The number of company insolvencies in England and Wales have hit their highest level in almost 15 years, according to the latest figures from The Insolvency Service.
The report analysed the five worst hit industries for insolvencies, putting construction at the top of the list, followed by wholesale and retail.
The figures for the three months to the end of September showed that there were 6,208 insolvencies, with numbers up by 10% from the same period last year.
Statistics for the period from July to September recorded 4,964 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs), 735 compulsory liquidations, 466 administrations, 41 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) and one receivership administration.
The number of compulsory liquidations in Q3 of 2023 was 14% higher than in the previous quarter and 46%n higher than in the same quarter of 2022.
Commenting on the statistics, Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), said: “This news is very worrying. Our members are telling us all the time how difficult it is on the high street. Comments that are coming through to us and I’m hearing all the time from our indie retailers are that its ‘tougher than Covid’ and that they are feeling ‘worn out’. Indie retailers are resilient and will keep going but they need some support, something to help them through this difficult period.”
He added that Bira would be reaching out to the Government in a bid to secure more support for the retail sector. He said: “We are calling on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to retain the retail discount on business rates at 75%. Any increases in this tax burden will push more businesses into closure and there will be many more empty units on the high streets throughout the UK. We have submitted this proposal to the Treasury, along with other ideas such as increasing the employer’s national insurance allowance and reducing corporation tax to help the smaller retailers.”