The total number of failures fell from 40,847 in 2000 to 40,532 last year, a drop of 0.8%, according to business information company Dun & Bradstreet.
However, on a regional level, the largest increase in business collapses was in London, where failures rose by 8.3%. The best performing area was the South East which saw a 7.4% drop in failures.
Meanwhile, small businesses faired better than their larger rivals. The number of small business bankruptcies fell by 2.4% to 23,373, while the larger company liquidations increased by 1.6% to 16, 742.
Philip Mellor, D&B senior analyst, said: ‘Although the annual rate of decrease is slight, it still provides a good deal of New Year cheer when you consider the general economic slowdown.’
Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators to City Motor Holdings and associated companies
Partners from Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as joint administrators to Axon Well Interventions Products UK
Begbies Traynor have been appointed administrators of William Anelay Ltd, York, one of Britain’s longest-established construction and heritage restoration companies
Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children