Figures support ONS claims that the construction economy strank in Q1 2011

The number of construction insolvencies grew by a fifth in the first three months of the year, the first rise in two years, according to accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.

The research shows insolvencies rose by 19% to 948 from the 796 reported in the last quarter of 2010.

This is the first rise in insolvencies reported by the firm’s quarterly survey since the index peaked in the first quarter of 2009 with 1,209 insolvencies. The figures support claims by the Office of National Statistics that the construction economy shrank in Q1 2011, despite most other indicators suggesting it experienced marginal growth.

Anthony Cork, director of Wilkins Kennedy, said the construction sector had been “pushed into a double dip” because of deficit reduction targets.