THE UCI road cycling world championships – and a projected one million visitors – are set to ride into towns across Yorkshire.
The race has polarised businesses in the communities across Yorkshire who are hosting the event.
Harrogate has been saddled with the starring role but Beverley, Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Northallerton, Richmond, Ripon and Tadcaster also feature prominently on the Yorkshire route map.
With a worldwide TV audience tuning into Yorkshire, one of the biggest events in cycling is viewed by many businesses as the perfect shop window – a way of boosting trade and banishing the insolvency blues hitting the High Street.
For others, the widespread road closures affecting footfall and staff travel mean beleaguered Yorkshire businesses have little option but to close for the whole week – adding to their financial struggles.
Independent financial experts have been brought on board to explore the economic benefits – or otherwise – of the big event, and assess whether it’s proved a much-needed fillip to some Yorkshire businesses’ recovery plans.
Their appointment comes as new research highlights the scale of the insolvency battle facing many shops and bars and restaurants on the High Street, including here in Yorkshire and the North East.
It revealed that an average of 16 stores are closing every day as high rents and business rates, together with online shopping, cause financial difficulties.
Over the last six months, some 2,868 shops closed with the biggest net declines seen among fashion retailers (-118), restaurants (-103), estate agents (-100) and pubs (-96).
On average, nine new stores opened their doors every day, for a total of 1,634, but meaning there was still a net closure of 1,234.
This figure is up from 1,123 over the same period last year and the highest since the insolvency research began in 2010.
We have witnessed several retailers seeking to close stores or reduce rents through insolvency processes known as company voluntary arrangements (CVA), including Arcadia and Debenhams.
Other retailers, such as LK Bennett, Pretty Green and Coast have failed to escape the insolvency axe.
And there are many more high-profile names favoured by shoppers in Yorkshire and North East who are hoping their business recovery plans are robust enough to beat their own insolvency fight.
However, chicken shops are proving so popular on the High Street that they were one of only three store types, along with pet shops and gyms, to see more openings than closures in the last six months, according to the insolvency researchers.
Regionally, London was hardest hit by insolvency and financial difficulties, with the biggest number of net closures.
But there was good news for Yorkshire and the Humber – one of just four UK regions to see a fall in net closures compared with the final six months of 2018 – early evidence of potential business recovery.
Whether the UCI world cycling championships puts the wheels in motion for these green shoots to grow faster in Yorkshire remains to be seen.
As insolvency experts and Yorkshire businesses both recognise, there is a lot riding on it!
Here at Walsh Taylor, when financial difficulties arise, we’ll put time on your side.
For more information on how our licensed insolvency specialists and business recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington can help you, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org