British seaside towns retain highest personal debt position

Seaside towns made up seven of the top 10 spots for personal insolvencies in the UK, as they struggle to recover from decades of decline.

British seaside towns retain highest personal debt position

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.

Accountancy firm Moore Stephens said the economy of Britain’s seaside towns continue to be affected by the long-term decline of traditional coastal industries, such as shipbuilding and fishing, and the growth of overseas holidays.

It also said that 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 at Moore Stephens said: “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.”