NEW figures have shown that 1,230 businesses in Swindon ceased trading in 2022 - up from 1,135 the year before.

Some 8,265 businesses were active last year, meaning the ‘business death rate’ - the percentage of businesses that closed - has risen to 14.9 per cent of all businesses.

This combined with the fact that the ‘business birth rate’ - the percentage of businesses that began trading - is 12.3 per cent with around 1,020 paints a rather bleak picture for Swindon.

Dr George Dibb, head of the Institute for Public Policy Research’s Centre for Economic Justice, said: “Today’s new data is a potential warning sign for the British economy with more companies going out of business than started up for the first time in 2022 since the tail end of the financial crisis.

“Whilst this isn’t unexpected – high energy costs combined with the end of pandemic support schemes would always see a rise in company closures – it might signify that greater business support would have maintained higher economic activity.”

The Swindon public has reacted to the news, and we have collected some of the best responses we received to this story on our Facebook page.

Marion Mcmanus said: “It’s terrible, where will it end?”

Paul Head said: “A car spares shop in Royal Wootton Bassett closed due to high rent. The council refused to lower it for him.

“Then a charity shop took over for half the rent the car spares shop was being charged. Utter foolishness.”

Derek Robinson said: “Two or three years back I seem to remember that the council reduced car parking charges over Christmas.

“I don’t suppose that’ll work now because nobody is going into town anyway, there’s little there; although you have a large selection of barbers up Commercial Road.”

Amjad Qazi said: “There are a number of genuine reasons why so many businesses have closed down.

“Brexit, covid, useless Swindon Borough Council, (never ending “road works”, parking charges) online shopping, expensive rents & business rates.”

Sean Lamb said: “This sounds bad but it’s normally 1,000 that close each year as only 15 per cent of businesses make it past the first year.”

Mark Fullick said: “I was going to town on Sunday but as soon as I saw they started charging to park on a Sunday me and others were just turning around and going home.

“The council are turning people away by charging more for less

“What sort of a council charges people away from the shops? They should be trying to encourage shopping.”

Richard Clark said: “What do you expect when all of the private firms who own property in Swindon are charging extortionate rents, driving out the firms so they can convert them to expensive housing, whilst our council and government sit back and let them do exactly what they want?!”

Baristocats Coffee Lounge said: “Not at all surprised and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

“After Wednesday’s Autumn statement where the VAT threshold was frozen yet again and the minimum wage was increased again (which we support), the chancellor has created a situation where our annual fixed overheads are now £3,000 higher than the VAT threshold. This means that it’s now mathematically impossible to break even.

“Looking at the ONS data there are between 66,000 and 97,000 businesses saddled with the same situation.”

Nic Lincoln said: “If you spend your money on local things the money stays in your local area, if you spend your money with international corporations the money sits in stocks, tax heavens etc. Its very simple, if you want local businesses spend your money locally.”