Blackpool in worst 10 towns for money crisis

Richard Wolff
Richard Wolff

Blackpool has the eighth highest rate of people in the worst state of financial crisis according to a study by the Insolvency Service.

And insolvency trade body R3 said seaside towns in general fare worst due to people relying on seasonal employment and women were more likely to find themselves in financial trouble than men.

The survey showed Torbay had the highest rate of insolvency nationally, at 38.4 per 10,000 adults, twice the national average, while Blackpool had a rate of 30.3 per 10,000.

The main factor behind the higher rate for women was that they were more likely to take out a type of personal insolvency called a debt relief order (DRO).

DROs are often dubbed “bankruptcy light”. They are aimed at people with lower amounts of debt, of up to £20,000, but no realistic prospect of paying it off.

Richard Wolff, North West chairman of R3, said: “Coastal towns like Blackpool tend to have lower wages and higher rates of unemployment – and what employment does exist is more likely to be part-time or seasonal work. Over half of the top 10 areas in the UK with the highest personal insolvency rates in 2015 were on the coast.

“Because these areas are so dependent on seasonal tourism, if the industry declines generally or when out of season, people’s personal finances suffer because they do not have sufficient job security or income.

“On the bright side, the personal insolvency rate in Blackpool has been falling faster than the national average. The rate has fallen from 55.2 insolvencies per 10,000 people in 2010 to 30.3 per 10,000 last year. While Blackpool still has the highest insolvency rate in the North West, it is now less than 3 points ahead of Preston and Wirral, which both have rates of 27.5.

“Ultimately, however, concerted action is going to be required to address the long-term economic problems facing towns like Blackpool.”