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 practitioners and business recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington can help you, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Insolvency Practitioner

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Insolvency Practitioner

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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