Report Says Seaside Towns Are Struggling

Seaside towns including Bournemouth and Poole have seen the highest number of business failures over the past few years, according to research.

A study by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young found that Aberdeen, Oxford, Dundee, Edinburgh and Manchester topped a league table for business creation.

Poole, Southend, Preston and Blackpool were at the bottom, while even previous 'hotbed' areas such as Bournemouth and Southampton fared poorly, said the report.

Poole came bottom of the table, changing from creating six businesses per 10,000 people in 2008 to losing almost 24 in 2009.

The report said seaside towns lacked the economic diversity of bigger cities and were too reliant on tourism.

The study found that the UK lost more than 43,000 businesses in 2009, with just Aberdeen and Oxford creating more businesses than they lost in 2009.

London fell from top position to 24th in just one year, with a net loss of more than 4,500 businesses, said the report.

Marc Waterman of UHY Hacker Young said: "Seaside towns have never recovered from the collapse of their traditional maritime and tourist industries. Whilst these towns have tried to diversify their economies from reliance on a dwindling tourist spend, that diversification has been a mixed success.

"For example, where they have won financial services jobs those have often been in back office work that is seen as adding little value.

"Any bounce from the staycation was wiped out by the cancellation of business conferences, exhibitions and seminars that seaside towns would normally do very well from. Businesses, like consumers, reigned in discretionary spending during the recession and those seaside towns who relied on their business suffered.''

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