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  1. ITV Report

Too many empty shops are empty and unused in the Midlands

Shops closed in Nottingham Photo: ITV Central

Currently, 30% of Nottingham's city centre shops are vacant.

Its the worst offending large town in the UK, according to a report published by the Local Data Company today.

The report data has come from 506 town centres and 145,000 shops that were studied between January and June of this year.

Walsall is a close second with 29.6% of shops there being empty.

Empty shops in Nottingham Credit: ITV Central

3 out of 10 shops lie empty in Nottingham but many take issue with the findings, as the figures include areas outside the city centre like Sneinton and Radford.

The report breaks towns down into three size groups. Large, containing towns like Nottingham, Central London and Wolverhampton. Medium, with towns like Dudley, Dover and Blackburn and Small towns like Margate, Epping and Chalfont St. Peter.

Of the medium sized towns Dudley, in the West Midlands, has the most vacant shops. 32.4% of shops are empty there.

It is about managing decline to enable alternative uses for a centre to take over.

– Matthew Hopkinson, Director at the Local Data Company
Shops vacant in Nottingham Credit: ITV Central

The report has found that things like the increase in online sales hasn't helped struggling, smaller shops as well as the decrease in the amount of disposable cash consumers have.

In many places, we need to have a complete re-think about how vacant property could be redeveloped into new uses.

– Liz Peace, Chief Exec of British Property Federation

Almost 15,000 shops closed down in town centres between 2000 and 2009 but a further 10,000 closed between 2010 and 2011.

The problem has been increased by the growth in the volume of retail space, the report states.