Wiltshire's insolvency rate among lowest in England

A couple walk past a row of closed shops
Image caption The national average insolvency rate last year was 1.1% of businesses

Wiltshire had one of the lowest insolvency rates in the country last year, according to new research.

Out of 27,631 businesses, only 193 in the county's local authority area folded - a rate of 0.7%.

That percentage was slightly higher in the Swindon Borough Council area with 112 businesses out of 10,188 going bust - a rate of 1.1%.

In contrast, the highest insolvency rate in England last year was in Slough, Berkshire, with a rate of 2.6%.

The research, carried out for the BBC by Experian, looked at evidence of growth, or otherwise, in every local authority area in England.

The data included information from sole traders and partnerships not normally collected by other data agencies including, for example, people operating online auction businesses from home.

'Little bit better'

Chief executive of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, Rob Perks, believes it is partly to do with the type of businesses in Wiltshire.

He said the county had less of a focus on industry, such as financial services, construction and manufacturing, but more service-related businesses which have not suffered as badly.

"In chatting with our members we have learned that many have cut back and clipped their wings, or been innovative and done something different, rather than giving up," added Mr Perks.

"Many are giving feedback that things are just a little bit better and they're feeling a bit more optimistic than they have over the last three years."

Elsewhere in the West, North Somerset Council's area had an insolvency rate of 1.1% last year - the same as the national average.

Bristol was below average, as was Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and Somerset's local authority area.

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