British seaside towns retain their position as areas with highest personal debt

Seaside towns made up 7 of the Top 10 spots for personal insolvencies in the UK*, as they struggle to recover from decades of decline in coastal industries and the growth of overseas holidays.

Of 573 constituencies, Plymouth Moor View took the top spot for personal insolvencies with 47.5 insolvencies per 10,000 population in 2016, compared with national average of 19.9.

Other traditional holiday destinations in the Top 10 for personal insolvencies included Torquay, which took the top spot last year, with 44.3 and the Isle of Wight with 38.2.

The economy of Britain’s seaside towns continues to struggle to recover from the long-term decline of traditional coastal industries, such as shipbuilding and fishing.

The local seasonal tourist trade, which constitutes a large portion of the economy of coastal towns, is further affected by increasingly cheaper international flights and package holidays. The drop in the value of the pound since the Brexit referendum has not so far proved enough to bail out these coastal towns.

Jeremy Willmont, Head of Restructuring and Insolvency says: “Personal debt in many British seaside towns shows no sign of improving.

“Seaside areas now come with a handicap that they are struggling to shake off. People living in these towns continue to fall into insolvency as the coastal economy fails to keep up with the rest of the country.

“At this point, debt in the UK’s coastal towns seems to have entered something of a downward cycle. As the economy along the coast declines, unemployment worsens. This may result in many more highly educated millennials relocating to larger cities, deterring new employers from relocating to the area.’’

Across the UK, personal insolvencies are worsening. The national average rose 12% to 19.9 in 2016, from 17.8 in 2015.

7 of the top 10 worst UK constituencies for personal insolvencies are seaside towns

*2016, latest data available from The Insolvency Service

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