Empty shops rise in ITV Border region but independent retailers triumph

More than 1 in 10 shops in Cumbria and the south of Scotland are currently empty, according to new figures.

There are 650 vacant shops in the region, research conducted in conjunction with the Local Data Company has revealed.

This equates to 13% overall which is higher than the national average of 12.1%.

It comes on the same day ITV Tonight explores the changing face of the British High street and have confirmed a significant fall in passing trade – known as footfall.

Credit: PA

However, the figures show that independent retailers are dominating High Streets, with the largest proportion of independent shops in the whole of the UK.

But the government says it is committed to acting to save those parts of the high street which are struggling. Jake Berry from the Northern Powerhouse said: “I don’t like this talk of the death of the high street. I think it’s far too pessimistic. Go to your local high street. I think you will be very surprised. Your viewers will be very surprised about how vibrant it still is, but we have to acknowledge that the way people are shopping is changing.”

  • High Streets: End of the Road? – Tonight will be broadcast on Thursday 16th January at 7.30pm on ITV