Half of top ten worst towns for empty shops in West Midlands

Boarded-up shops Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Five of the top ten worst town centres in the country for empty shops are in the West Midlands.

The Local Data Company has found that Burslem in Staffordshire is the worst for vacant stores in England, with Stoke-on-Trent coming in second. Dudley in the West Midlands had previously been top of the list for three years running.

The report found that 20% of all the shops it tracked had been vacant for more than three years, which amounts to almost 10,000 outlets.

"This is the equivalent of five Manchesters lying empty."

– Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson
Burslem in Staffordshire has the most empty shops of any town in the UK Credit: Google Maps

The top 10 worst town centres for vacant retail and leisure space contain five in the West Midlands, four in the North West and one in the North East.

The top three are Burslem in Staffordshire with a vacancy rate of 29.4 per cent, Stoke-on-Trent with a vacancy of 28 per cent and Hartlepool in County Durham, with a vacancy rate of 27.3%.

The top 10 best town centres have six in Greater London and the South East.

"At a regional level the polarisation between the North and the South is as wide as ever with London's vacancy rate being less than half that of the northern regions."

– Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson