FARMING businesses in Cumbria are amongst the most stable of any sector in the UK, according to figures produced by the insolvency trade body R3.

The figures show that just 12 per cent of agricultural businesses in the county are considered to be at a higher than normal risk of failure in the next 12 months – compared to 35 per cent for pubs.

In the UK as a whole, agriculture is now one of the most stable of the main industry sectors, although nationally 16 per cent of businesses are considered to have a high risk of failure – a full four points higher than Cumbria’s score.

The figures, compiled using Bureau Van Dijk’s Fame Database of company information, supports evidence in a recent paper by the NFU which states that prospects for agriculture have undergone a dramatic turnaround in recent years.

Figures from DEFRA also show that total income from farming in the UK during 2013 increased by 13 per cent to £5.5 billion in real terms. The figure is now more than two-and-a-half times higher (160 per cent) than it was in 2000, although it is still 26 per cent less than the peak of 1995.