2010 and 2015

City Percentage Decrease 2010-2015 Belfast -44.24 Blackpool -23.63 Mansfield -22.79 Sunderland -20.03 Worthing -15.66 Bournemouth -13.57 Burnley -12.52 Portsmouth -12.10 Coventry -11.47 Barnsley -11.33

Top Ten Cities showing the greatest increase (%) in business closure rates between 2010 and 2015

City Percentage Increase 2010-2015 Northampton +34.66 Aberdeen +34.12 Plymouth +20.74 Luton +18.01 Oxford +17.09 Crawley +13.23 Edinburgh +11.74 London +9.93 Cambridge +8.40 Doncaster +7.77

Hasib Howlader, Director at Hudson Weir Ltd comments: “It’s very encouraging to see that despite worries over Brexit having a restricting effect on UK businesses, many areas are seeing a significant improvement in business survival rates, particularly in the North of England.

However, it is clear that there are areas in the UK where businesses continue to struggle due to varying factors such as the weak pound, increased price of imports and increasing overheads. We would recommend that any business concerned about their long-term success should seek advice from an insolvency specialist, as early intervention is key to business turnaround and recovery.“

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