Brexit related financial stress has hit Leeds hard, with total insolvencies rising to 25 per 10,000 adults last year - a 20 per cent rise since 2017 - according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.
UHY Hacker Young said the data suggests Leeds may be experiencing greater economic stress as a result of Brexit concerns than the rest of the UK. The average insolvency rate for the UK has risen 17 per cent since 2017.
Peter Kubik, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “Leeds’s economy was already weaker than the rest of the UK before the recent economic slowdown.
“The impact of Brexit related concerns are hard to unravel from a broader global slowdown, but regardless of that, the region’s economy is in need of central Government support.”
UHY Hacker Young said other northern cities recorded some of the highest insolvency rates in the UK last year.
Stoke-on-Trent ranked first out of 348 towns and cities in the UK, with total insolvencies in the area hitting 51.2 per 10,000 adults last year. Scarborough ranked second, with total insolvencies reaching 47.8 per 10,000 adults.
Many northern cities in the UK have had historically high insolvency rates, with this year’s figures reflecting the historic underinvestment in their economy. Stoke-on-Trent and Kingston-upon-Hull ranked first and third for insolvencies in 2017.
Mr Kubik added: “More investment is needed for the north as many of its major cities continue to struggle with high insolvency rates.
“Major northern cities have struggled in recent years, with key industries such as manufacturing and the car industry experiencing a downturn.
“Previous Governments have outlined a number of initiatives to help stimulate the UK’s northern economy, such as the Northern Powerhouse project. However, many have called for further funding to give this initiative momentum.”