Peterborough, which promotes itself as one of the best places for food and drink firms in the country, has the highest rate of business failures in the UK, according to the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3).
The Peterborough postcode area's business failure rate is 4.6% compared with 1.8% for the nearest ranked area of Sunderland and 0.74% for Britain as a whole, according to an R3 survey.
Greater Peterborough Investment Agency's chief executive Gloria Milne said that the failure rate in the area reflected "a dynamic business environment that stimulates the creation of large numbers of new businesses", as was acknowledged in the R3 survey.
Business services firms accounted for a large proportion of failures, said Milne, and she defended Peterborough's performance. "Independent research based on company performance over five years reveals that food sector companies based in the Peterborough area enjoy up to double the turnover growth of comparable firms elsewhere in the UK," she said.
The R3 survey found that seven out of 10 business graveyards were in northern England. Third and fourth in the failure list were Manchester (1.7%) and Bolton (1.4%). Seven of the 10 regions with the lowest levels of business failures were in Scotland.
R3 said that poor management was the biggest cause of collapse. It claimed that creditors of insolvent firms could get three-times as much by supporting rescues than forcing them into bankruptcy.